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Rename windows 7 Pro x64 profile

Posted on 2015-01-18
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Last Modified: 2015-02-16
Hi
Does anybody out there know if I'm able to safely rename a Windows 7 Pro x64 user profile to another user without damaging the security and integrity of the profile. The machines are all joined to a windows 2012 std AD domain server, and have some proprietary software installed, which is machine name and profile locked. Two of our users have left, and the machines are sitting there unused as the software supplier is taking forever to supply us with new activation keys to reactivate the software for the new users.
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Question by:MonziBoy
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15 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40556509
Not sure if this is possible.

Is having them use it as the old user logon an option? If so, maybe they can RDP to that station just to use the program.
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Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 40556510
It is safe, at least for OS part. Users are connected with GUID. System is watching GUID, not actual user name.
Even if you delete one user, and create other one with same user name, GUID will be different, so windows will see old and new profile as two different profiles.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40556548
I don't think you can just rename an actual profile name. You have to delete and recreate. You CAN change the name of the user attached to the profile. I have done the latter. Generally to rename, I have had to delete and recreate.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40556674
Just change the Display Name in Active Directory for the time being, along with the primary email address attached to the old user's mailbox. Just explain to the new users why they have to log in with the ex staff member's username in the meantime while you wait for the activation keys for the software, I'm sure they won't mind as long as everything else appears to be from them.

When you get the activation keys for the new users for the software, create the user accounts as you normally would then re-assign the email address to their new accounts, then disable/delete the old users as per your internal procedures.
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Author Comment

by:MonziBoy
ID: 40557216
Hi All

Thanks for the responses, but VB ITS response is the closest to what Im looking for, but the problem is not just for new users - renaming them in AD is the easy bit, what Im talking about is moving existing AD users across to these machines, and I unfortunately cant rename them in AD as they already exist on the domain. Sorry, when I said new users, I meant existing AD accounts which would be the new users on those particular machines.

Regards
Andrew
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40557257
So just to clarify, you have already created the new user accounts and want to copy the old users' profile to the new machines, but under the new user's logins?
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Author Comment

by:MonziBoy
ID: 40557269
The machine has user A 's profile on it currently, with all the correctly installed and activated applications. User A has left the company. We want to move User B, who has been with the company for about 2 years already, onto this machine, but to just be able to rename the profile to User B's profile without messing with the existing desktop, documents and installed applications. I told the client this was probably an unlikely thing to be able to do, due to user profile security within windows itself, but they asked me to look into it anyway.
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Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 40557367
As I wrote before, it is safe if you are just renaming profile in user accounts for local accounts. User account is connected to GUID. All security is attached to GUID and not actual username.
How GUID looks like :)Since it is old account (non existing) on picture there is no actual account connected to this GUID. This happend during reinstallation of OS.

If there is actual account connected to this GUID - username is written, and you cannot see GUID.
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Author Comment

by:MonziBoy
ID: 40557390
Hi Pedrag

Thanks for this, but it is not a local account I want to rename. I need this machine to still function on an AD level with the new user, and as far as i know, you cant add an AD account to a PC by simply renaming the profile on the PC.

Regards
Andrew
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40557409
Andrew,

I can't say I've ever done this before and, in all likelihood, I don't think it's going to work very well as the registry will contain references to the old user's SID and username. You'll most likely just end up with error after error.

You can try copying over the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc. folders from the old profile to the new one. Next, inspect the old user's registry for the software, export the keys, then import the keys into the new user's profile.

Also have a look in the C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming and C:\Users\username\]AppData\Local folders as many programs tend to store settings and preferences in here.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:MonziBoy
ID: 40557437
Thanks for the help, but I also didnt really think there would be a clear cut solution for this either. I also dont really want to start fiddling the registry and profile too much, in case it buggers up what I already have working. I think I might just have to leave it as is, and setup a secondary email profile to cater for the new user.
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Accepted Solution

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VB ITS earned 500 total points
ID: 40557449
I think I might just have to leave it as is, and setup a secondary email profile to cater for the new user.
Yep sounds like the way to go. You can create a new user account + mailbox on your servers then grant the old user Full Access (temporarily) to the new user's mailbox.

That way you don't have to do an import/export of mail when you do get the new software activation keys.
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Author Comment

by:MonziBoy
ID: 40557490
yep.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 40611851
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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