Best Set Up for Two Users on a Desktop Computer

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Support' started by AlanHo, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    We currently have two desktop PC's of similar specification, both running Windows 8 very happily. My wife uses one rig - I use the other.

    Both machines have MS Office suite, IE10 and other common software. Each machine has two hard drives - one for the OS and programs the second one for all documents and data. The standard Windows folders for Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos have all been moved to the second D: drive on each computer so it is easy to ensure all data gets saved there.

    We have just put our house up for sale with the intention of downsizing to a small house or large apartment in a retirement complex. I will no longer enjoy the luxury of a large study and hobbies room we both share. It will therefore be necessary to downsize our study and use just one shared computer. This will not be a problem because my wife mainly uses a tablet computer for her internet browsing and Emails - she only needs a desktop for occasional correspondence, internet shopping, banking and photo editing where files need to be printed and saved securely.

    I have never previously shared a computer and need advice on the best way forward.

    If I set up a second account on my computer for my wife :-

    Will there be a second set of Documents, Music, Pictures and Video folders created for her exclusive use. If so, can I install her current D: drive in a spare bay in my computer - name it drive E: and move her windows folders for documents, pictures, music and video files there.

    Will I have to install her copy of MS Office and other software using her account - even though the same software is already installed on my computer - or is there a way that the existing software can be shared by both accounts.

    I still want to use Acronis and Second Copy to store back-ups on external hard drives. Will I be able to initiate the back-ups from just one account or will I have to do everything twice. (Separate data back-ups for each account)

    Is there an easier way for both of us to use the same computer - noting that confidentiality is not an issue with any of our respective files - but we would like to keep them in separate partitions/folders.
     
    AlanHo, Mar 30, 2013
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  2. AlanHo

    TrainableMan ^ The World's First ^ Moderator

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    "will there be a second documents, ..." the answer is yes. So yes you could have your documents on D: and install her HD and call it E:. When you install the E: drive there may be some ownership issues right away with getting to your wife's data because it was created on another machine. It may be necessary to "take ownership" in permissions so your wife can get to her old files. I do not think this will be an issue IF you create your wife's ID exactly the same as it was called on her machine but I am not absolutely certain.

    Most software, including MS Office should work for all users. Some software asks if you want it installed for all users or just the current user; depending what you chose, any software like that may need uninstalled and then reinstalled for "all users". I do know the Google Chrome browser is set up that it must be installed for each user but that is not the norm.

    Normally there is some protection where user folders have the "ownership" set to the specific person they were created for (I touched on this above regarding moving your wife's data in on the E: drive). When you move the data to D: or E: I'm not exactly sure what will happen to that ownership but if needed you could Take Ownership/or at least set Read authorization of her files so then you should be able to run Acronis/Second copy from just your account.

    logging on as your respective userids allows you to have your own desktop, your own browser setting, your own bookmarks, and your own data folders, etc; I think it IS the easiest way.
     
    TrainableMan, Apr 4, 2013
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  3. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    Thanks for the information - I decided to take the plunge, safe in the knowledge that I could use Acronis to restore the computer if things went wrong.
    As it happened - it all went relatively smoothly and we now have the two accounts working OK with my data on one hard drive and my wife's on another.

    I had installed all my software for any user - so that has not been a problem.

    To avoid any ownership problems I installed a new hard drive in my computer as the E: drive and copied all her data across using our home network from her now redundant desktop computer. It was then simply a matter of moving the standard docs, pictures, music etc folders now created under her user profile (using windows explorer) to the E: drive where they 'merge' with the already existing docs, pictures, music etc files.

    The computer now has three accounts - Administrator, Me and my wife. Acronis will run from any of these accounts to make a full back up of all the files on C: D: and E: with no problems.

    The only knotty problem I hit was getting her back in sync with her iTunes and Kindle accounts (I have never used either) - after a few fluffed attempts I got it all working Ok but I'm not sure how.
     
    AlanHo, Apr 4, 2013
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  4. AlanHo

    TrainableMan ^ The World's First ^ Moderator

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    Glad it all worked out.
     
    TrainableMan, Apr 4, 2013
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  5. AlanHo

    davehc

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    Just a thought, Alan.
    For rather similar reasons, I decided I needed to simplify my Computer setup. I do a lot of testing, and, because of that, frequently reinstate my image. My house is cluttered with a couple of desktops and various models, most no longer young, Laptops.This would have been an impossible situation for my wife, who is far from a dedicated computer user.
    My solution was (in the process as I write) was to dump the desktop and update with two reasonably modern Laptops, plus (the most important part) a docking station (maybe known to you as a port emulator).
    Under most conditions, we both use our laptops with wireless connections. When necessary, one or the other pops a laptop into the docking station and uses the much more efficient Ethernet connection. This gives us both full freedom to use our individual computers as we wish.
    Popped back to add. The new Laptops, both Dells, as it happens, outperform my desktops in all respects.
     
    davehc, Apr 4, 2013
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