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I've got two machines with XP SP3 (fully up to date). Each machine is part of the same workgroup and the user accounts are identical (same name and password) across both.

On COMPUTER1 the user folders are called Chris, Jim, Fred, Eric, but on COMPUTER2 some folders are duplicated - so both Jim and Jim.COMPUTER2 exist and it appears that the latter folders are in use. The Chris user is using folder Chris with no extension.

Chris is an admin user on both machines, but all the others are limited accounts on both machines.

Any ideas why this is happening?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have seen this happen after XP recovers a corrupt user profile, with only some user settings being kept.

I think it also happens when a second account is made using the same user name, after the original has been deleted.

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I've seen this happen if you reinstall windows over an existing copy of windows. The installer won't delete the old users, so when new users are created their folders are named as you describe.

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ISTR this also happening after XP recovers a corrupted user profile (registry). – paradroid Sep 25 '10 at 20:49
it's a (relatively) new install of Windows on to a reformatted drive. – ChrisF Sep 25 '10 at 21:21
@jason404 - that might be the answer, I've just remembered we did have some problems when setting the machine up as we tried to set up one profile with all the applications etc and then copy that to the others. It didn't work as expected so we deleted and recreated the profiles. – ChrisF Sep 25 '10 at 21:23
@ChrisF: For the knowledge base, I have just added my reply as an answer. – paradroid Sep 25 '10 at 21:51

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