URGENT 500 Points!!Have Maxtor external hard drive. Trying to backup certain folders and need help

Posted on 2005-05-14
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Under documents and settings folder in WinXp, I have Default User, Hp Owner, Owner, All users, Sheana....all these folders were system created, and have duplicate folders for Favorites, etc.  When I try to copy and paste to my external hard drive, I get an error message saying "cannot copy NTuser already in use by another program, close other application and try again"......or something similar. Why does winxp have all these duplicate folders with subfolders for identities, email, etc. Some have very little data, and only one has really most of the data I need to back up.

I already have some files copied from my other computer, and I don't want them mixed up, so I can't just backup the whole hard drive. Would it be better or easier just to copy these folders to DVD? PLEASE HELP>>THIS IS VERY URGENT!! NEED TO RETURN COMPUTER!! THanks in advance.
Question by:sheana11
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    MAny of the folders you are talking about contain temporary directories, application data, and such--  most of which does NOT need to be backed up, and is always in use while windows is running.

    Your alternatives:

    When copying data (folders) to the hard drive, brows all the way down to the "My Documents" folder for each user.   That will avoid the application-specific folders that are causing you so much grief.

    Or, get a backup software package, like NORTON GHOST, that does a really good job at avoiding open file conflicts like this.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Since you only want to copy selected files you can try just copying the profile then copy the profile copy.

    To do this create a directory called c:\bkp ( or whatever )
    Then right mouse click on My Computer , Properites, Advanced, User Profile settings,
    Highlight the profile and copy to c:\bkp ( or whatever )
    Note you can't copy Signon in use
    Then copy c:\bkp to external drive ( either to x:\bkp or x:\Documents and Settings\YYY

    To make sure you have all files you can do a simple check by ALT Enter on the different directories.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    It is probably a security thing.  By default you don't have access to other users profile data.  You can setup yourself as a computer admin, or you can log on as each user and copy the data individually.  I usually log on as the individual user, and create a folder at the C level and copy all the data to there first, then to any external drive and delete the holder you created.  You can restart the computer in Safe Mode (hit F8 while the computer is booting) to resolve the file conflicts.  

    Good Luck
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment


    Windows XP will create a user data folder (used to be called "My Documents" -- and still appears that way on the desktop) for "All Users", and then a separate folder for each individual users.  It sounds like there are quite a few "user accounts" created, hence quite a few user data folders.  On the desktop, you see "My Documents", which is synthetic .... it's a "virtual folder" that gives the appearance of containing the user data files from both the "All Users" folder and whichever user is currently logged on.

    Still, it might be the best source from which to work.  Don't try to copy the entire folder, necessarily.  Create a folder on the Maxtor external drive (call it whatever you want), and then "drag and drop" the folders and files that you want to backup to the external drive.  You may have problems copying some open system files, so it may be better to do this on a file-by-file basis as opposed to trying to copy the entire folder(s).
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Most of what is those directories is rubbish apart from a few security settings. If the coputer is going back then I would do the quick and dirty solution - install a parallel O/S. Just install a second copy of WinXP to a direcotry Windows2 and boot it. Then you will be able to copy these folders fine. Generally? I wouldn't bother copying profiles from one machine to another. The amount of time (and now points) wasted worrying about it is less than it takes for the user to recreate everything - unless it's a terminal server - that's another issue!

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