My name is Dustin, I am running XP Pro. I use one computer to handle my personal and

business life, and i am the only person using the machine. After I installed XP on my

machine I soon relized the benifits of creating multiple user accounts so to have a desktop

work envirment to handle multiple facites of my life. I created a user account called

PERSONAL, here my financial and personal documents are stored so not to get mixed up

with my work stuff. My BUSINESS account is were, you guesed it, I have my biz applications

and docs. My SYSTEM account were I install software and run computer maintnance and

performance utilities, my ENTERTAINMENT account for my music and movies, and finally a

DESIGN account for my web design and photography projects. With the benifits come


The problem is every time I log into an account I have applications that automatically run.

Applications load and run in my systray like McAfee Virus scan and Firewall, Printer and

Graphics Card resourses along with others depending which account I log onto. I need for

these applications to not bog down my system resourses. It would me nice if they only had

to run once, instaed of multiple times im my PROCCESSES. When I have all my accounts

open there are five of the same applications running. My Virus scan has to download

updates to each account seperatly. My Firewall asks me to verify subscription all the time, I

guess it thinks I have it installed on multiple computers illegally. Is there away to correct

this whole big problem?

Another problem I am having is with having to configure windows settings and application

settings independantly. I would like the same desktop, same power off options same sound

scheme same pretty much everything. If I confure Photoshop to be the way I want, I only

want to do it once! I dont want to have to log onto each account and open photoshop to

configure all the settings manually, again. I want to be able to view, write and send email

through MS Outlook no matter which account im logged into. I want to be able to sync my

pocket pc in any account. When I change a programs settings I want the change to be

system wide, and be able to make these changes anywhere. Anotherwords I dont whant to

have to log onto a special account to make changes. I would like it if all my start menues, all

my favorites and links menues were all the same. Whan I use WMPlayer i would like to

share the same play lists and star ratings. WOW. Am I Crazy? Is all this to much to ask. I

am going crazy trying to manage all these settinings.

Using the Windows Explorer I find Documents and Settings. I see all my accounts here plus

administrator, All Users, Defualt User and User. Defualt user and user i dont understand.

Ive read that you can save a profile to defualt user so that when you create a new account, it

uses those predifined settings. What is User for? I think that Application Data Folder is

where the each unique accounts, system and application settings are stored. Is there a way

to create an account that uses all the same settings? Is that what User is for? Can I use

folder sync software to sync all my settings? Can I use a group Policy? Is there a site to

learn more about group policys in laymans terms. Does anybody know of any books or

websites that I should look at? Is there any software that could patch this problem? Does

anybody else have this problem? Can anyone help? e help?

Recommended Answers

All 2 Replies


Dustin, you have a complex situation on your computer, and I hope that with a little time, I can explain what you are up to, and offer some advice.

* Your logins are mutually exlusive. The computer sees PERSONAL as a different user than BUSINESS. Different users mean different settings. The computer thinks that PERSONAL belongs to person A, and BUSINESS belongs to person B, and they cannot see each other's settings. User accounts are built that way... and accounts are designed not to mix.

* Your settings are stored in a Windows Concept called Profiles. By looking in the Documents and Settings folders, you are seeing the physical manifstation (evidence) of these profiles. Again, they are meant to be mutually exclusive of other profiles. PERSONAL should not use BUSINESS profile. The registry keys and other particulars of the OS will not work well with the mixing, and you could lose registrations. This is why Photoshop on PERSONAL is out of sync with Photoshop on BUSINESS.

* The Default User profile provides a baseline for new profiles to be built from. It is possible to seed new accounts with information stored here.

* All Users is a nice place to put installed applications, and other materials that you want each account to have access to. Unfortunately, it provides for the shortcuts and NOT for individual settings. XP was designed, as mentioned earlier, for the isolation of these accounts for business-like reasons... could you imagine the internal duress between two people working on the same computer, perhaps one on 1st shift, and the other on 2nd? He wants Blue. She wants Yellow. Then they start changing things on purpose... individual profiles keep these settings unique.

*Email settings also respect profile lines.

Also, do not think that you can copy one profile's contents to another one. While the files will physically move from one place to the other, Windows (2000 at least will) detect that something is not right, and will create a PROFILE.000 on the fly, and they will not have your modifications contained within them.

If I were you, I would condense your computer down to two accounts: your main account as a power user, with most but not administrative privs. Collapse the Business, Personal, Entertainment, and such down into a single Dustin account. The other account on the computer would be the Administrator account that you only need / should use when you have specific administrative things to do (software patches, antivirus control).

DO NOT USE your administrative (Administrator) account for day - to - day activities. If you get a virus, or you click on the wrong delete option, the Administrator account will allow you to make your computer unusable. Having a sub account (a user account) is a smart idea to protect the computer from yourself.

I have several computer systems in my house (Macintosh, Linux, Windows 2000). I get along with two accounts (Admin, Christian) on all of them, and I do not see the headaches that you are inflicting on yourself.

You asked for some books and materials. Mark Minasi has written some excellent books under the Sybex publishing group on books about Windows. Look for Mastering Windows (insert Server, server 2003, XP) at larger bookstores near you. He writes very well with examples, and his books are entertaining, as he takes jabs at Microsoft and some of the goofy ways things are done.

Good Luck,


hello danny,
what i think is that you should change your operating system windows xp to windows 98
windows 98 is more secure and has less errors. windows xp is not safe and more if you have DSL internet.

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