Combining User Accts on Vista Home

Posted: 12-27-2008, 02:33 PM

Due to using mulitple user names, I have a lot of key data spread al
over my 'C' drive (for example archive to pst files in one user, liv
pst files in another; pictures spread across users; key documment
spread across users; and so forth)

Am looking for simplest way to collapse all data into one Administrato
userid. Also, while I see Admin user and can get into it using explore
for 'C' drive, that user name no longer comes up as a user name via th
control panel menu. Other user id's have the administrator privilege.

So I guess I need to enable the Administrator, then collapse th
contents of the other userids into it. When done I will delete the olde
userids.

Is there any automated way to do this

Thanks

--
breenan

Combining User Accts on Vista Home


Responses to "Combining User Accts on Vista Home"

Malke
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-27-2008, 03:29 PM
breenan wrote:
>
> Due to using mulitple user names, I have a lot of key data spread all
> over my 'C' drive (for example archive to pst files in one user, live
> pst files in another; pictures spread across users; key documments
> spread across users; and so forth).
>
> Am looking for simplest way to collapse all data into one Administrator
> userid. Also, while I see Admin user and can get into it using explorer
> for 'C' drive, that user name no longer comes up as a user name via the
> control panel menu. Other user id's have the administrator privilege.
>
> So I guess I need to enable the Administrator, then collapse the
> contents of the other userids into it. When done I will delete the older
> userids.
You have two issues here - the desire to consolidate data across user
accounts and the misunderstanding of the built-in Administrator account.

For the first issue - No, there is no way to automatically consolidate data
across user accounts. Create a new user account named as you wish. Copy all
data into it. After you are sure you have everything, delete the other
accounts if so desired. If you want to keep the other user accounts, you
could move the data into the Public directory where all user accounts will
have access to it. This new user account should be a Standard account in
Vista. You should not use an account with administrative privileges for
your daily work in Vista. (You actually shouldn't do it in XP either but in
the Real World that is impractical.)

For the second issue, since the built-in Administrator account is disabled
by default in Vista (as it is in Mac OS X and some Linux distros),
apparently you enabled it at one time and then correctly (for security)
disabled it again. It would be better to leave it disabled and, assuming
that at least one of your other user accounts has administrative
privileges, create a new administrative account for emergencies. I usually
make one called "CompAdmin" or "Tech". This account is only for elevation
and emergency purposes and normally will never be logged into.

Malke
--
MS-MVP
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ

Anne
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-27-2008, 11:04 PM

"Malke" <malke@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
news:uEm90fDaJHA.4084@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
> breenan wrote:
>
>>
>> Due to using mulitple user names, I have a lot of key data spread all
>> over my 'C' drive (for example archive to pst files in one user, live
>> pst files in another; pictures spread across users; key documments
>> spread across users; and so forth).
>>
>> Am looking for simplest way to collapse all data into one Administrator
>> userid. Also, while I see Admin user and can get into it using explorer
>> for 'C' drive, that user name no longer comes up as a user name via the
>> control panel menu. Other user id's have the administrator privilege.
>>
>> So I guess I need to enable the Administrator, then collapse the
>> contents of the other userids into it. When done I will delete the older
>> userids.
>
> You have two issues here - the desire to consolidate data across user
> accounts and the misunderstanding of the built-in Administrator account.
>
> For the first issue - No, there is no way to automatically consolidate
> data
> across user accounts. Create a new user account named as you wish. Copy
> all
> data into it. After you are sure you have everything, delete the other
> accounts if so desired. If you want to keep the other user accounts, you
> could move the data into the Public directory where all user accounts will
> have access to it. This new user account should be a Standard account in
> Vista. You should not use an account with administrative privileges for
> your daily work in Vista. (You actually shouldn't do it in XP either but
> in
> the Real World that is impractical.)
>
> For the second issue, since the built-in Administrator account is disabled
> by default in Vista (as it is in Mac OS X and some Linux distros),
> apparently you enabled it at one time and then correctly (for security)
> disabled it again. It would be better to leave it disabled and, assuming
> that at least one of your other user accounts has administrative
> privileges, create a new administrative account for emergencies. I usually
> make one called "CompAdmin" or "Tech". This account is only for elevation
> and emergency purposes and normally will never be logged into.
>
> Malke
> --
> MS-MVP
> Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
> FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ
>
When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name and
I did.

I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
necessary. I simply boot and
I'm automatically in charge.

I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
chessman is there
with my User name and the word Administrator.

From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,

This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why using
myself as
administrator should be disabled.

thank you, anne



Malke
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-28-2008, 12:24 AM
Anne wrote:
>
> "Malke" <malke@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
> news:uEm90fDaJHA.4084@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>> breenan wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Due to using mulitple user names, I have a lot of key data spread all
>>> over my 'C' drive (for example archive to pst files in one user, live
>>> pst files in another; pictures spread across users; key documments
>>> spread across users; and so forth).
>>>
>>> Am looking for simplest way to collapse all data into one Administrator
>>> userid. Also, while I see Admin user and can get into it using explorer
>>> for 'C' drive, that user name no longer comes up as a user name via the
>>> control panel menu. Other user id's have the administrator privilege.
>>>
>>> So I guess I need to enable the Administrator, then collapse the
>>> contents of the other userids into it. When done I will delete the older
>>> userids.
>>
>> You have two issues here - the desire to consolidate data across user
>> accounts and the misunderstanding of the built-in Administrator account.
>>
>> For the first issue - No, there is no way to automatically consolidate
>> data
>> across user accounts. Create a new user account named as you wish. Copy
>> all
>> data into it. After you are sure you have everything, delete the other
>> accounts if so desired. If you want to keep the other user accounts, you
>> could move the data into the Public directory where all user accounts
>> will have access to it. This new user account should be a Standard
>> account in Vista. You should not use an account with administrative
>> privileges for your daily work in Vista. (You actually shouldn't do it in
>> XP either but in
>> the Real World that is impractical.)
>>
>> For the second issue, since the built-in Administrator account is
>> disabled by default in Vista (as it is in Mac OS X and some Linux
>> distros), apparently you enabled it at one time and then correctly (for
>> security) disabled it again. It would be better to leave it disabled and,
>> assuming that at least one of your other user accounts has administrative
>> privileges, create a new administrative account for emergencies. I
>> usually make one called "CompAdmin" or "Tech". This account is only for
>> elevation and emergency purposes and normally will never be logged into.
>>
>> Malke
>> --
>> MS-MVP
>> Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
>> FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ
>>
>
> When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name
> and I did.
>
> I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
> necessary. I simply boot and
> I'm automatically in charge.
>
> I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
> chessman is there
> with my User name and the word Administrator.
>
> From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,
>
> This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why
> using myself as
> administrator should be disabled.
If only one user account with administrative privileges is created, you will
automatically be logged onto it. The built-in Administrator account is
disabled for security purposes. "Using myself as administrator should be
disabled" doesn't make sense to me unless you are really asking why you
should run as a Standard user. You want to run as a Standard user because
it limits your vulnerability to infection and user accident (inadvertently
damaging the operating system by tinkering with global system settings for
instance).

You absolutely do not want to have only one user account. As you have things
configured now, if your sole user account becomes corrupted (not an
uncommon occurrence) you will not have an emergency account from which to
salvage things. The disabled built-in Administrator can be enabled by
booting with a specialized rescue CD, but not all end users are able to
manage that. (I have no idea of your Mad Skilz so please don't take this as
an insult.)

I suggest that you create an emergency user account with administrative
privileges that you will not use except for elevation purposes or for said
emergency. Call it "CompAdmin" or "Tech" or the like. Log into that account
and from there demote your regular user account to Standard for daily work.

If you want to go directly to the Desktop and skip the Welcome Screen with
the icons of user accounts, you can do this the same way as in XP:

Configure Windows to Automatically Login (MVP Ramesh) -
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Autologon.htm

Malke
--
MS-MVP
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ

Anne
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-28-2008, 01:51 AM

"Malke" <malke@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
news:uQHRZKIaJHA.684@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
> Anne wrote:
>
>>
>> "Malke" <malke@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
>> news:uEm90fDaJHA.4084@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>>> breenan wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Due to using mulitple user names, I have a lot of key data spread all
>>>> over my 'C' drive (for example archive to pst files in one user, live
>>>> pst files in another; pictures spread across users; key documments
>>>> spread across users; and so forth).
>>>>
>>>> Am looking for simplest way to collapse all data into one Administrator
>>>> userid. Also, while I see Admin user and can get into it using explorer
>>>> for 'C' drive, that user name no longer comes up as a user name via the
>>>> control panel menu. Other user id's have the administrator privilege.
>>>>
>>>> So I guess I need to enable the Administrator, then collapse the
>>>> contents of the other userids into it. When done I will delete the
>>>> older
>>>> userids.
>>>
>>> You have two issues here - the desire to consolidate data across user
>>> accounts and the misunderstanding of the built-in Administrator account.
>>>
>>> For the first issue - No, there is no way to automatically consolidate
>>> data
>>> across user accounts. Create a new user account named as you wish. Copy
>>> all
>>> data into it. After you are sure you have everything, delete the other
>>> accounts if so desired. If you want to keep the other user accounts, you
>>> could move the data into the Public directory where all user accounts
>>> will have access to it. This new user account should be a Standard
>>> account in Vista. You should not use an account with administrative
>>> privileges for your daily work in Vista. (You actually shouldn't do it
>>> in
>>> XP either but in
>>> the Real World that is impractical.)
>>>
>>> For the second issue, since the built-in Administrator account is
>>> disabled by default in Vista (as it is in Mac OS X and some Linux
>>> distros), apparently you enabled it at one time and then correctly (for
>>> security) disabled it again. It would be better to leave it disabled
>>> and,
>>> assuming that at least one of your other user accounts has
>>> administrative
>>> privileges, create a new administrative account for emergencies. I
>>> usually make one called "CompAdmin" or "Tech". This account is only for
>>> elevation and emergency purposes and normally will never be logged into.
>>>
>>> Malke
>>> --
>>> MS-MVP
>>> Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
>>> FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ
>>>
>>
>> When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name
>> and I did.
>>
>> I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
>> necessary. I simply boot and
>> I'm automatically in charge.
>>
>> I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
>> chessman is there
>> with my User name and the word Administrator.
>>
>> From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,
>>
>> This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why
>> using myself as
>> administrator should be disabled.
>
> If only one user account with administrative privileges is created, you
> will
> automatically be logged onto it. The built-in Administrator account is
> disabled for security purposes. "Using myself as administrator should be
> disabled" doesn't make sense to me unless you are really asking why you
> should run as a Standard user. You want to run as a Standard user because
> it limits your vulnerability to infection and user accident (inadvertently
> damaging the operating system by tinkering with global system settings for
> instance).
>
> You absolutely do not want to have only one user account. As you have
> things
> configured now, if your sole user account becomes corrupted (not an
> uncommon occurrence) you will not have an emergency account from which to
> salvage things. The disabled built-in Administrator can be enabled by
> booting with a specialized rescue CD, but not all end users are able to
> manage that. (I have no idea of your Mad Skilz so please don't take this
> as
> an insult.)
>
> I suggest that you create an emergency user account with administrative
> privileges that you will not use except for elevation purposes or for said
> emergency. Call it "CompAdmin" or "Tech" or the like. Log into that
> account
> and from there demote your regular user account to Standard for daily
> work.
>
> If you want to go directly to the Desktop and skip the Welcome Screen with
> the icons of user accounts, you can do this the same way as in XP:
>
> Configure Windows to Automatically Login (MVP Ramesh) -
> http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Autologon.htm
>
> Malke
> --
> MS-MVP
> Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
> FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ

Hi Malke,
> You want to run as a Standard user because
> it limits your vulnerability to infection and user accident (inadvertently
> damaging the operating system by tinkering with global system settings for
> instance).
Where does the additional vulnerability come in because I'm the
administrator?

I don't tinker and I don't mess with downloads that might tinker, besides,
that's
why restore points are made.

Nothing changes my registry unless I O.K. it first.

I have an up-to-date AVG protection and a SpyBot immunize total of 92880.

And, just in case, I have an up-to-date Acronis image and differentials on a
separate
hard drive.

It also seems to me that additional users would only complicate things.

Now, considering the above facts and the fact that all has been working well
since I bought it, if you still believe that I should create another user
Id, I'll really
give it some serious consideration because I trust your experience and
judgment.

I don't mean to sound contrary, it just happens some times.

thank you, anne


Malke
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-28-2008, 01:45 PM
Anne wrote:

> Where does the additional vulnerability come in because I'm the
> administrator?
There are numerous reasons not to run as Administrator. Here in the
Unix/Linux/OS X world, no one *ever* runs as root (our equivalent of
Microsoft's "Administrator"). Vista is Microsoft's effort to come in line
with the rest of the computing world's actions security-wise. With XP,
there were too many software mftrs. whose programs needed to run with
administrative privileges and/or write to protected areas of the operating
system for it to be practical to run as Standard (leaving aside domain
users for now) so most people ran as administrator. Programs designed for
Vista understand permissions/restrictions.

Since a standard user can't install software without permission (or
elevation), "drive-by" installs of malware (such as were extremely common
with XP) are limited. I don't say they can never happen, but you've
narrowed the risk.

Not having root (administrator) enabled and not running as root
(administrator) also limits what an outside attacker can do to your system.

There are other reasons, but if you want to pursue deep knowledge about
operating security then a newsgroup isn't the place. Find whitepapers about
Microsoft operating systems on TechNet to start with. Start reading
articles at security sites such as http://www.sans.org/.
> I don't tinker and I don't mess with downloads that might tinker,
> besides, that's why restore points are made.
Well, it's not all about you. And System Restore Points will not protect you
from any of the above threats.
> I have an up-to-date AVG protection and a SpyBot immunize total of 9288
> And, just in case, I have an up-to-date Acronis image and differentials on
> a separate
> hard drive.
And you image every day? Just in case, you know, your single user account
gets corrupted and you can't get into it.
> It also seems to me that additional users would only complicate things.
Complicate things? It is beyond me why end users think having more than one
user account will complicate things. This is a very common misconception.
I've already told you how to have multiple user accounts and still log in
automatically to your Desktop.
> Now, considering the above facts and the fact that all has been working
> well since I bought it, if you still believe that I should create another
> user Id, I'll really
> give it some serious consideration because I trust your experience and
> judgment.
Yes, I think having more than one user account is wise. Yes, I think running
as Standard (not root/administrator) is wise. Of course what you choose to
do is up to you. It's not my call.

Malke
--
MS-MVP
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ

Bruce Chambers
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-28-2008, 05:47 PM
Anne wrote:
>
>
> When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name and
> I did.
>
> I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
> necessary. I simply boot and
> I'm automatically in charge.
>
> I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
> chessman is there
> with my User name and the word Administrator.
>
> From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,
>
> This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why using
> myself as
> administrator should be disabled.
>
> thank you, anne
>
>
>

Routinely using a computer with administrative privileges is not
without some risk. You will be much more susceptible to some types of
malware, particularly adware and spyware. While using a computer with
limited privileges isn't the cure-all, silver bullet that some claim it
to be, any experienced IT professional will verify that doing so
definitely reduces that amount of damage and depth of penetration by the
malware. If you do happen to get infected/infested while running as an
administrator, the odds are much greater that any malware will be
extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove with formating the
hard drive and starting anew. The intruding malware will have had the
same (administrative) privileges to all of the files on your hard drive
that you do.

A technically competent user who is aware of the risks and knows
how to take proper precautions can usually safely operate with
administrative privileges; I do so myself. But I certainly don't
recommend it for the average computer user.

Further, the built-in Administrator account was never intended to
be used for day-to-day normal use. The standard security practice is to
rename the account, set a strong password on it, and use it only to
create another account for regular use, reserving the Administrator
account as a "back door" in case something corrupts your regular
account(s).


--

Bruce Chambers

Help us help you:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/555375

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
killed a great many philosophers.
~ Denis Diderot
Anne
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-29-2008, 12:25 PM

"Bruce Chambers" <bchambers@cable0ne.n3t> wrote in message
news:eNyJPRRaJHA.5676@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
> Anne wrote:
>>
>>
>> When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name
>> and I did.
>>
>> I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
>> necessary. I simply boot and
>> I'm automatically in charge.
>>
>> I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
>> chessman is there
>> with my User name and the word Administrator.
>>
>> From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,
>>
>> This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why
>> using myself as
>> administrator should be disabled.
>>
>> thank you, anne
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> Routinely using a computer with administrative privileges is not
> without some risk. You will be much more susceptible to some types of
> malware, particularly adware and spyware. While using a computer with
> limited privileges isn't the cure-all, silver bullet that some claim it to
> be, any experienced IT professional will verify that doing so definitely
> reduces that amount of damage and depth of penetration by the malware. If
> you do happen to get infected/infested while running as an administrator,
> the odds are much greater that any malware will be extremely difficult, if
> not impossible, to remove with formating the hard drive and starting anew.
> The intruding malware will have had the same (administrative) privileges
> to all of the files on your hard drive that you do.
>
> A technically competent user who is aware of the risks and knows how
> to take proper precautions can usually safely operate with administrative
> privileges; I do so myself. But I certainly don't recommend it for the
> average computer user.
>
> Further, the built-in Administrator account was never intended to be
> used for day-to-day normal use. The standard security practice is to
> rename the account, set a strong password on it, and use it only to create
> another account for regular use, reserving the Administrator account as a
> "back door" in case something corrupts your regular account(s).
>
>
Thank you both for your input. It is very much appreciated,

anne


Anne
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Combining User Accts on Vista Home
Posted: 12-29-2008, 12:25 PM

"Bruce Chambers" <bchambers@cable0ne.n3t> wrote in message
news:eNyJPRRaJHA.5676@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
> Anne wrote:
>>
>>
>> When I bought my HP back in May of 2008, I remember choosing a user name
>> and I did.
>>
>> I must have disabled the need to sign in because it has never been
>> necessary. I simply boot and
>> I'm automatically in charge.
>>
>> I just looked under User Accounts in the Control Panel and a picture of a
>> chessman is there
>> with my User name and the word Administrator.
>>
>> From that, I would conclude that I am the Administrator,
>>
>> This box has been working pretty good since new and I'm wondering why
>> using myself as
>> administrator should be disabled.
>>
>> thank you, anne
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> Routinely using a computer with administrative privileges is not
> without some risk. You will be much more susceptible to some types of
> malware, particularly adware and spyware. While using a computer with
> limited privileges isn't the cure-all, silver bullet that some claim it to
> be, any experienced IT professional will verify that doing so definitely
> reduces that amount of damage and depth of penetration by the malware. If
> you do happen to get infected/infested while running as an administrator,
> the odds are much greater that any malware will be extremely difficult, if
> not impossible, to remove with formating the hard drive and starting anew.
> The intruding malware will have had the same (administrative) privileges
> to all of the files on your hard drive that you do.
>
> A technically competent user who is aware of the risks and knows how
> to take proper precautions can usually safely operate with administrative
> privileges; I do so myself. But I certainly don't recommend it for the
> average computer user.
>
> Further, the built-in Administrator account was never intended to be
> used for day-to-day normal use. The standard security practice is to
> rename the account, set a strong password on it, and use it only to create
> another account for regular use, reserving the Administrator account as a
> "back door" in case something corrupts your regular account(s).
>
>
Thank you both for your input. It is very much appreciated,

anne


 
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