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Temporary Profiles loading randomly on XP clients, Server 2003 domain

Posted on 2009-12-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hi all,

I watch over a domain of 16 servers and 177 clients, all of which are running Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows XP SP3, respectively.

Over the last 1.5 to 2 months, there have been random users (about 25 users now) that have temporary profiles being loaded upon login.  Sometimes when they reboot once, it loads the proper profile.  Other times it takes two to three reboots of the pc's to load their proper profile.  Here is what is common to each user/pc:

- Each user has the same rights/permissions to their pc's
- each pc is Windows XP SP3
- the profiles are not roaming profiles
- each pc is on the domain
- there are two domain controllers, each Windows Server 2003 SP2
- all pc's and servers are up-to-date with all Microsoft updates
- each pc has Kaspersky Anti-virus installed, are scanned weekly, and are clean, controlled by the admin kit, which is installed on a server
- each pc/user is logged into Citrix XenApp upon a successful logon, but no sessions are active until they attempt to load a published application
- each pc is HP or Dell, all within the last 2 years with a minimum RAM of 2GB

There are GPO's in place, but nothing that I can think of to create this issue.  The most important GPO is to map their "My Documents" folder to a shared drive on the file server.
There is not a common piece of software that all users are working with that may be shutting down incorrectly upon logoff, which may cause this either.
There are not any indications in the event logs on the servers or the clients to indicate any problems.
No significant changes have been performed on the network that could be singled out as the culprit.

I'm racking my brain on this and short of logging into each computer and deleting/rebuilding the profiles, I'm not sure what to do as this may keep happening on others.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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Question by:techmattters
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Expert Comment

by:ccpjc
ID: 26065357
I've had that, the way i fixed it was to do a complete backup of their proper profile
then delete all profiles for that user from My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Settings under user profiles and delete from there
then have the user login to the machine again, then have them log off and restore the profile you backed up originally
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Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 26065378
have you tried deleting a couple profiles(cut and paste, if you need bacckups of them) to ensure it's not hung up data or registry dat files hung up?

checkout "User Profile Hive Cleanup Service" on Microsoft's download site. but my experience is whatever is causing the problem will continue. even with the service running, but it might give you a new troubleshooting step.
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Accepted Solution

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dicconb earned 1000 total points
ID: 26065666
There is a known issue with a particular version of the Citrix client that can intermittently cause temporary profiles to be created. One of the Citrix client processes locks the registry so the profile can't be opened. A hotfix from Citrix sorts this particular problem:
 http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118226
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Author Comment

by:techmattters
ID: 26065828
ccpic and Harel66:  Yes, I have tried doing that and it has worked in the cases, however it keeps persisting on other clients.  With the number of clients totalling nearly 200, I am looking for a different resolution that could be implemented from a central location.  Thank you for your suggestions, though.

dicconb:  Interesting.  One of my Citrix servers have 11.2, but the other three do not have that version and load balancing is enabled.  I will attempt to do this tonight and see if this rectifies the situation.  I will keep everyone posted.  Thank you for the post!
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by:dicconb
ID: 26066644
Just to clarify, the hotfix is for the Citrix client, not the server
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by:dicconb
ID: 26091935
Did you have a chance to try the hotfix?  Let us know if you're still having trouble.

Cheers,

D
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Author Comment

by:techmattters
ID: 26092303
We had to shedule a time to do it.  Because it's around holidays, it is becoming difficult.  We're going to upgrade all the Citrix servers to XenApp 5.0.  This possible fix that you suggested has given us more reason to perform this upgrade. This may take a couple of weeks.  I will keep periodically posting here so as not to have this post classified as abandoned.
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by:dicconb
ID: 26093080
Hi techmatters,

Thanks for the update and good luck with the XenApp upgrade.

If this problem is causing disruption to users, is there a case for testing the fix on a few problem PCs straight away?  By manually upgrading these client PCs to the latest version of the XenApp plugin you could potentially eliminate the problem - this wouldn't require any changes on the server.

Anyway whatever you decide to do, let me know how it works out!

Cheers,

D
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Author Comment

by:techmattters
ID: 26101968
Hi dicconb,

All of the pc's have the 11.0 plugin. I just completed the upgrade of the servers with the XenApp 11.2 plugin.  They still have Presentation Server 4.5, but it's in the works to do a complete upgrade to XenApp.

Sorry, I thought you mean to look at the server side of the plugin.  I will log into several pc's tonight to upgrade the plugin on them as well.

Hopefully it goes well.  Thanks again for you help!
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by:dicconb
ID: 26104591
Fingers crossed techmatters, I hope this solves your problem.

Cheers,

D
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Author Closing Comment

by:techmattters
ID: 31666929
The solution worked perfectly!  dicconb, I am very appreciative!  I never would have thought that was the problem/solution.  Thank you again.
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by:dicconb
ID: 26185640
Thanks for the points, I'm glad your problem has been fixed!

Happy new year,

D
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by:dicconb
ID: 26185794
PS If anyone is looking for a more technical explanation of this bizarre problem Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow at Microsoft describes why it happens and how Microsoft PSS diagnosed it:
http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2009/08/10/3272210.aspx
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