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Backup user profiles in Windows XP

There are circumstance when making a backup copy of user profiles in Windows  is prudent. For example, I like to back user profiles as a precaution if I am going to be doing any extensive repair on a computer. Other times, I will copy user profiles to transfer to a new computer or Windows installation.

A user profiles contains all of a user’s documents and files, desktop and program settings, favorites, and and a host of other information based on the user’s configuration.


You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open System in Control Panel.
  2. On the Advanced tab, under User Profiles, click Settings.
  3. Under Profiles stored on this computer, click the user profile you want to copy, and then click Copy To.
  4. Type the location for the new profile, or click Browse to select the path.
  5. To choose a new user, in the Copy To dialog box, click Change.
  6. To start your search, in the Select User or Group dialog box, type the complete name of the user, group, or built-in security principle you are looking for, and then click OK.


  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  • To specify a built-in security principle, user, or group, in the Select User or Group dialog box, click Look For, and then click the object you want.
  • To specify a domain to search, in the Select User or Group dialog box, click Look In, and then select the domain
  • To further narrow your search

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