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Confused about \[username] folder

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2009
yopumpkinhead
 

Posts: n/a
Confused about \[username] folder

Hi all,

I just got Vista and am still learning how it works, so please forgive
me if this is a simple question.

I noticed today when installing some of my software that my [Username]
folder does not show up when browsing in C:\Users\[Username]. The only
folders there are Default and Public. My [Username] folder is accessible
under "Desktop" in the Explore menu, but it is not in C:\Users. Why not,
and how do I put it back?

Yes, I have "show hidden files and folders" turned on. Yes, if I type
"C:\Users\[Username]" into the address bar, it goes there correctly.
However, if I open an explorer window, click on C:\ and then click on
the Users folder, the only two things that show up are Default and
Public.

Is this something as simple as Microsoft trying to make a user's
[Username] folder more accessible and not so hidden? Am I just supposed
to access it by clicking on the folder in "Desktop"? Why does this
folder not show up when browsing C:\Users?

Thanks very much in advance!


--
yopumpkinhead
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2009
Tae Song
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder

"yopumpkinhead" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
news:40e76b9d9cbb5e5e5c46ef967c5414fd@nntp-gateway.com...
>
> Hi all,
>
> I just got Vista and am still learning how it works, so please forgive
> me if this is a simple question.
>
> I noticed today when installing some of my software that my [Username]
> folder does not show up when browsing in C:\Users\[Username]. The only
> folders there are Default and Public. My [Username] folder is accessible
> under "Desktop" in the Explore menu, but it is not in C:\Users. Why not,
> and how do I put it back?
>
> Yes, I have "show hidden files and folders" turned on. Yes, if I type
> "C:\Users\[Username]" into the address bar, it goes there correctly.
> However, if I open an explorer window, click on C:\ and then click on
> the Users folder, the only two things that show up are Default and
> Public.
>
> Is this something as simple as Microsoft trying to make a user's
> [Username] folder more accessible and not so hidden? Am I just supposed
> to access it by clicking on the folder in "Desktop"? Why does this
> folder not show up when browsing C:\Users?
>
> Thanks very much in advance!
>
>
> --
> yopumpkinhead



You or someone might have changed the user name.

It sounds like originally the user name was Default then the user name was
changed through User Accounts in Control Panel.

Changing the user name doesn't change the name of the folder.

Explorer does display the new name in places like the Start menu.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2009
Malke
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder
Tae Song wrote:

>
> "yopumpkinhead" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
> news:40e76b9d9cbb5e5e5c46ef967c5414fd@nntp-gateway.com...
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I just got Vista and am still learning how it works, so please forgive
>> me if this is a simple question.
>>
>> I noticed today when installing some of my software that my [Username]
>> folder does not show up when browsing in C:\Users\[Username]. The only
>> folders there are Default and Public. My [Username] folder is accessible
>> under "Desktop" in the Explore menu, but it is not in C:\Users. Why not,
>> and how do I put it back?
>>
>> Yes, I have "show hidden files and folders" turned on. Yes, if I type
>> "C:\Users\[Username]" into the address bar, it goes there correctly.
>> However, if I open an explorer window, click on C:\ and then click on
>> the Users folder, the only two things that show up are Default and
>> Public.
>>
>> Is this something as simple as Microsoft trying to make a user's
>> [Username] folder more accessible and not so hidden? Am I just supposed
>> to access it by clicking on the folder in "Desktop"? Why does this
>> folder not show up when browsing C:\Users?


> You or someone might have changed the user name.
>
> It sounds like originally the user name was Default then the user name was
> changed through User Accounts in Control Panel.


This is not possible. "Default" in Windows Vista/7 is the template for all
new users. It is equivalent to "Default User" in Windows XP. So the original
user name could not have been "Default".

To the OP: Please give some description of your computer. Home machine?
Corporate workstation? Offhand, it sounds as though someone attempted to move
your user profile to a different location such as a secondary hard drive or
server and didn't realize you couldn't move the entire profile but could only
move the individual directories (Documents, Pictures, etc.). In addition,
tell us what version of Vista you are using and when you go to Control
Panel>User Accounts what you see.

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

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2009
yopumpkinhead
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder

Malke;1156819 Wrote:
> Tae Song wrote:
> To the OP: Please give some description of your computer. Home
> machine?
> Corporate workstation? Offhand, it sounds as though someone attempted
> to move
> your user profile to a different location such as a secondary hard
> drive or
> server and didn't realize you couldn't move the entire profile but
> could only
> move the individual directories (Documents, Pictures, etc.). In
> addition,
> tell us what version of Vista you are using and when you go to Control
> Panel>User Accounts what you see.


It's a home-use machine, running Vista x64 Ultimate. I've had it for
one week now and not a lot of time to fiddle outside of setting it up.
My username is the only one on the computer, I'm the only one who uses
it, and I have not moved any of the default folders or changed any
profile settings (that I know of). All I have done so far is install
protection software, Microsoft critical updates, a few games, and
Firefox; and used Microsoft's backup utility to copy over folders from
my old XP machine into my "Documents" folder. I also uninstalled the
extraneous Dell "bonus" sidebar (dashboard?) which puts flashy icons for
the recycle bin, IE, Outlook, etc in a toolbar on top of the screen, and
for which I have no use. (I don't remember what it's called; I
uninstalled it first thing as it was annoying.)

When I go to Control Panel -> User Accounts, I see my account (my name)
listed as Administrator. The only other account is Guest, and that is
turned off.


--
yopumpkinhead
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2009
Malke
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder
yopumpkinhead wrote:

>
> It's a home-use machine, running Vista x64 Ultimate. I've had it for
> one week now and not a lot of time to fiddle outside of setting it up.
> My username is the only one on the computer, I'm the only one who uses
> it, and I have not moved any of the default folders or changed any
> profile settings (that I know of). All I have done so far is install
> protection software, Microsoft critical updates, a few games, and
> Firefox; and used Microsoft's backup utility to copy over folders from
> my old XP machine into my "Documents" folder. I also uninstalled the
> extraneous Dell "bonus" sidebar (dashboard?) which puts flashy icons for
> the recycle bin, IE, Outlook, etc in a toolbar on top of the screen, and
> for which I have no use. (I don't remember what it's called; I
> uninstalled it first thing as it was annoying.)
>
> When I go to Control Panel -> User Accounts, I see my account (my name)
> listed as Administrator. The only other account is Guest, and that is
> turned off.


OK, I don't know why you aren't seeing your user account under C:\Users.
However, you don't have your machine set up in the best way for Vista. It is
never best practice to run as "root" ("Administrator" in the Windows world).
Although this was of course also true with XP, from a practical standpoint
it wasn't workable since so many programs designed for that operating system
didn't understand the necessity of running under a Standard user. In Vista,
you can run as Standard and should.

You particularly don't want only one user account with administrative
privileges on Vista because the built-in Administrator account (normally
only used in emergencies) is disabled by default. If you're running as
Administrator for your daily work and that account gets corrupted, things
will be Difficult. It isn't impossible to activate the built-in Administrator
to rescue things, but it will require third-party tools and working outside
the operating system.

The user account that is for your daily work should be a Standard user, with
the extra administrative user (call it something like "CompAdmin" or "Tech"
or the like) only there for elevation purposes. After you create
"CompAdmin", log into it and change your regular user account to Standard.
Then log back into your regular account.

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

Start Orb>Search box>type: netplwiz [enter]
Click on Continue (or supply an administrator's password) when prompted by
UAC

Uncheck the option "Users must enter a user name and password to use this
computer". Select a user account to automatically log on by clicking on the
desired account to highlight it and then hit OK. Enter the correct password
for that user account (if there is one) when prompted. Leave it blank if
there is no password (null).

So go ahead and make the above changes and see what shows up under C:\Users
now.

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

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2009
yopumpkinhead
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder

Malke;1157684 Wrote:
> yopumpkinhead wrote:
> OK, I don't know why you aren't seeing your user account under
> C:\Users.
> However, you don't have your machine set up in the best way for Vista.
> It is
> never best practice to run as "root" ("Administrator" in the Windows
> world).
> Although this was of course also true with XP, from a practical
> standpoint
> it wasn't workable since so many programs designed for that operating
> system
> didn't understand the necessity of running under a Standard user. In
> Vista,
> you can run as Standard and should.
>
> You particularly don't want only one user account with administrative
> privileges on Vista because the built-in Administrator account
> (normally
> only used in emergencies) is disabled by default. If you're running as
> Administrator for your daily work and that account gets corrupted,
> things
> will be Difficult. It isn't impossible to activate the built-in
> Administrator
> to rescue things, but it will require third-party tools and working
> outside
> the operating system.
>
> The user account that is for your daily work should be a Standard user,
> with
> the extra administrative user (call it something like "CompAdmin" or
> "Tech"
> or the like) only there for elevation purposes. After you create
> "CompAdmin", log into it and change your regular user account to
> Standard.
> Then log back into your regular account.
>
> If you want to go directly to the Desktop and skip the Welcome Screen
> with
> the icons of user accounts, you can do this:
>
> Start Orb>Search box>type: netplwiz [enter]
> Click on Continue (or supply an administrator's password) when prompted
> by
> UAC
>
> Uncheck the option "Users must enter a user name and password to use
> this
> computer". Select a user account to automatically log on by clicking on
> the
> desired account to highlight it and then hit OK. Enter the correct
> password
> for that user account (if there is one) when prompted. Leave it blank
> if
> there is no password (null).
>
> So go ahead and make the above changes and see what shows up under
> C:\Users
> now.
>
> Malke
> --
> MS-MVP
> Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
> 'index' (http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ)


Heh, I know it's bad policy to run as Admin all the time... I had set
up Vista using almost all default settings, and didn't realize this made
my personal user account the default Admin until it was too late. I'd
meant to go back and fix it but hadn't got around to it yet. (Also, I
take it that this is not normal Vista behaviour? I was sort of hoping
that it would be a dumb question and my User folder isn't supposed to
show up, but ah well - all the more reason to upgrade to Windows 7 ASAP,
I suppose....)

I created a separate Admin account and turned off the welcome screen,
as you recommended. Out of curiosity, I tried naming the new account
"Administrator", and it told me that there is already an account named
"Administrator." I don't know if it's referencing the hidden, built-in
Admin account you mentioned, or if Vista decided to make the default
Admin account *my* account, and just changed the display name when I
went through Setup.

After adding the new Admin account, it shows up in C:\Users, but my
personal Username folder still does not. So, my current C:\Users has
Default, Public, and now Admin... but is still missing my normal
account.

If Setup did, in fact, rename the built-in Administrator account to my
personal account, is it possible to move all my documents and settings
to a new, non-Admin account, and restore the built-in account to its
proper status? If I have to, since the computer's only a week old, I can
restore everything to factory defaults and start over, but I'd rather
not as setting it up the first time was frustrating enough....


--
yopumpkinhead
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2009
Malke
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder
yopumpkinhead wrote:


> I created a separate Admin account and turned off the welcome screen,
> as you recommended. Out of curiosity, I tried naming the new account
> "Administrator", and it told me that there is already an account named
> "Administrator." I don't know if it's referencing the hidden, built-in
> Admin account you mentioned, or if Vista decided to make the default
> Admin account *my* account, and just changed the display name when I
> went through Setup.


You cannot name a user account "Administrator" because there is already a
built-in Administrator account. This is account is disabled for security
purposes but it exists.

> After adding the new Admin account, it shows up in C:\Users, but my
> personal Username folder still does not. So, my current C:\Users has
> Default, Public, and now Admin... but is still missing my normal
> account.


The only reason I can think for this happening is if you named your normal
account something that included forbidden characters or the name itself was
the same as some other system folder. Or perhaps you named your user account
the same thing as your computer - never a good idea. If you did this last
bit, then just change the name of the computer to something else from
Control Panel>System>Computer Name. Computer names should be shortish and
not include spaces or any punctuation characters.

I'm just reaching here because I've never seen this behavior on any of my
clients' machines.

> If Setup did, in fact, rename the built-in Administrator account to my
> personal account, is it possible to move all my documents and settings
> to a new, non-Admin account, and restore the built-in account to its
> proper status? If I have to, since the computer's only a week old, I can
> restore everything to factory defaults and start over, but I'd rather
> not as setting it up the first time was frustrating enough....


Setup didn't "rename" anything. That's not how it works. I have no idea why
you can't see your user account but I suspect that something else is going
on since you mention that "setting it up the first time was frustrating
enough". Normally installing an operating system - or setting it up on an
OEM machine where it is preinstalled (Dell, HP, etc.) is not particularly
frustrating. So perhaps there were issues that you neglected to mention.

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

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2009
yopumpkinhead
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder

yopumpkinhead;1158256 Wrote:
>
> Heh, I know it's bad policy to run as Admin all the time... I had set
> up Vista using almost all default settings, and didn't realize this made
> my personal user account the default Admin until it was too late. I'd
> meant to go back and fix it but hadn't got around to it yet. (Also, I
> take it that this is not normal Vista behaviour? I was sort of hoping
> that it would be a dumb question and my User folder isn't supposed to
> show up, but ah well - all the more reason to upgrade to Windows 7 ASAP,
> I suppose....)
>
> I created a separate Admin account and turned off the welcome screen,
> as you recommended. Out of curiosity, I tried naming the new account
> "Administrator", and it told me that there is already an account named
> "Administrator." I don't know if it's referencing the hidden, built-in
> Admin account you mentioned, or if Vista decided to make the default
> Admin account *my* account, and just changed the display name when I
> went through Setup.
>
> After adding the new Admin account, it shows up in C:\Users, but my
> personal Username folder still does not. So, my current C:\Users has
> Default, Public, and now Admin... but is still missing my normal
> account.
>
> If Setup did, in fact, rename the built-in Administrator account to my
> personal account, is it possible to move all my documents and settings
> to a new, non-Admin account, and restore the built-in account to its
> proper status? If I have to, since the computer's only a week old, I can
> restore everything to factory defaults and start over, but I'd rather
> not as setting it up the first time was frustrating enough....


Hi again,

I was wondering if anyone had an answer to my questions.... My Username
folder still does not show up in C:\Users. Could this be a result of
Vista reassigning the hidden, built-in Administrator account as my
personal account during setup? If so, is there a way to transfer all of
my documents and settings to a new account and return the built-in
account to its normal hidden state?

Thanks very much!


--
yopumpkinhead
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2009
Malke
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder
yopumpkinhead wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone had an answer to my questions.... My Username
> folder still does not show up in C:\Users. Could this be a result of
> Vista reassigning the hidden, built-in Administrator account as my
> personal account during setup?


No. The built-in Administrator account is *disabled* by default. It is not
somehow magically enabled to be used as your personal account during setup.

> If so, is there a way to transfer all of
> my documents and settings to a new account and return the built-in
> account to its normal hidden state?


The built-in Administrator account isn't normally in a hidden state. It is
in a *disabled* state and that is why you don't see it.

Did you *enable* the built-in Administrator account and then use it? What
kind of computer is this? One where you installed Windows yourself or did
you have someone do it for you?

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

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2009
yopumpkinhead
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Confused about \[username] folder

yopumpkinhead;1169806 Wrote:
>
> Hi again,
>
> I was wondering if anyone had an answer to my questions.... My Username
> folder still does not show up in C:\Users. Could this be a result of
> Vista reassigning the hidden, built-in Administrator account as my
> personal account during setup? If so, is there a way to transfer all of
> my documents and settings to a new account and return the built-in
> account to its normal hidden state?
>
> Thanks very much!


I finally found a resolution to this, and wanted to post it in case
anyone else has the same trouble.

It looks like Vista did, indeed, set my personal Username account as
the default Administrator account, which meant that my Username folder
was marked as a hidden, system folder. I had already created a separate
Admin account, as described earlier, so I used an elevated command
prompt to remove the System and Hidden attributes from my Username
folder, and set them on the Admin account.

C:\Users>attrib -s -h [Username]
C:\Users>attrib +s +h Admin

Hopefully this doesn't break anything else, but it does mean that my
folders are showing up properly!


--
yopumpkinhead
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