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Win 7 copy settings between users on same machine

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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
This should be really obvious question, but I just can't find a reasonable answer to it.

I want to copy JUST the settings from one user account to another on the same Windows 7 install.  In my current case, it's from a user account with admin rights to the actual Administrator account.  (My user account is large and I don't want to transfer all those files, just PREFERENCES dealing with File Explorer, Internet Options, Personalization, and so on.)  But I want to know how to do this anyway, on ANY Win7 install, and I don't want to have to download some piece of software that I might not have access to in the future.

If I try to use the "User Profiles" dialog, I've noticed that other people have the same problem I do with it:  the "Copy To" button is grayed out.  Some claim you can right click the user name...I have not found this to be the case, no menu appears.

What gives?  How is this done?  This should be spectacularly simple.

The response I am looking for should work on Windows 7 and should not use a 3rd party tool and should not be to just copy the user tree on over (I'm concerned about having to take the time to trim down folder sizes and also rights/priviledges issues, especially if I want to use this technique on just any machine).

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Top Expert 2011

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Do you consider Microsoft's utilities to be 3rd party tool?
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TheHiTechCoach:  No, I don't consider Microsoft's utilities to be 3rd party -- feel free to point me in the right direction!

Martin81:  This sounds like exactly what I want.  I can't try it right now, but as soon as I am able I will.  My only concern is when I'm in a situation with large appdata folder sizes (or ones that contain confidential information and all I'm trying to do is transfer settings.)  But right now if I were to guess I'd say you probably answered my question...can't wait to try this, thank you!
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So I finally got a chance to try this out.  Unfortunately it's not quite right.

Here's the problem:

Despite having a short username which is only 2 characters longer than the original username, there are some files and directories which won't copy (or at least, won't copy without me finding their location, shortening them, and then maybe they'll accept a rename after being copied).  And then there are some files which state (even though I'm logged into the Administrator account, which for this test was not a part of the data being transferred, except I suppose to transfer it) -- they state thtat access is denied to copy them.

This results in not being able to login.  I get an error...something like "The group policy service failed the logon.   Access is denied."

This is the kind of thing I'm looking for, though -- just copy a directory and a file  -- so I'm interested to hear feedback on this!


Thanks!

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Further clarification:  the error the system complains about in the first instance about the copy is because the file name (and/or path) becomes too long.
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Martin81:  Thanks for your added comment here.
That's what I might have to do.  It would appear that after some digging what I believe is going on is that when I do the copy, Windows is actually following the JUNCTIONS it comes across.  Ignoring junctions with something like robocopy is irrelevant because the stuff it does copy should be, as you say, enough to do it (recreate it).  I don't know if the group policy error I'm getting is related to the suggestion of the user profile service error.  I think that article you linked to is very interesting, especially, "The documented and supported approach is using the Advanced System Settings in the system properties, User Profiles settings"...

I'll try deleting the SID but I'm sure that will just recreate a blank profile.  I'll take another look at Windows Easy Transfer, I just can't believe that's my solution here.  But if it is it is, and there's usually more than one way to solve these things...


Thanks everyone.

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(...still working on this one...)

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Still have to look through all the stuff I'd like to be able to do on this, but certainly appreciate all the comments.  It's been open a while, so I'm closing it now.  Always happy to hear updates on this.  Ideally, I'd be hoping for something that I could even run from the command line, but it's not necessary.  I can't believe they took out copy profile, that just floors me.
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