Windows 10: Win 10 using two user accounts simultaneously Solved


  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
       24 Feb 2018 #1

    Win 10 using two user accounts simultaneously


    My Acer laptop running Windows 7 recently died. I bought a Lenovo with Windows 10. I had a backup of the old computer's User folder and sub-folders and everything in them. I renamed the Users folder to Acer and copied that folder from external drive to base C drive on new computer.

    It took a while, but when I went to look for it, I couldn't find it. But many things - including my Desktop - had changed. It turns out that, even though I had renamed the Users folder to Acer before copying to the new computer, Windows had decided to change it back to Users and ended up Merging it with the current Users folder. Since I am using the same Username, I got stuck with many of the settings from Windows 7.

    I manually created an Acer folder and then moved everything to that, maintaining the same folder structure. Using the file dates as a guide, I also moved all the Acer files from existing folders (ie AppData, Local, Roaming, etc) under Users to the Acer folder.

    But Windows followed them!

    I guess Windows thinks it's smart, but I think this is dumb.

    So now Windows is using settings from C:\Users\ME as well as C:\Acer\ME. I have cleaned things out and completely deleted the Acer folder, but it keeps coming back! Case in point: I had a Notepad shortcut in the Start Menu. It disappeared when I deleted the Acer folder. I recreated it and the Acer folder reappeared, with the Notepad shortcut. Why?!

    How can I make Windows ignore this extra User account and use only the one in the Users folder?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    24 Feb 2018 #2

    Assuming you mean your copy of the Users folder was complete,what you have done makes no technical sense at all. There are many items that would be totally discordant with your installation.

    E.g. the Appdata folder, NTUSER.DAT just to mention two.

    At best you should have copied only documents or personal files from your user folder backup.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       24 Feb 2018 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    Assuming you mean your copy of the Users folder was complete,what you have done makes no technical sense at all. There are many items that would be totally discordant with your installation.

    E.g. the Appdata folder, NTUSER.DAT just to mention two.

    At best you should have copied only documents from your user folder backup.
    Yes, that's why what Windows did was dumb. I renamed the folder so that it wouldn't interfere with my current installation. Windows merged it with the current installation anyway. Now I'm trying to clean up that mess.

    The copied NTUSER.DAT was renamed to NTUSER(1).DAT, so the Win 10 version was still valid. This happened with a bunch of files. The AppData folder was simply merged with the Win 10 one. Again, I stress, Windows did this, in spite of my precautions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    24 Feb 2018 #4

    I see what you mean about the way you tried to keep them separate by changing the folder name.

    I suppose it would be technically interesting to know why that happened: pragmatically that wouldn't help.

    Other than a clean install
    Clean Install Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials
    or reset
    Reset Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials
    or using the manufacturer's recovery partition, I'm not sure what to suggest - clearly your registry has been compromised.

    Maybe someone else can suggest something...
    Last edited by dalchina; 24 Feb 2018 at 06:03.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 13,759
    Windows 10 Pro
       24 Feb 2018 #5

    SaladGoat said: View Post
    Yes, that's why what Windows did was dumb. I renamed the folder so that it wouldn't interfere with my current installation. Windows merged it with the current installation anyway. Now I'm trying to clean up that mess.

    The copied NTUSER.DAT was renamed to NTUSER(1).DAT, so the Win 10 version was still valid. This happened with a bunch of files. The AppData folder was simply merged with the Win 10 one. Again, I stress, Windows did this, in spite of my precautions.
    Please do not take this too personally but what you did is something that you should never do, not in any circumstances. You should never copy any system files and folders like AppData and its subfolders from Users folder to another computer.

    It's irrelevant that you renamed to folder to Acer; Windows recognizes it as a user profile folder, all application data in it belongs to another user on another computer, which makes Windows to try to merge the data to current PC's user profile.

    Even if your credentials (username & password) on both computers are exactly the same, for Windows these are two totally different users, based on PC and user profile identifiers (SID).

    The right thing to do now is to copy your personal data like documents, images, music and so on from that Acer folder to another HDD, external or internal. Forget copying any system files and folders, especially do not copy the AppData folder.

    When done, reset your new laptop as told in this tutorial. Depending on which of two options to reset laptop you choose, be sure you get rid of all personal files: in tutorial Option One in Step 3 select Remove everything, or if you choose Option Two, in Step 5 select the same, Remove everything.

    When Windows is ready, reset done, copy the user data from the HDD where you copied them from Acer folder and copy them to respective folders in your user profile on new laptop.

    Windows did not cause your issues, you did.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       24 Feb 2018 #6

    Since the AppData folder contained all my email and music and documents and pictures, scattered over dozens of folders, it just seemed easier to copy that one folder rather than each individual sub-folder. I don't see how it is unreasonable to expect that copying a folder with a different name would keep that different name. In the 20+ years I have been using computers, I have copied hundreds of folders between hard drives and computers and never has one renamed itself. I had every reasonable expectation that using a different name would keep things separate.

    You said it yourself:
    Kari said: View Post
    ... for Windows these are two totally different users, based on PC and user profile identifiers (SID).
    So why would it merge two different users? That doesn't make any sense.

    Windows absolutely caused this problem.

    But that is not the issue.

    My problem is that I have been using this new computer for a few weeks, while waiting for data recovery, so I have set it all up with new programs, etc. Refreshing or resetting is not an option. I was hoping for a registry tweak of some sort that could point Windows in the proper direction. Maybe there are two User entries in the Registry that I could delete one. But I have no idea where to look. Or maybe there is some sort of Mr Fixit-style program that will sort out Users. (I googled but could find nothing.)

    Well, that was my hope in posting here. If there is no fix for this, aside from refresh/reset, then I suppose I'll just have to live with two Users folders. ��

    Hopefully someone else has some ideas?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Feb 2018 #7

    Hi, the key to recovering from such predicaments is to provide yourself with an escape route.

    In this case, I have no idea whether a system restore point would help. (You have enabled system restore, I hope- even though it's somewhat temperamental).

    We constantly (and I very frequently) recommend people use disk imaging routinely.
    E.g. Macrium Reflect (free) + external storage for disk image sets.

    If you have done that, you can restore your system to a previously good working state.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 13,759
    Windows 10 Pro
       24 Feb 2018 #8

    SaladGoat said: View Post
    So why would it merge two different users? That doesn't make any sense.

    Windows absolutely caused this problem.
    Let me try to explain this:

    You tried to add application data from another computer, another user (same credentials on 2 PCs = 2 different users) and another operating system (Windows 7 / Acer) to your Windows 10 / Lenovo laptop. This will of course not work. It's not Windows' fault, you simply cannot have user profile data from two different computers / operating systems on one PC. Windows recognizes user profile and application data regardless if you change the folder name from Users to Acer or whatever.

    Your best option is to reset Windows and start from scratch. It's your machine, you naturally are the one to make decisions. We can only suggest and recommend various options. It's up to you to fix the mistake you made now when laptop still is quite new and do it properly instead, or wait until laptop simply does not function any more and do it then.

    One thing which is sure is that you will get serious issues if not fixing it.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       28 Feb 2018 #9

    First I would like to apologize for my previous responses. I don't think I was rude, but I know I was ungrateful.

    After much consideration, I realized I may in fact run in to problems if I allowed my computer to continue its silly ways and run two separate user accounts as one. So I saved all my files and did a refresh. And it worked ... mostly.

    It still re-instated the Acer user folder, but it contained two items: Downloads and Links (both empty). I moved them to the proper Users folder and changed the shortcut links in them. That was Sunday and I have had no recurrence of the Acer folder since then.

    It took literally all day to re-update Windows and re-install all my programs, but with "refresh" it kept all my files, so no need to re-transfer them. And now I can use my computer without fear.

    So I wish to thank both of you for pointing me in that direction. It wasn't the answer I wanted, but it was the answer I needed. So thank you very much!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 13,759
    Windows 10 Pro
       28 Feb 2018 #10

    SaladGoat said: View Post
    First I would like to apologize for my previous responses. I don't think I was rude, but I know I was ungrateful.
    Really appreciated.


    SaladGoat said: View Post
    So I wish to thank both of you for pointing me in that direction. It wasn't the answer I wanted, but it was the answer I needed. So thank you very much!
    You are welcome.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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