Can't delete previous "Users" folder

By Doctor Gallop ยท 8 replies
Sep 18, 2017
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  1. I was given a Toshiba Satellite Laptop running widows 7 32 bit.
    I changed the name of the computer over to my name..."Dennis" and made myself the Administrator.
    But I cannot delete the previous owners name completely.
    When I go into "users" there remains a folder under his name. When I try to delete it a pop up window says that there are files in the folder that are in use.
    The folder is under the name Arturo Romero [previous owner] and it has a "locked" icon on it. Somewhere else it said that it is not a "shared folder".
    It there any way to get rid of it?

    Untitled 1. Untitled 2.
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,584   +252

    There's a freeware program called Doctor Delete that is very effective. So far it has removed stuff that defied all my best efforts. Be sure that this is good move though before you zap that folder.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,922   +1,279

    Biggest issue is the Active Program(s). Nothing should be running from a users folder.
    • you need to be logged in as the Admin
    • run file explorer
    • take ownership of the Arturo folder(as admin) and make sure it gets applied to all subfolders too
    make sure YOUR login is not using that folder!!!

    Once the above is verified; boot into Safe Mode, login as Admin, Now you and Rename it(suggest this first).
    Boot normal to see what program(s) are now failing and fix this

    When you're clean, you can then delete that renamed folder.
  4. Doctor Gallop

    Doctor Gallop TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 228   +12

    I am ashamed to admit it, but your dealing with a real "slow mind" when you are trying to explain to me what to do.
    What little I did to try to follow your instructions caused these pop up windows. Now I'm really confused.
    It looks like it is saying I already have a profile with a password and that I am the Administrator. In your instructions are you saying I should start from scratch and do it over with a new profile?
    Untitled 1. Untitled 2.
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,584   +252

    You should be listed as a user with administrative privileges and until that is done deleting the Previous user folder would not be a good idea. Better wait for jobeard on this point but I'd create a new user account for yourself before doing anything else.
  6. Doctor Gallop

    Doctor Gallop TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 228   +12

    Although I do not have the original CD, would it be easier for me to do a fresh "Factory Install" ?
    Because I just received the laptop I did not put much on the computer yet in terms of data.
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,584   +252

    That does not sound like a good idea. On a brand new computer maybe but I'd only do that as a last resort. You may well end up with serious problems. Fully updating Windows is a very lengthy business even when it goes smoothly.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,922   +1,279

    Let's learn to walk before we attempt to run.

    Running DIR c:\Users does NOT necessarily 'need' to map all known user logins;
    eg: Your login might just map onto Arturo\ and be just fine. Looks funny, YEP! Can be confusing, OH YEAH,
    but you will run fine and the inconsistency only impacts command line programs and backups.​

    Second; you need to have ABSOLUTE control of the user-id ADMINISTRATOR
    The true ADMINISTRATOR account has the SID of
    and several internal programs have this memorize in the code.
    THE ADMIN account, IS NOT THE SAME AS having Admin privileges

    What can NOT be tolerated is the Adminstrator account landing on the Arturo or your directory

    Start by mapping the SIDs (write them down!):
    • wmic useraccount where name='administrator' get sid
    • wmic useraccount where name='arturo' get sid
    • wmic useraccount where name='yourLoginId' get sid

    Now map the home directory for each of them;
    * log into the account
    * get a command prompt and issue:
    echo %USERPROFILE%
    They should all be unique!!

    Gather this info, post your findings and then we can proceed from there.
    bazz2004 likes this.
  9. Doctor Gallop

    Doctor Gallop TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 228   +12

    Followed your instructions and created a new Administrator Account with new name.
    Then successfully deleted all other accounts. Problem solved. No more Arturo Romero!

    Thank you for your help.
    bazz2004 likes this.

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