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Want to change from Admin to User easily

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by a, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. a

    a Flightless Bird

    Hi all,

    I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    and so on).

    Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    a wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    > as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    > I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    > are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    > and so on).
    >
    > Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    > I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice.


    Copy the user profile to the new user.

    To copy a user profile
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...cs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_copy.mspx?mfr=true

    John
     
  3. a

    a Flightless Bird

    "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message news:%23KtFgicILHA.4596@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >
    >
    >
    > a wrote:
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    >> as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    >> I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    >> are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    >> and so on).
    >>
    >> Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    >> I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?
    >>
    >> Thanks for any advice.

    >
    > Copy the user profile to the new user.
    >
    > To copy a user profile
    > http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...cs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_copy.mspx?mfr=true
    >
    > John


    No good, the "Copy To" button for the Administrator account is disabled,
    so I can't perform Step 3 at the URL you quoted above. :(
     
  4. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "a" <b@invalid.com> wrote in message news:4c3b2643$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    >
    > "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    > news:%23KtFgicILHA.4596@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> a wrote:
    >>> Hi all,
    >>>
    >>> I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    >>> as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    >>> I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    >>> are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    >>> and so on).
    >>>
    >>> Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    >>> I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for any advice.

    >>
    >> Copy the user profile to the new user.
    >>
    >> To copy a user profile
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...cs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_copy.mspx?mfr=true
    >>
    >> John

    >
    > No good, the "Copy To" button for the Administrator account is disabled,
    > so I can't perform Step 3 at the URL you quoted above. :(
    >


    You need to reboot the machine, then log on under some third admin account
    in order to perform the copy action.
     
  5. a

    a Flightless Bird

    "a" <b@invalid.com> wrote in message news:4c3b2643$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    >
    > "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message news:%23KtFgicILHA.4596@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> a wrote:
    >>> Hi all,
    >>>
    >>> I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    >>> as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    >>> I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    >>> are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    >>> and so on).
    >>>
    >>> Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    >>> I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for any advice.

    >>
    >> Copy the user profile to the new user.
    >>
    >> To copy a user profile
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...cs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_copy.mspx?mfr=true
    >>
    >> John

    >
    > No good, the "Copy To" button for the Administrator account is disabled,
    > so I can't perform Step 3 at the URL you quoted above. :(


    Hang on, I bet it's because I haven't logged in as the Limited Account yet!
    I'll be back in a moment... :)
     
  6. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    a wrote:

    > John John ...
    >
    >> a wrote:
    >>
    >>> I usually run my PC as Administrator which I now know is dangerous,
    >>> as it can let malware in and play with the system more easily. So
    >>> I want to create a limited User account instead, but all my settings
    >>> are under the Admin profile (eg. Quick Launch icons, file associations,
    >>> and so on).
    >>>
    >>> Is there an easy way to migrate these to the User account, so that when
    >>> I log in as User, my desktop is the same, icons are the same, etc?

    >>
    >> Copy the user profile to the new user.
    >>
    >> To copy a user profile
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...cs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_copy.mspx?mfr=true

    >
    > No good, the "Copy To" button for the Administrator account is disabled,
    > so I can't perform Step 3 at the URL you quoted above. :(


    You cannot copy the userprofile of the account on which you are logged.
    That means you must not be logged on the userprofile you are copying
    from or the userprofile that you are copying to. You need to use a 3rd
    "intermediary" account that does the copying.

    You should have an alternate admin-level account, anyway, and NEVER use
    the Administrator account (not even to install programs) except in
    emergencies. Create a second admin-level account and always use that
    one for your admin tasks. Use a 3rd account on which you login to copy
    the source userprofile to the target userprofile.

    However, for there to be a target userprofile means you must have logged
    in at least once to that new account. The userprofile doesn't get
    generated until you login the first time. After creating the limited
    account, log onto it. That creates its userprofile path and definition
    in the registry. Then logoff that limited account, log onto your
    alternate (but now primary) admin-level account and copy your old admin
    userprofile atop your *existing* limited userprofile.

    By the way, what is important is that you run the vulnerable programs
    (used as infection vectors into your host) under a LUA token. The LUA
    (limited user account) token reduces the privileges on the process to be
    the same as if you had logged under a limited account and ran that
    program. The web browser is probably the highest targeted infection
    vector into your host. You can still logon under your admin-level
    account but run the web browser under a LUA token to have all the same
    safety that you get when running that web browser while logged on under
    a limited account. So you don't have to give up using your admin-level
    account (which should still NOT be the Administrator account but a
    different admin-level account) just to have the safety of limited
    privileges on your web browser. While there are 3rd party software that
    lets you restrict a program to run under a LUA token, you can do that
    using SRPs (software restriction policies) already provided in Windows
    XP; however, it requires adding a "Basic" account under which to run a
    program which is not defined by default in Windows XP. If you want to
    use your admin-level account but protect yourself by limiting the
    privileges on your web browser, I can tell you how to do that using SRPs
    already available in Windows XP. Once you do it the first time, you'll
    see how easily it is to do for other programs, like for other web
    browsers that you install, a newsreader (NNTP client), or for your
    e-mail program. It is not required to log under a limited account to
    limit the privileges allowed for a program.
     
  7. a

    a Flightless Bird

    Thanks for your long answer (and to Pegasus, too!). :)

    Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?
     
  8. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "a" <b@invalid.com> wrote in message news:4c3b4a0f@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    > Thanks for your long answer (and to Pegasus, too!). :)
    >
    > Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    > and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    > apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    > Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    > folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    > up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?


    Copying a profile is equivalent to cloning an account.
     
  9. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    a wrote:

    > Thanks for your long answer (and to Pegasus, too!). :)
    >
    > Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    > and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    > apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    > Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    > folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    > up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?


    Did you install the app(s) for all users? Or just for your own account?
     
  10. a

    a Flightless Bird

    "Pegasus [MVP]" <news@microsoft.com> wrote

    >> Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    >> and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    >> apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    >> Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    >> folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    >> up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?

    >
    > Copying a profile is equivalent to cloning an account.


    Good to know!
     
  11. a

    a Flightless Bird

    "VanguardLH" <V@nguard.LH> wrote

    >> Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    >> and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    >> apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    >> Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    >> folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    >> up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?

    >
    > Did you install the app(s) for all users? Or just for your own account?


    Can't remember now, but I think they were for all. A good point to remember
    for future installs, too! :)

    Anyway, I tried to copy the Administrator account to the Limited account by
    using a second temp Admin account, but it failed. Here's a screenshot of the
    error, which is to do with "failing to set security on the dest profile":

    http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/361/profileerror.png

    I tried the copy in Safe Mode, but it also fails in normal boot mode. I really
    don't know what to do next, except try the "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard"?

    Also, I found this web page...

    http://www.techiehq.net/system-secu...nvert-admin-account-limited-account-4612.html

    (shortened URL = http://preview.tinyurl.com/2vp8d2h )

    ....where the second tip says "What you can do is change your 'everday' account
    to the admin setting then switch your admin acount to limited (in that order)".

    How would I do that? I see no option that converts an Admin account to Limited.
     
  12. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "a" <b@invalid.com> wrote in message news:4c3c680c$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    > "VanguardLH" <V@nguard.LH> wrote
    >
    >>> Okay, it's late here now so I will add a new admin account tomorrow
    >>> and try again. Hopefully it'll all work! Does it also mean that all
    >>> apps installed will have their Registry settings copied across, too?
    >>> Or is it literally just the basics like my "Documents and Settings"
    >>> folder? I was kind of hoping I could copy everything and just boot
    >>> up as Limited with all my apps still running, too. I fear not?

    >>
    >> Did you install the app(s) for all users? Or just for your own account?

    >
    > Can't remember now, but I think they were for all. A good point to
    > remember
    > for future installs, too! :)
    >
    > Anyway, I tried to copy the Administrator account to the Limited account
    > by
    > using a second temp Admin account, but it failed. Here's a screenshot of
    > the
    > error, which is to do with "failing to set security on the dest profile":
    >
    > http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/361/profileerror.png
    >

    <snip>

    This could happen if the account you use when copying the profile does not
    have administrative privileges. You can probably resolve the issue like so:
    1. Log on under an admin account.
    2. Seize ownership of the "User" profile folder.
    3. Set the permissions for the "User" profile folder to "Full access" for
    "Everyone".
    4. Repeat the "copy" process.
     
  13. a

    a Flightless Bird

    "Pegasus [MVP]" <news@microsoft.com> wrote

    >> Anyway, I tried to copy the Administrator account to the Limited account by
    >> using a second temp Admin account, but it failed. Here's a screenshot of the
    >> error, which is to do with "failing to set security on the dest profile":
    >>
    >> http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/361/profileerror.png
    >>

    > <snip>
    >
    > This could happen if the account you use when copying the profile does not have administrative privileges. You can probably
    > resolve the issue like so:
    > 1. Log on under an admin account.
    > 2. Seize ownership of the "User" profile folder.
    > 3. Set the permissions for the "User" profile folder to "Full access" for "Everyone".
    > 4. Repeat the "copy" process.


    I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin account.
    But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User" ?
    Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.
     
  14. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "a" <b@invalid.com> wrote in message news:4c3db04d@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    > "Pegasus [MVP]" <news@microsoft.com> wrote
    >
    >>> Anyway, I tried to copy the Administrator account to the Limited account
    >>> by
    >>> using a second temp Admin account, but it failed. Here's a screenshot of
    >>> the
    >>> error, which is to do with "failing to set security on the dest
    >>> profile":
    >>>
    >>> http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/361/profileerror.png
    >>>

    >> <snip>
    >>
    >> This could happen if the account you use when copying the profile does
    >> not have administrative privileges. You can probably resolve the issue
    >> like so:
    >> 1. Log on under an admin account.
    >> 2. Seize ownership of the "User" profile folder.
    >> 3. Set the permissions for the "User" profile folder to "Full access" for
    >> "Everyone".
    >> 4. Repeat the "copy" process.

    >
    > I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin
    > account.
    > But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    > profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User" ?
    > Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    > Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.
    >


    There is no need to guess what the correct name of the profile folder is.
    You can find out for sure like so:
    1. Log on as User.
    2. Start a Command Prompt.
    3. Type this command:
    set userprofile
     
  15. Johnw

    Johnw Flightless Bird

    a formulated on Wednesday :
    > I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin account.
    > But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    > profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User" ?
    > Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    > Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.


    3. Type this command:
    set userprofile

    set userprofile is a typo I think. Probably should be net userprofile.

    More info here.

    http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5031577.html
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/251394
    http://ss64.com/nt/



    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: news@netfront.net ---
     
  16. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    On 7/14/2010 8:42 PM, Johnw wrote:
    > a formulated on Wednesday :
    >> I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin
    >> account.
    >> But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    >> profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User" ?
    >> Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    >> Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.

    >
    > 3. Type this command:
    > set userprofile
    >
    > set userprofile is a typo I think. Probably should be net userprofile.


    You certainly didn't try that before you posted...

    John
     
  17. Johnw

    Johnw Flightless Bird

    on 15/07/2010, John John - MVP supposed :
    > On 7/14/2010 8:42 PM, Johnw wrote:
    >> a formulated on Wednesday :
    >>> I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin
    >>> account.
    >>> But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    >>> profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User" ?
    >>> Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    >>> Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.

    >>
    >> 3. Type this command:
    >> set userprofile
    >>
    >> set userprofile is a typo I think. Probably should be net userprofile.

    >
    > You certainly didn't try that before you posted...


    Correct, but I googled set userprofile & could'nt find a thing.

    Got me wondering now.



    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: news@netfront.net ---
     
  18. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "Johnw" <johnmattmel@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:i1llhi$2hfr$1@adenine.netfront.net...
    > on 15/07/2010, John John - MVP supposed :
    >> On 7/14/2010 8:42 PM, Johnw wrote:
    >>> a formulated on Wednesday :
    >>>> I was logged in as TempAdmin, which, as you can tell, was an Admin
    >>>> account.
    >>>> But, can you please confirm for me that I was trying to copy the Admin
    >>>> profile to the new correct folder, ie. "..\Documents and Settings\User"
    >>>> ?
    >>>> Because I had to browse for a folder and wasn't sure if that was right?
    >>>> Once you confirm, I'll try your steps above again.
    >>>
    >>> 3. Type this command:
    >>> set userprofile
    >>>
    >>> set userprofile is a typo I think. Probably should be net userprofile.

    >>
    >> You certainly didn't try that before you posted...

    >
    > Correct, but I googled set userprofile & could'nt find a thing.
    >
    > Got me wondering now.


    %UserProfile% is one of the many environmental variables. The command

    set UserProfile

    will give you its current value. On the other hand, your proposed command
    "net userprofile" will fail.
     
  19. a

    a Flightless Bird

    Re: Want to change from Admin to User easily -- Verdict

    Thanks for all the replies, but I've had no success after all.

    I did everything that I could (logged in as a new Admin in Safe
    Mode, took ownership of the old Admin's profile, and was even
    able to copy it over). But logging in under the Limited account
    was just like a new account, with no Quick Launch icons or fave
    settings carried over. It was such an ordeal that I'm over it.

    What I will do instead is a clean re-install of XP this weekend
    and set up the Limited "User" account from scratch this time!
     

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