Change Win XP Admin name - everywhere, not just signon

Posted on 2007-04-06
Last Modified: 2010-03-05
A friend put together a Windows Media Center PC for me.  When he installed windows, he set up the admin user name as 'Mark & Carol' - my name and my wifes name, very cute.  I find this annoying, espeically because he spelled Carol wrong (its CAROLE).  But the '&' in the middle causes little problems along the way.  I won't bother to describe.

I would like to eliminate the problem.  I can change the user name on signon, but not in the Documents and Settings folder - its a system folder because it was the initial user name.

Is there any simple way I can change this system wide (I am sure its buried in the registry in a dozen places).  I don't want to reinstall WIndows, but I might if this keeps annoying me.
Question by:MGothelf
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LVL 67

Accepted Solution

sirbounty earned 50 total points
ID: 18868008
No - I think it's just once...
Click Start->Run->RegEdit

Now navigate to
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Under here, you'll see a few folders - some of them 'short' (S-1-5-18) and some long.
You'll want to scan among the 'long' folder names.

As you click each of these - look in the right pane at the key value:

Yours will probably be:
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\Mark & Carol

Change it there (and I'd suggest doing away with the "&"'s a special character that can cause problems)...
LVL 59

Assisted Solution

LeeTutor earned 25 total points
ID: 18868019
This page I believe has your answer:
XP name change How do I change usernames in XP?

Assisted Solution

DenisCooper earned 50 total points
ID: 18870029
easiest way would be to create a new user account. Name the account whatever you wish, and make it an admin account if you choose.

then do a copy profile - right click on my computer and select properties. Then goto the advanced tab and select profiles button. Select the original profile and click copy - copy it to your new user name (the one you just created) and ensure you change the allowed to access / permissions to everyone - or atleast your new user account.

then you can delete the account if you wish - just make sure you copy the contents of my documents to the new profiles my documents before you do....
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 18875240
MGothelf, any feedback?

Author Comment

ID: 18875500
I was able to create a new user profile and copy the old one to it, but Windows would not let me delete the original.  So I wound up reinstalling Windows, and now, aside from a couple of minor driver issues, everyting is working fine.

Author Comment

ID: 18894645
I requested to close the question for two reasons:

1.  As I said in the original post of the question,


Author Comment

ID: 18894649
sorry for the ast incomplte post

Author Comment

ID: 18894674
As I said in the original post of the question  

"I can change the user name on signon, but not in the Documents and Settings folder - its a system folder because it was the initial user name.   Is there any simple way I can change this system wide (I am sure its buried in the registry in a dozen places)."

I know how to change a user name.  The problem is the ORIGINAL name is embedded in the Documents and Settings folder (and many, many other places) and can't be changed or deleted because "it is a SYSTEM FOLDER".  Other user names (call them NON-ORIGINAL) can be changed, deleted, etc, but not the ORIGINAL name.

I didn't want to simply create another user account, I wanted to make the orignal GO AWAY or RENAME IT.  None of the solutions suggested helped me towards that goal, they simply restated what I already knew about how to change a NON-ORIGINAL name.

I am not worried about whether or not I get my points refunded, but I just feel that I shouldn't award points to simply close the question.
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 18894705
The only issue I have here, is lack of feedback.
I posted a good suggestion that got not so much as a nod from you...did you try it?  Did it fail?  If so, what did you see as a result?
As far as I know - that's where the profile pointer is stored in the registry and have seen numerous occasions where that was all that was required.
But as you've neglected to correspond with any of the experts here and seem to have resintalled, there's nothing we can do to help now, so I'm okay with the refund...just hope you stay more involved in your posts in the future...

Expert Comment

ID: 18896196
go for the refund mate....clearly you didn't even want to try and any of the suggestiongs posted.....not sure why you didn't want to create a new account, then copy the profile to it, and delete the original one, as this does everything you requested.

i'm sure the other two responses would also have provided the solution.

but instead of creating a new account - you created a new windows XP install.......

Author Comment

ID: 18897234
This is getting nowhere.   I was able to create a new account, but I still couldn't DELETE THE ORIGINAL ONE.   That was the whole point of my question.

I will award the points just to close the question.

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