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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    Before graduating to XP, I always managed my Start Menu programs by dragging shortcuts and folders around using Explorer. But now I seem to be losing control of things.

    There are two registered users: DarylB and Helen. So I understand that there are now two Start Menu menu folders, and maybe even one "global" one. But why, pray tell, do I have no fewer than SIX: they are under folders (all in c:documents and settings) All Users, All Users.WINDOWS, DarylB, DarylB.DARYL, Helen, and Helen.DARYL. Three of these seem to do nothing. Possibly they are leftovers from a previous installation? Can they be safely deleted?

    More generally, can anybody give me--or tell me where to find--an explanation of how these folders work?

  2. #2
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    The following accounts All Users.WINDOWS, DarylB.DARYL, and Helen.DARYL are because you did a install on top of a old copy. You should have done a repair.

    You may be able to remove the last install by using the Add and remove programs in the control panel. Then you would want to do a repair.

    To do a repair, boot to the CD and when it asks if you want to do a "Repair" click yes and follow the instructions.

    See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...-us;315341& for a KB on "How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP"

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

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    On the other hand, Dave, what's wrong with him just deleting the redundant user names from the Users app in Control Panel? I know the way you suggested is what a person should do, but if he's already up, running and things seem OK...... If one deletes users from Control Panel, I "think" XP will also remove the extraneous folders.....

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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    If he were to look, he may also have another copy of Windows in a subfolder or in a folder "Windows.something". If he were to delete these accounts he may lose data that was related to them. I can NOT remember which is the NEW account vs. the OLD account.

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

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    I'm pretty sure that the new accounts are the ones with the .COMPUTERNAME after them, and the old ones are the ones with just the username.

    But if it were my data, I'd back it up before deleting them <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    StuartR

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    I'm sure you're right Stuart. I've created user accounts three different times for people at "work" where we run on a domain. I was trying to create the user accounts without knowing their domain password. When I finally caught up with each user and had them actually logon to the machine, XP created "duplicate" accounts for them as USERNAME.DOMAINNAME. I then just deleted the ones I had created and the systems are A O K. I realize this is the reverse of the poster's situation, but it at least (I think) shows how Windows XP's brain works.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    <hr>shows how Windows XP's brain works<hr>
    <img src=/S/sarcasm.gif border=0 alt=sarcasm width=15 height=15> Singing 'If I only had a brain....'

    Al, do you mean to imply that there is actually some method to the madness? <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> Acutally, I think you're correct on that count, although I've never experimented to find out.
    -Mark

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    I once screwed up an installation of Windows 2000 and had to follow all the links in the registry for this stuff. It made me remember the line "you are in a maze of twisty passages all alike".

    StuartR

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    Star Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the suggestions and discussion. But note the following,
    Re the suggestion to delete the redundant user names from Users app in Control Panel: I would have tried this, if all the user names were there, but they're not. Only the two valid names are there--DarylB and Helen.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    I'm even more convinced (fingers crossed) now that the folders in Documents and Settings are redundant and can be deleted if you want. If it were me, here's what I would do to check it out. Open Windows Explorer and check the files in some or all of those folders for DATE. I think you'll confirm that the ones with the "name-dot-something" are the latest and the ones with just a name are the initial entries. Then, if you want to test this theory, you could for example DELETE the folder called HELEN and leave all the others. After all, it will be in the Recycle Bin and you can get it back it needed. Deleting only ONE keeps you from cutting off both legs - you can still get the system running as YOU if you try to logon as Helen later and it fails. I don't think it will. When you later try to logon as Helen, I believe it will be using the data in the Helen-dot-Daryl folder.

    I don't want to complicate this, but if you don't like the idea of keeping the folders called name-dot-something and you prefer it to be the other way round, you COULD do some profile copying from My Computer | Properties | Advanced | User Profiles. That will require that you logon as a different name than the one you want to copy, and..... Well, let's get to that only if you need or want to.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    Sheesh, I forgot to ask some important questions in that last post! 1) What about DAVE's question about a 2nd Windows directory? Do you have on your boot drive TWO Windows directories? If you do, we shouldn't do ANY of this profile copying stuff until we talk about that. 2) You don't by any chance have a full-system backup in place do you, like with Drive Image or some other product? Sure would be nice and make this a much safer highway!

    One simple way to check whether or not you've got only one "Windows" installed is to right-click BOOT.INI in the root of your boot drive and open with Notepad. You should see lines like this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS <----- (your Windows folder)
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect <----- (your Windows folder)

    If all this seems too risky, or you're really nervous about it, STOP and don't go any further! I don't want you to take chances.

  12. #12
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Too many START MENU folders (xp home ed)

    Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate them.

    (1) The contents of my boot.ini folder are:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="dwb"

    (2) Based on file dates, it is indeed the case that USERNAME.SOMETHING is current, while USERNAME appears to be dead weight.

    (3) I have deleted the USERNAME folder and all its subfolders, with no apparent impact to the system operation. Hence I plan to delete the other dead folders, and then try to straighten out the names, but I don't push things like this too fast!

    One anomaly I have noticed: In my Crogram files folder I have some program installations, e.g. VISIO32, which doesn't appear in ANY of my START MENU folders, nor CONTROL PANEL/ADD OR REMOVE PROGRAMS. Clicking on visio32.exe will run it, and it appears to run OK, but Visio doesn't appear to be registered. Yes, I know I can run it more conveniently by dragging a shortcut to my START MENU folder (or any of my active Start Menu folders, which I have now learned about!), or to my desktop. But how can I properly register it, short of installing it again? Especially since there is no apparent way to uninstall it first? Could this be related to the other problems?

    Would a register cleanup utility help with any of this mess?

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