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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Hello -

    I have been curious about something...

    In Windows XP Pro, can someone please explain what the difference is between these two user structures:

    C:\Documents & Settings\All Users

    &

    C:\Documents & Settings\Default User


    When viewed in Explorer, they appear to have the same subfolders/objects provided by the intial install. From the names, it would seem logical that they both do the same thing, but then again why would MS include one and then the other?

    Thus if I, say, set a Desktop Item in All Users - I don't necessarily need to set it in Default. But
    if I set it in Default, isn't that the same as All Users? Because any indiv "User" could/would/should
    inherit objects from both.

    Why are there two that apparently do the same thing?

    Thanks. Wonderful resource here!

    H

  2. #2
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    All Users are things that everyone has/sees and no-one is able to modify.
    Default User are the setting you copy to your local profile the first time you log on. After that you can change them as required / allowed.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    OK, Paul. That's the difference. I knew there had to be some reason.
    So then, Default is supposedly used just once as new users are added in so that their first desktop etc can be formed. Once that's passed on to the indiv's profile, the individual's profile becomes their own "default" and as you say, can therefore me modified, updated, changed, etc. I suppose that All Users gets applied too at first log in and every session thereafter and that the order of their apprearance/loading isn't important. Or, is it?

    H

  4. #4
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    Not sure exactly what loads when, but I would expect All Users to override local profiles if there was a conflict - which effectively means All users is loaded second.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Don't forget that both your resultant Desktop and Start Menu are an amalgam of those from All Users and your own profile... (among other, no doubt.)
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    BAT and P T - thanks for the info. I just wanted to be sure about it. I'm not fixing anything - it's just a curiosity.

    Thanks again.

    H

  7. #7
    Lounger
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    you can create the perfect default profile (not local admin) and then login as local admin and copy profile to Default User, then when other people log into the system for the first time, its all set-up for them, printers, internet access, mapped drives etc...its what we do here on our LAN, when doing system builds for company systems.

  8. #8
    Lounger
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    ... and the thread continues! Excellent suggestion Ian.
    I've had to do this (startup config) over the last year only a couple of times. Rather than do it the "easy way", I've hand built profiles for new people. But, now that we've uncovered this little gem of a technique, I'm definitely going to try it the next time a startup config comes up.

    Thanks, Ian (and everybody else).

    H

  9. #9
    Lounger
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    your welcome......

    the time this has saved me over the last 7-8 or so years of working with XP, is unmeasurable. trying to make sure the same can be done in Win 7 now.

  10. #10
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    The simple way of explaining this.

    All Users is used AFTER and account is made, and will apply every time the account is opened.

    Default User is used BEFORE a account is made, to make the account and set it's default settings.
    This is where the IT department can set the wanted default's for any new account.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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