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Old 11-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
terrie
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Default Windows 7 - copy / duplicate a user profile

In WinXP, it's fairly straightfoward to copy / duplicate a user profile using Control Panel > System > Advanced tab, User Profiles section, Settings via the "Copy To" button. Unfortunately, in Windows 7, the "Copy To" button is only active when the Default profile is highlighted. After searching around quite a bit, I was able to find a way to copy / duplicate a Windows 7 user profile using the WinXP approach. I've only copied Admin level user profile to Admin level user profile but I think one can also copy Standard level user profile to Standard level user profile if one is logged into an Admin level profile while doing the copy/duplicate. I'm going to outline the steps--looks more involved and daunting than it actually is to do--but I've also created a PDF which I've attached.


Windows 7 - How to Copy / Duplicate an Existing User Profile

Note1:
Many online search results will lead you to a Microsoft page on repairing a corrupt profile but this approach does a (destructive) move of the originating user profile data which essentially destroys that profile (only the AppData\Local folder remains in the originating user profile) so the approach outlined on the Microsoft corrupt profile repair page is NOT recommended.



Note 2:
To use the procedures outlined below, you will need at least 3 user profiles:
1. The originatinguserprofile –the copy-from user profile
2. The receivinguserprofile–the copy-to user profile (see section: II Preliminary 2 Create a New User ccount/Profile)
3. The workinguserprofile–the user profile from which you do the copying (see section: II Preliminary 2 Create a New User Account/Profile)


I. Preliminary 1 - Windows Enabler (free):


Note:
This little app will allow you to "activate" (un-grey) the "Copy To" button in Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced tab > User Profiles
1. Download the Windows Enabler 1.1 application
Note: This link was updated on 2/12/16 because the original link was no longer valid. This softpedia.com link download has been tested and is valid (malware and virus free) as of 2/12/16.

2.
Create a new folder in C:\ --let's name it EnablerApp--and copy the windowsenablerv1.1.zip file from your download area to this new folder

3.
Unzip the zip file into the folder you created in Step 2

4.
Highlight Windows Enabler.exe, right click, choose Properties > Compatibility tab and CHECKmark "Run this program as Administrator"

5.
See III. Copy/Duplicate Existing User Profile, Steps 2-4, 8 and 13 below on when to use this application


II. Preliminary 2 - Create a new user profile:


Note: As noted above, you need at least 3 user profiles so if you only have one existing user profile (presumably, what will be the originatinguserprofile), you will need to, create 2 new user accounts using the procedures outlined in this section–one to use as the receivinguserprofile, and one to use as the workinguserprofile.
1. Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage Another Account > Create New Account
2. Enter the new user profile name, select the user account type and the user picture–this will be our receivinguserprofile.
Note: This process of copy/duplicating has been done only from Admin level user profile to Admin level user profile and while it should work from Standard level to Standard level, that has not been tested..
3. Reboot and log in to the new user account to initialize it

4.
Repeat Steps 1-3 if you need to create another new user account to use as the workinguserprofile.


III. Copy/Duplicate Existing User Profile:


Note: As noted above, for the copy/duplicate process to work you must have at least 3 user accounts. You must be logged in to the workinguserprofile to perform the copy/duplicate process. In other words, you cannot be logged in to the user profile from which (originatinguserprofile) you wish to copy/duplicate or the user profile to which (receivinguserprofile) you are copying/duplicating.
1. If you are not logged in to your workinguserprofile, reboot and login to it

2.
Open Explorer and navigate to the EnablerApp folder in C:\ (see I. Preliminary 1, Steps 1-3)

3.
Double click on Windows Enabler.exe --"run as admin" set?

4.
An icon will appear in the Notifications area--depending on how you have set Notifications to display, you may need to click on the Up-arrow icon to the left of the Notifications area, choose "Customize", find the Windows Enabler icon and set it to "Show Icon and Notifications"

5.
Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced tab > User Profiles section

6.
Click on the "Settings" button in the "User Profiles" section

7.
Highlight the user profile name you wish to copy from–this is the originatinguserprofile. Note that the “Copy To” button (down to the right) will be greyed out (it’s active only when the Default user profile is highlighted)

8.
Click on the Windows Enabler icon in the Notifications area ONCE--note that the Windows Enabler icon in Notifications now displays "ON"--depending on how you have set Notifications to display, you may need to click on the Up-arrow icon to the left of the Notifications area, choose "Customize", find the Windows Enabler icon and set it to "Show Icon and Notifications"

9.
Click on the the "Copy To" button ONCE and it becomes active (no longer greyed out)

10.
Click on the "Copy To" button again and the Copy To window will display

11.
In the “Copy Profile To” section of the “Copy To” window:
a. Click on the “Browse” button

b.
Navigate to C:\Users\receivinguserprofile and highlight it (where receivinguserprofile is the user profile to which you are copying and created in II. Preliminary 2, Steps 1-3)

c.
Click the “OK” button and the (file) location will be loaded in to the “Copy Profile To” sub-window–you should see something like C:\Users\receivinguserprofile (where receivinguserprofile is the user profile to which you are copying and created in II. Preliminary 2, Steps 1-3)

12.
In the “Permitted to Use” section of the “Copy To” window:
a. Click on the “Change” button

b.
In the “Enter the object name to be selected (examples):” section of the “Change” window, type in the receivinguserprofile user profile name (where receivinguserprofile is the user profile you are copying to), click on the “OK” button

c.
“OK” and “Yes” to the “Replace existing data” query of the user profile you are copying to, “OK” out

13.
Click on the Windows Enabler icon in the Notification area and the "ON" will disappear (effectively, you've turned Windows Enabler off)

14.
Reboot and login to newly copied user profile (receivinguserprofile). The desktop icons, desktop color and other settings should be identical to the user profile you copied from (originatinguserprofile).

The only exception to the copy/duplicate is C:\Users\receivinguserprofile\AppData\Local (where receivinguserprofile is the user profile you copied to) which does not appear to be copied from your original (copied from, originatinguserprofile) user profile in the process.

If there are any applications which load in your original (copied from, originatinguserprofile) user profile from AppData\Local, you may need to log in to your workinguserprofile and then manually copy the appropriate AppData\Local subfolders from your original (copied from, originatinguserprofile) user profile to the AppData\Local in the new (copied to, receivinguserprofile) user profile. My Datacolor Spyder3Elite monitor calibration load-at-startup application needed to be copied from my original (copied from, originatinguserprofile) user profile AppData\Local\ to my new (copied to, receivinguserprofile) user profile AppData\Local\


Note:
The following link might be useful as it has screen shots of the Windows Enabler application:
http://www.smattie.com/2012/04/02/ha...-in-windows-7/


See below for the link to the PDF of the process outlined above.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf win7CopyUserProfile.pdf (23.4 KB, 1013 views)

Last edited by terrie; 02-12-2016 at 10:21 PM. Reason: update/re-edit NOTE: original link to "Windows Enabler" app has been changed because original link is no longer valid
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:43 AM   #2
LoisWakeman
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Thanks Terri - that will come in very handy as I am about to get a new work laptop, and have been suffering from crippled profiles having transferred them before.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
terrie
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Quote:
lois: Thanks Terri
You're welcome...


>> that will come in very handy as I am about to get a new work laptop, and have been suffering from crippled profiles having transferred them before.

I stumbled across this approach when cleaning up a laptop my sister was given by a client and which she gave to me and I use it as a backup system--it's WinXP. I was annoyed when I discovered that on Win7, the "copy to" option in the User Profiles section of Advanced was greyed out for any user profile other than Default and then stumbled across the Windows Enabler app. There is another app out there that will also enable greyed out buttons but Windows Enabler seemed to less quirky than the other one.

As I noted, I've only done the copy on Admin level users but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work with Standard level users as long as you are doing the copy from an Admin level account. I don't know why the AppData\Local folder is not copied but I'm sure Microsoft thought it was a good idea (yeah, right...'-}}) but it's easy to manually copy what you need from the source user profile--at least it worked ok for me.

Do let me know how it goes and if you find any steps unclear...

Terrie
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
glnz
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Terrie - Haven't read through yet but seems closest to what I'm looking for. Two Qs:

1) Has anyone vetted this app Windows Enabler 1.1 for virus, spyware or malware?

2) Just set up my first Win 7 Pro 64-bit machine as the only account - an admin account. What I want to do is clone it 100% to a new user account on the same machine AND THEN change that new user from admin to standard, so from then on I'll be using the PC more safely by working in that standard account. Do you think your technique works for what I want to do?

Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
terrie
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First...welcome to the forum...'-}}

>>1) Has anyone vetted this app Windows Enabler 1.1 for virus, spyware or malware?

I've been using the Windows Enabler for a couple of years now and not had any issues with it. There were no embedded nasties (virus, weird apps that take over your browser, etc.) when I've installed on various systems so I don't think you need to worry. I would of course, run both an antivirus scan and an antimalware scan on the download because you can never be too safe but I don't think either will get a hit for either.




>>2) Just set up my first Win 7 Pro 64-bit machine as the only account - an admin account. What I want to do is clone it 100% to a new user account on the same machine AND THEN change that new user from admin to standard, so from then on I'll be using the PC more safely by working in that standard account. Do you think your technique works for what I want to do?

I think that's a perfectly reasonable approach but you will need 3 user accounts because you can't copy from the user account you're logged in to and you can't copy to a user account you're logged in to so you need a 3rd user account as a work platform from which to do the copying. I'm not positive but I believe that you should make the 3rd user account an admin account--that's what I've always done.

Once you've copied successfully--reboot a couple of times, logging in to each user account in turn to make sure both the originating account and the receiving account work ok--then you can delete the 3rd user account or you can disable that account so it would still be there if you needed it but not "visible" since you've disabled it. See below for the steps:

To disable a user account:

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users:
1. Highlight the userid/account you want to disable/enable
2. Right click, choose Properties
3. Checkmark/Uncheck “Account Disabled”
4. Ok out
5. reboot



The only tricky bit I found with copying/cloning a user account is with the app data/local folder. I had to copy some folder/files from my originating account to the receiving account--they were folder/files for my monitor (color) calibration which loads on boot.

Hope that helps...let me know if you have any other questions...

Terrie
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:59 AM   #6
reddwarf4ever
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Default have a problem with the end of the procedure

When copying to new user profile I get a pop up window with

directory c users Keith-new could not be deleted please delete the directory and retry

followed every step.

hope you can help me

thanks
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:06 PM   #7
terrie
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Hey Keith...

Can you be a be more specific about which section and which step you were on when you got the error message? That way I'll have a better idea of what might be going on and may be able to offer some suggestions...


Terrie
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
reddwarf4ever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
Hey Keith...

Can you be a be more specific about which section and which step you were on when you got the error message? That way I'll have a better idea of what might be going on and may be able to offer some suggestions...


Terrie
Hello, many thanks for replying, it is at the final stage where I select the user folder the target profile is in, then chose yes start, then got a popular window.

I have attached a copy of the screenshot, Imhope it's clear enough, if not will try another just selecting the relevant Windows.

it s Windows 10 pro 64 bit, not sure if that matters, as your procedure was easy to follow and works well up to the last bit...
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:19 PM   #9
terrie
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Screen shot is clear enough to read...'-}}


Ahhhh...Win10! That might be the problem because I've used this on Win7 (Pro/64bit) but...just in case...let me ask a few more clarifying questions:


1. After creating the Keith-New userid, you did reboot your system and log in as Keith-New (that initial login establishes/populates the userid with the bits and pieces it needs)?


2. And, after you'd logged in as Keith-New, you rebooted your system and logged in to a 3rd userid to use as a "working platform" (1st userid = the copy-from userid, 2nd userid = the copy-to userid--"Keith-New" in your case)?


3. Is the Keith-New userid an Admin user?


4. Is your 3rd-userid (your "working platform") an Admin user?


I find the fact that the error message implies that it's deleting the Keith-New directory to be a bit weird as my understanding--and experience--of the process is that it's copying folders/files to the Keith-New user directory and that while some subdirs might be deleted because they are being "overlaid" by the originating userid's subdirs, what is effectively the master directory (Keith-New) shouldn't be--of course, at least some of Win10's error messages have been known to be less than clear (as in the most notable non-informative Win10 error message of "Something Happened").


Let me know and we'll get this figured out...'-}}


And...by the way...welcome to the forum...


Terrie

Last edited by terrie; 11-13-2015 at 07:43 PM. Reason: fix a typo
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:52 AM   #10
reddwarf4ever
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Thanks for the reply.

wanted to reply with a quote and add my comments at the appropriate place, but each time I tried it said my reply was too short and I needed to add two more characters......would be handy to,reply with a quote and insert comments, easier to remember the questions ....

the answers are all yes...
My initial problem was that newly installed apps did not appear in the all apps program menu, although I could create desktop shortcuts and pin them to the start menu ( the icon one )this happens to my laptop first with W10 home 32 bit, I ran
fsutil resource setautoreset true c:\&fsutil usn deletejournal /d /n c:&Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup&&sfc /scannow&Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth&sfc /scannow&Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase&pause

and amazingly the problem with the laptop disappeared.....then I had the same issue with the PC but this did not resolve it.
through online research it appeared it may be a corrupt user profile. So embarked on creating a new profile and copying everything over, this went fairly well except my pinned items ( icons ) did not transfer, I assumed this may be links with the user DAT files so laboriously refined the programs in the new profile ( installed programs appeared in the program start menu as normal in this new profile, so,Imwas optimistic ) after completing this I thought I was almost finished, just had to copy over my pictures docs etc....but maybe I forgot to log out properly or something, because when Imstarted the PC up,the next morning , my pinned items were gone....it seems Imneed to log out to store them properly...so then I stumbled across your post and thought maybe this would copy everything properly, possibly including the pinned items....
I do enjoy a challenge, BUT.....
I am the one who fixes family computer problems and I learn a bit more each time
thanks
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