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Personal Files restoration and Users in Vista

Posted on 2011-09-18
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I had to rebuild a Vista system and, in preparation, saved a bunch of doc files, etc.

After the system was rebuilt, I started with a single login name "Sally" and copied the files that had come off the original computer into a folder:
C:\Users\Sally\Sally_Data

So far so good.

Now I add a User "Tom".
But the system tells me that this User already exists and promptly shows Tom as a User!!!

Now I go to look for files under C;\Users that refer to Tom and don't see any!!

Well, there were "Tom" files included in the copy to Sally_Data so I have to figure that this is where the system found "Tom".

argggghhhh this is a brand new clean system and now it seems to be hopelessly confused already.

How to fix?  Why does this happen?
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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12 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
jrgcomputing earned 668 total points
ID: 36557089
Windows creates the user folder when that user first logs in. Log off as Sally and login as Tom and you should then be able to copy files to c:\users\tom
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36557371
OK.  But why did Vista think that Tom was already a User???
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36558507
was there a user tom fodler in the ones you copied?   it may have found it
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36561051
Yes, there was.   "FOUND" seems dangerous but I'm sure that's what happened.

After a reboot the User/Tom files were showing but not with any of the data that was in the "found" User/Tom files.
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 1332 total points
ID: 36561415
well -  you always have to be very cautious using SYSTEM folders, since the sYstem WILL look them up, and use them
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36563854
That's interesting.  How does one tell which is a "SYSTEM" folder?
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 1332 total points
ID: 36565120
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36589528
OK.  So let's say that avoiding these damn things is an objective.  Yet, I want to copy things like My Documents.

What is recommended practice?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36591380
not sure about what you just want - but i'll try; correct me if i'm on the wrong track
my documents, you can copy to that folder - but avoid to copy the "my documents" folder also; i mean, i copy the contents of the folder - to avoid repetitive results
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36593124
OK.  It's a little bit more work but fine - that's a good suggestion.  I was working at the next level up and wanting to grab just folders in their entirety.

I will say that I've had trouble copying ALL the files in a folder.  Some got skipped without warning or the copy process stopped without warning.  I was left with partially-filled folders and didn't know it.
Yes, I could use WinDiff and that's what I did but the process should be more reliable I should think.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36594501
>>  Some got skipped without warning   <<  i never had that - looks like a problem to me
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LVL 26

Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36596702
nobus:  You bet it was a problem!  Had to use WinDiff to sort it out.  But there didn't seem to be an obvious cause.  I don't maintain the computers (hardware) so I don't know the history.  Maybe one failed and was replaced.
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