Renaming a user account via Computer Management console or the User Accounts applet does not rename the associated user profile folder. Here is how to manually rename the user profile folder in Windows XP
Rename the User Profile folder using Windows Explorer
- Logon to an admin account that is not the account being renamed.
- Open the Documents and Settings folder, by typing this in Start, Run dialog:
%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings
- The list of folders will be displayed. Select the corresponding folder of the user account that you want to rename.
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername
Next step is to notify the system that the user profile path has changed.
Changing the ProfileImagePath value in the registry
ProfileImagePath registry value
The ProfileList registry key contains some sub-keys, which are nothing but the list of User Account Security Identifiers (SID). Each of the SID represents an Account. The key is located here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList
Identify the SID for your User account, and change the Profile path
- To know the SID for your user account, you may use the script sidlist.vbs
- Download the script and run it. (The User Account names and SIDs will be listed in a log file, and opened automatically.)
- Note down the SID for your account.
- Then, in the Registry Editor, select the correct SID that belongs to your user account.
- In the right-pane, double-click the ProfileImagePath value and change the profile path. ( The ProfileImagePath stores the full path of the User account home folder. )
Close Registry Editor, and restart Windows. See if you’re able to logon to that user profile successfully. Additionally, to verify if the path has been changed successfully, type SET in the Command Prompt. In case you find any abnormal behavior when running an application, you may undo the above procedure.
To identify the user’s profile path by the user SID
- Use the Getsid tool from the Windows Server Resource Kit to obtain the SID. At a command prompt, use the following syntax:
getsid \\ComputerName UserName \\ComputerName UserName
For example:getsid \\windowsxp joedoe \\windowsxp joedoe
The results look something like this:= The SID for account WINDOWSXP\joedoe is S-1-5-21-1708537768-1993962763-1957994488-1003
- After you obtain the user SID, start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe), and then select the user SID under the following registry key:
To create a duplicate of a user profile (with a different user name), use these steps:
- Create a new user account
- Logon to that account to initialize the newly created profile
- Log off from the newly created profile
- Login as Administrator (the built-in administrator account)
- Open Control Panel, double-click System
- Click the Advanced tab
- Click Settings under User Profiles
- Select a profile to copy from and choose Copy To
- Browse to the profile to copy to (C:\Documents and Settings\newuser)
- In Permitted to use, click Change
- In the Select User or Group dialog box, type the new user account name and press ENTER.