Error loading roaming profile

Posted on 2008-06-14
Last Modified: 2010-05-18

One of my users to the SBS network keeps getting a profile error message when they log into the user area.  The messages says:
"Your roaming profile is not available.  You are logged on with a locally stored profile.  Changes to the profile will not be copied to the server.  Possible causes of this error include network problems or insuficient security rights"

The security rights of all the user profiles stored on my server under /profiles% all seem to be the same.  I can't see any reason why this user account specifically will not login with the stored user profile?

I hope someone can advise...

Question by:d10u4v

Accepted Solution

kwiltse123 earned 250 total points
ID: 21785316
In my opinion most roaming profile issues are related to permissions.  I would suggest the following to get a firm handle on the process:
- With the user logged off rename the folder associated with the user on the network share for safekeeping.
- On the user's PC, logon as the user and since the roaming profile is not on the network (because the folder was renamed) the local profile will be loaded and all the user's settings will be normal.
- During logon the network profile folder will be created but not populated.  During this folder creation is when the folder permissions are set.
- Logoff the user.
- During logoff the files from the user's local profile will be copied up to the network share folder.
- From that point forward the roaming profile should work correctly.  You can test by logging on the user on another computer and checking that the desktop background, start menu, etc., show up correctly.

Some additional notes about roaming profiles:
- By default the My Documents folder and Desktop folder are part of the user's profile.  If these folders are large the initial upload onto the network share can take a long time.  After the initial load only changes will be synchronized so it will be faster (that applies for XP; 2000 does the whole profile folder on every logon/logoff).
- Using Group Policy you can set the user's My Documents link to redirect to a network location so that the folder is stored on a server share but is not part of the profile, which makes it faster when the user logs on to a new computer for the first time.
- By default the network profile folder is set with permissions including only the user.  Even the Administrator cannot access the folder.  This can be especially annoying for things like backup jobs because only the user's account can copy the folder.  There is a computer group policy item called "Add the Administrators security group to the roaming user profile share" which adds the local Administrators group to the permissions.  This means the local Administrators group of the PC and the local Administrators group of the server hosting the share.  Now it should be possible to add users to the local Administrators account of the server hosting the profiles to allow backups to run successfully.  However this policy has to be in place and in effect the very first time the profile folder is created on the local PC (not downloaded but created).

Finally, roaming profiles can be very useful but can also be a nuisance with problems seeming to appear out of nowhere for no good reason.  Be patient and keep trying if you really want to make it work.
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

Lazarus earned 250 total points
ID: 21787416
If the user was previously able to login to the particular machine in question,, you may have a corrupted profile on the local machine. Try deleting the Client Machines profile for that user. It should then rebuild the local profile.
Note: rather than actually delete it just rename it perhaps by adding a .BAK after it so that you won't possible lose anything.

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