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Windows 7: All User Files Missing After Clean OS Install and Data Restore

19 Jun 2016   #1

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
All User Files Missing After Clean OS Install and Data Restore

Bought used laptop to replace old, had clean OS install by vendor with license.

When starting up the only account was "owner." I chose "rename account" to my wife's old
user name "Bethie" . Rebooted, new machine now shows account "Bethie" on the standard
Win 7 start button menus.

When preparing to restore data folders, I noticed new machine now had TWO users, the "owner"
folder was still present. But since "Bethie" is the identity showing on the start menus I presumed
that it was using the "Bethie" folder tree.

So I restored all user folders from backup "Bethie" to new machine "Bethie."

Reboot, no user files found, the folders are all present but in newly created user form with no
restored data. However when opening "Computer" and "C:\" and "Users\Bethie" folders, the
hard drive shows all the restored data files.

What do I change about either login or accounts so that when I log in and the start menu
shows the correct user "Bethie" --that it will find all the restored data files that are under
the hard drive folder "Bethie?"

I have done win support in the past, can do regedit, or work in the hard drive folder system to drag/
drop folders into new top folders etc. Thanks for any help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2016   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

I think you should have created a new user, and not have changed an existing user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2016   #3

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
I think you should have created a new user, and not have changed an existing user.
Thanks, my problem is that when I accepted the Windows choice to rename the original owner account, it did create a new user account for me but it doesn't actually use it. It's still using the original "owner" account but it displays the name of the new account on it without actually using any of its folders.

Since I haven't yet re installed any application software I guess I'll try creating a storage folder on C:\, drag all the restored user data folders under that, delete the new user account that's not actually being used by Windows and try creating it on purpose as a new user. If windows will log me on to that the way I expect, it won't be any trouble to drag the restored folders over to it. Then the software installs should go in the places Windows expects them to, and they'll find the user account data folders where Windows expects them to be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jun 2016   #4

Windows 10 Pro X64

Renaming user Owner to Bethie did not change the file structure on the hard drive as you've seen.

Easiest way to fix this is to rename it back to Owner then create a new user called Bethie.

The best way to do this is to enable the hidden Administrator account.
Open a Elevated Command Prompt: Click Start, type cmd then right click on cmd.exe at top and select Run as Administrator.
Type net user administrator /active:yes and press Enter.
Type exit and close Command Prompt.

Now logoff Bethie (the renamed Owner) and login as Administrator.
Rename Bethie account to Owner.
Create a new Bethie account.
Login as Bethie to get the file structure established for the account, then logoff Bethie and login as Administrator.
Do all file copying from there.

Once the new Bethie is setup correctly, delete Owner (and it's files), then make Administrator hidden again.
Open a Elevated Command prompt as before.
Type net user administrator /active:no and press Enter.
Close Command Prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 All User Files Missing After Clean OS Install and Data Restore

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