Remove Previous Owner


E

Earl Partridge

Bought a used Windows XP Laptop.
I tried removing the previous owner's folder in Documents and Settings, but of course
it is considered a system folder and won't delete.

Also, when saving a document, the default folder to save to is that of the previous owner.

Under User Accounts, my name is shown and I am the Administrator. The only other user
is Guest.

This is a Compaq machine and when I try to view "System Information" to see what the
Computer Name is, that brings up "Help and Support".
So, using Belarc, it reports the Computer Name as the previous owner.
When I go to Control Panel | System | Computer Name, it shows my name as I have changed it.

How can I remove the previous owner from Documents and Settings and other areas so that
all areas show me as the owner, user, computer name, etc.?

Earl
 
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A

Anteaus

While a useraccount can notionally be renamed (which I suspect has been done)
this only does a partial job, many of the user's attributes -such as the
profile-folder under Documents and Settings- retain the old name.

Thus the only proper solution is to create a new account and transfer the
documents, etc. to the new profile-folder this creates. Since this is a lot
of work you need to consider if it's really necessary.

Or, just accept that, like that tattoo you now regret, the the cost of
getting rid of it ain't worthwhile.

My policy, BTW, is that all one-per-desk computers get setup with an account
named 'user' - the less personalisations on a computer, the less hassle later!
 
A

Anteaus

This is also a good point. Who knows what junk is on the computer, in the way
of viruses, pirate software or whatever? A format and fresh install might be
worth considering if there is any doubt about this.
 
B

Bruce Chambers

Earl said:
Bought a used Windows XP Laptop.
I tried removing the previous owner's folder in Documents and Settings, but of course
it is considered a system folder and won't delete.


With second-hand computers, especially if acquired from strangers
but perhaps even if acquired from a family member or friend, your wisest
course of action would definitely be to format the hard drives and start
fresh. You don't want to get in trouble because the original owner may
have filled the hard drive with kiddie porn, or have problems because
the original owner downloaded/installed viruses or other malware.

To fix the "Registered to" information for WinNT/2K/XP, you can use
Start > Run > Regedit.exe to edit:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\RegisteredOwner

and:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current
Version\RegisteredOrganization

How this will affect the name displayed in previously installed
applications will vary depending upon each individual program; some read
the registered owner information dynamically, while others read it only
during installation.

The user profile folders (C:\Documents and Settings\Username)
_cannot_ be renamed, without risky registry editing, even if the
associated user account has been. So, your best course of action would
be to log on using the built-in Administrator account, create a new user
account, with the username desired. Once you've logged in using this
new account (and transfered any data you need to preserve, you can then
delete the old user account(s).

HOW TO Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;279783

How to Copy User Data to a New User Profile
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151

Also, when saving a document, the default folder to save to is that of the previous owner.

Under User Accounts, my name is shown and I am the Administrator. The only other user
is Guest.

This is a Compaq machine and when I try to view "System Information" to see what the
Computer Name is, that brings up "Help and Support".
So, using Belarc, it reports the Computer Name as the previous owner.
When I go to Control Panel | System | Computer Name, it shows my name as I have changed it.

Sorry, but that's not possible. With WinXP, there can be no user
accounts with the same name as the computer. There has to be some
difference between the names.

How can I remove the previous owner from Documents and Settings and other areas so that
all areas show me as the owner, user, computer name, etc.?

See above.


--

Bruce Chambers

Help us help you:


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
 
K

Kelly

What Bruce said and.....

Remove the profile: Start/Run: control userpasswords2 - Users Tab/Remove

Automated script to change registered owner on line 7 (right hand side):
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Office, etc: Do a search via Start/Run: regedit using just the first name
in most cases and change accordingly.

Also, give yourself a new account. Save the Sys Admin account for a rainy
day.
--

All the Best and Happy Holidays,
Kelly (MS-MVP/DTS&XP)

Taskbar Repair Tool Plus!
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/taskbarplus!.htm


Bought a used Windows XP Laptop.
I tried removing the previous owner's folder in Documents and Settings, but
of course
it is considered a system folder and won't delete.

Also, when saving a document, the default folder to save to is that of the
previous owner.

Under User Accounts, my name is shown and I am the Administrator. The only
other user
is Guest.

This is a Compaq machine and when I try to view "System Information" to see
what the
Computer Name is, that brings up "Help and Support".
So, using Belarc, it reports the Computer Name as the previous owner.
When I go to Control Panel | System | Computer Name, it shows my name as I
have changed it.

How can I remove the previous owner from Documents and Settings and other
areas so that
all areas show me as the owner, user, computer name, etc.?

Earl
 
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K

Ken Blake, MVP

Bought a used Windows XP Laptop.
I tried removing the previous owner's folder in Documents and Settings, but of course
it is considered a system folder and won't delete.

Also, when saving a document, the default folder to save to is that of the previous owner.

Under User Accounts, my name is shown and I am the Administrator. The only other user
is Guest.

This is a Compaq machine and when I try to view "System Information" to see what the
Computer Name is, that brings up "Help and Support".
So, using Belarc, it reports the Computer Name as the previous owner.
When I go to Control Panel | System | Computer Name, it shows my name as I have changed it.

How can I remove the previous owner from Documents and Settings and other areas so that
all areas show me as the owner, user, computer name, etc.?


If I acquired a used computer, the first thing I would do with it
would be to reinstall the operating system cleanly. You have no idea
how the computer has been maintained, what has been installed
incorrectly, what is missing, what viruses and spyware there may be,
etc. I wouldn't want to live with somebody else's mistakes and
problems, possibility of kiddy porn, etc., and I wouldn't recommend
that anyone else do either.
 
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