When you try to rename Documents and Settings User account using the Computer Management console or alternatively using the User Accounts applet, the desired user profile folder will not be renamed in Windows XP. However you may create something like a duplicate user profile that has a different name.
User profile folder renaming:
For renaming or moving the Documents and Settings User profile folder you can follow the method described below. This will explain in detail the method for renaming User account home directory. Although it is possible to rename or move the user profile folder, there is the possibility of side effects of using this method. The reason is a number of absolute path references in registry which are put there by third party software. So, for renaming Documents and Settings User there will possibly be the lack of correct functionality in the application in question.
It is important to take full backup before modifying the registry. You may want to use ERUNT for getting the complete registry backup. However you can use this registry editor at your own risk.
Renaming Documents and Settings User profile using Windows Explorer:
1. Logon to one of the admin accounts. Open Documents and Settings folder from the “Start” and Run the dialog: %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings.
2. A list of different folders will appear. Choose the corresponding folder to the user account you need to rename. For example,
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername
3. Now to rename the Documents and Settings User profile, inform the system that the user profile path has been changed.
The ProfileImagePath value in registry:
ProfileList registry key has some sub-keys, which are just a list of the User Account Security Identifiers (SID). Each account is represented by each SID. And the key is placed at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList