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Windows 7 Administrator Account Issue

Last Modified: 2020-04-11
I recently migrated files and programs to a new notebook, using an application called ZInstall.  The original and target computers both run Windows 7 Professional SP-1.  For the most part, this worked, with a few glitches which are in the process of being resolved.  However, there's a dilemma with the administrative account.  

I didn't want to keep the previous owner's account, called "User", but my administrator's account ended up with that name on the target notebook.  I renamed the administrative account "DD", which now appears on the Windows sign-in screen.  But renaming the administrative account has had some unexpected effects.

In C:\Users  there are now folders named User and DD, which have identical contents.  A change in either folder will be duplicated in the other folder.  Although I seem to be logging on to Windows as DD, the actual account which is logged on is User.  I know this because the DD folder can be renamed, but the User folder cannot.  Moreover, my networked devices cannot access the new notebook with DD as user, but they can access it with User as user.  Is there a way I can remove the User account, and genuinely log on as DD?

In order to save everyone's time and effort, please know that I'm aware that Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows 7, and there is a push to "upgrade" to Windows 10.  The notebook which is the subject of this question also has Windows 10.  Having experienced it, I am not interested in abandoning Windows 7 just yet.
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Distinguished Expert 2019

what do you want?
Use the user interface, add a brand new user if desired set it an administrative account.

Switch, login with the newly created account.

Then decide what you are after.
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
Distinguished Expert 2019

get the product key and save it then run sysprep  from c:\windows\system32\sysprep and select generalize


Thank you both.  Starting a new profile would not be workable.  Every aspect of the profile is highly-configured, and I wouldn't be willing to recreate that from scratch.  Regarding Sysprep>generalize, could you please explain what that accomplishes, before I implement it?
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
Distinguished Expert 2019

If you save your profile.. sysprep will put the machine into the out of box experience.. then create the user. login as the user. logout and login as administrator and then copy back the profile data

As always a good backup is essential


Please excuse my ignorance -- I'm having some difficulty following your instructions.  

Save my profile -- how?    

How do I create the user.login as the user.logout, and what does that accomplish?  

When I log in as administrator, do I use "User" or "DD" ?  

When you say "copy back the profile data", I have never been able to copy all the profile data in my user folder.  For example, some of the Application Data contents will not be copied because they are "in use".  Even if I log on to another operating system and try to copy all contents of a user folder, there are significant omissions.  This is based on my past experience with simply trying to copy the contents of my user folder.  Thank you for your patience with my learning curve.
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
Distinguished Expert 2019

they are only in use if you are logged into that account.
Distinguished Expert 2019

I am not advising you delete existing ones but create a new user profile to test.

Nature of the issue.

Unfamiliar with what you used to copy/transfer applications, data.

Not sure what issue you had with win10....


In the past, if I log on to another operating system, and try to copy the affected system's administrator user folder, it is not copied completely.  I have used Windows Explorer, with very poor results, and Robocopy with better -- but still unsatisfactory -- results.  There are other tools whch are designed specifically for copying user profiles which I have also tried, such as User State Migration Tool.  In the end, restoring the "saved" profile has never been complete.  This is just my experience.

I understand, now, that you are suggesting creating a new profile as a test.   On this notebook, if I log on to the other operating system, and rename the "User" profile folder, then try to log on to Windows 7 again with the renamed user, that will not happen.  Instead, the system creates a new profile.  But the profile which I renamed is not available to log on.

I'll try creating a new administrator account, and see if I can copy contents of the "User" profile, from another operating system.

As to my objections to Windows 10, I'd like to avoid making that a focus of this question.  I think it boils down to unfamiliarity and personal preferences.
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
Distinguished Expert 2018

Have you considered using USMT (User Stare Migration Tool)?


Yes, thank you.  There is a reference to it in my previous post.  When I used it previously, I still ended up spending more than a day re-configuring items like Desktop, Start Menu, and other features unique to my user profile.  Also, if I compared then number of files and folders in the original profile with the new profile, the new profile was thousands of files lighter, which I assumed was significant.
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