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  1. #1
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    MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    I never use USer accounts, so I'm not used to them. I am cleaning up a friends PC and she has 4 users set up, 2 of which are administrators, 2 aren't.

    I have logged in as one of the administrators, but find I cannot edit msconfig for the two limited accounts.

    Eventually, I changed these accounts into administrators, made the changes and then changed the user account back to limited.

    Is there not an easier way to do this?

    Also is there not a way to change for example Windows Explorer view preferences or IE Explorer cache sizes for all accounts. Again I did it by logging into each and changing each account, but its a long slow process.

    Colin

  2. #2
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Try Group Policy Editor to make those user account changes. HTH
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Is there not an easier way to do this?

    The answer depends of what do you want to achieve by "editing msconfig". You are probably trying to change some settings for the accounts. Which settings? What the purpose of changing?
    Answers to these questions make possible to give you some recommendations.

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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Group Policy editor.

    Right I'll have a look now.

    Thanks

    Colin

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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    The edits I want to do to msconfig are mostly to delete start-up entries.

    When you have a family PC, you usually end up with lots of undesireable entries in MSConfig that need deleting

    Colin

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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Just checked Group Policy Editor. It's not available on XP Home!


    Colin

  7. #7
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    My bad. <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15> I didn't read your system configuration. No, it's not available in Home.
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    There is another way, but I doubt you will consider it "easier".

    There are several places from which is possible to run programs at startup. All of them are accessible from user account with Administrator rights ("unlimited account"). The most common ones are Startup folders in Programs menu:
    Cocuments and Settings<username>Start MenuProgramsStartup
    Check all of them one by one for each username.

    The second one (used far more often) is in the Registry. Open Registry Editor (click Start | Run, type REGEDIT and hit Enter). Navigate to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentV ersionRun
    Delete all unwanted keys.
    For current user account, navigate to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVe rsionRun
    and do the same.

    Now is more complicated part. To access Registry settings for another account, select the HKEY_USERS key in the pane on the left, and choose File, Load Hive. In the resulting dialog box, navigate to another user's folder inside Documents and Settings (Cocuments and Settings<username>). Select the ntuser.dat file and click Open (the file name may be in all caps).
    Note that if file extensions are hidden on your system (which is Windows' default setting), you won't see the '.dat' extension, only 'ntuser'. In fact, if Windows' folder options are set to hide system files and folders (again, the default), you won't see this file at all. In this case, navigate to and select the account's folder in Documents and Settings and type ntuser.dat in the 'File name' field at the bottom of the Load Hive dialog box and press <Enter>.
    Now you'll be prompted for a Key Name, which is the name the Registry Editor will give to the folder icon for these settings. Type HKEY_CURRENT_USER and press <Enter>.
    Expand the branch under HKEY_USERSHKEY_CURRENT_USER to find SOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun, then delete unwanted keys.
    Then go back to HKEY_USERSHKEY_CURRENT_USER and choose File | Unload Hive. Click Yes at the warning.
    Repeat this procedure for all "limited" accounts, but be sure to unload the hive for each user. Otherwise Windows may have trouble loading the proper Registry settings for the account you just worked on.

    But still more easier (really) options exist. Try anty-spyware programs as SpyBot - Search & Destroy. Download and intall it (it is free), update its database immediately after installation, clean your computer from malwares and "immunize" it. Try also Lavasoft Ad-Aware It is also free (Personal edition), do basically the same thing, but has slightly different database, and have no "immunization" option.

  9. #9
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Hi

    Firstly you are wrong. I do consider this easier.

    You are right that spybot adaware etc are useful solutions, but I get sent about 1 pc per week from friends, family etc who have bought a PC from on of the chain stores and then assume that's it, so rarely is anything as adventurous as SpyBot fitted when I get involved. So it may be the solution for the future, but I'm still left in the situation where I need to clean a PC. One of the first issues usually is cleaning the MSCONFIG file. Some of these I have seen have over 40 entries, just clogging up the system.

    Trying to get them to install any more than basic protection is usually beyond them. I usually install (if not already there) AV software, Firewall and Ad-Aware, but I don't usually add Spybot even though I do run it myself. However that's not a bad idea, and I may consider it. One of the main reasons for not doing so is that these machines are usually sold with the absolute minimum of RAM, and any progs running in the background ends up slowing the overall machine down, so I try and keep that to a minimum. I know the obvious solution is fit more RAM, but often single mums, limited spare cash, I don't want to push too hard.

    The other main reason is that usually, I am dealing with people who are totally computer illiterate, and anything other than "click on the start button" is often beyond them. To explain yet another set of warnings that may pop-up from time to time can be counter-productive.

    But maybe I should re-consider, and just do it.

    I personally detest the whole way that MS has set up USERS, and always set up my home PC's (there are 4 in the house) with just the one user. So I'm always a bit stretched when I get these "family" pc's in where everyone has there own settings etc. So I'm quite happy to try this Hive route that you've suggested. I now have another laptop to look at with 5 users. Anything is better than logging in to each one, and changing things one at a time, before discovering I can't edit as this user isn't an administrator etc............. So here goes.

    Thanks for the info, I'll let you know how I get on.

  10. #10
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Hi

    I've just created a new user on my laptop to test this (I used a machine that I can Ghost back if I screw it up).

    That worked perfectly. Thanks very very much. That's exactly what I wanted.


    Colin

  11. #11
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    Its worked fine on the laptop, with one problem.

    One of the user accounts is set up with a password. Is there a way past this?

    Colin

  12. #12
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    I like this idea of using the Hive setting.

    I've just Googled to find the Internet Cache settings area of the registry and used your solution to change all users. I Like this a LOT.

    Once again, thanks


    Colin

  13. #13
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    Re: MSConfig + multiple users (Win XP Home SP2)

    One of the user accounts is set up with a password. Is there a way past this?

    How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

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