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How do I force a machine to keep a local profile on Windows 7? Every time I log off the user's local profile is removed.

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
We have a new Windows 7 Professional machine on a Windows Domain (2008 Server is the DC) that is removing the local profile upon log off. When the user is logged in, you can look in C:\Users you can see that there is a folder that has been created for the user (called "Kim"). If you log out and back in with another account, the Kim folder is gone!

When you log back in as the user again, you have to wait forever as it recreates a new local profile and you don't get any errors or messages about a temp profile. It is almost as if the machine has no idea that Kim has logged into this machine before. We are using roaming profiles, so there is not much that is getting lost, but we still want to resolve this. The reason that we caught it was that we noticed a program that saves some of its shortcut references in the C:\Users\Kim\AppData\Local folder was not there after a log off and back on.

I have checked GP and there are no settings that are configured for the Computer or the User that removes profiles on log off. In fact, I have been able to log onto the machine with another user that is in the same OU in AD and have no trouble with it. The computer is in the same OU as other Windows 7 machines that aren't experiencing the issue. It is just Kim's profile.

This morning, I deleted the roaming profile on the server and cleared all the User Accounts on the local machine, then I logged in as Kim again. This created a new profile as expected with all default user settings. I logged out and the profile saved itself back to the server as expected. Logged in as another user and the "Kim" directory under C:\Users did not exist. So a new profile didn't even fix it. Any thoughts on what to try next?
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Question by:neil1997
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13 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rg20
ID: 33510951
Are you using a roaming profile?  If so, that may remove it, while the other people who log on are using strictly local profiles
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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33510978
All of our users are roaming profiles. I logged into the same machine with another user's account and it saved a copy of their profile locally.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rg20
ID: 33511061
Sounds like the server has a problem with the profile.  Can the user log into a non windows 7 box and retain the profile locally or does the same probem exist?
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:n2fc
ID: 33511069
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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33511154
rg20:
Yes she can log into an Xp machine and retain a local copy.

n2fc:
I have seen what you posted in numerous locations. It refers to getting a temporary profile. She does not receive a temporary profile, nor does she get any messages as to anything being wrong. In fact, just the opposite. It works just fine and she is logged in with a new profile that creates C:\Users\Kim, the problem is that when she logs off that newly created profile seems as though it has been deleted.

I intend to look at that registry key out of curiosity anyway (just to see what is listed there), but I have to wait until she is not at her machine.

Thanks guys for your quick posts! Any other thoughts?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rg20
ID: 33511236
Check this link.
http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/windows7/windows7_delete_roaming_profile.htm
There might be an issue with 64 bit setting vs 32 bit setting in windows 7
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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33511558
rg20:
That seems to talk about older os's. Actually the article says that the setting does not work in Windows 7. I did check the machine anyway. That Key doesn't have any entry for deleting roaming cache (which I expected).

n2fc:
I check the profilelist key in the registry as well. There are no anomalies in there. I have one profile listed for Kim as well as one for admin and administrator (the other two users). None of the have the .bak that the link references with the temp profile issue.

I don't know where to go from here...

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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rg20
ID: 33511659
I understand that the link has some older OS's in there, but in the screen shots below you will se an option for setting a DWORD 32 bit for deletroamingcache.  The value set to 1 will delete it, I would think setting it to 0 would save it.

Since this is in the local machine category of the registry I would think it would affect all users equally, which would void my argument,  but....... we are talking about Microsoft here :)
excerpts from my link

The key question with tweaking the registry setting to delete roaming profiles is: 'Where does the cache get deleted?  On the server or the Windows 7 computer?'  The answer is on the machine where you set the value, DeleteRoamingCache=1.

Here is a classic case of checking that your logic matches the registry's; in this instance, a value of 1 means: no roaming caches gets saved.  To be doubly clear, 1 means that all roaming profiles get deleted on that computer

On the other hand, changing to DeleteRoamingCache=0, would be a double negative, (don't delete), therefore you would end up with roaming profiles!

Background to Delete Roaming Cache
This registry dword, DeleteRoamingCache, controls whether or not, the local computer saves a copy of a user's roaming profile when users logoff.

Roaming profiles are stored on a server.  However, by default, when a user with a roaming profile logsoff, the system saves an additional copy of their profile on the local hard drive.  This scheme was designed to give roaming users faster logon, especially when network traffic was busy.

The incentive to change the default behaviour occurs when lots of roaming users logon to one 'kiosk' machine.  As a result, the disk fills up with profiles, and if it's unlikely they will ever logon again, you may as well make a registry tweak which deletes these unwanted roaming profiles.

Registry Instructions for DeleteRoamingCache
Launch Regedit. (See more details on starting regedit)
Navigate to this path:
**HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Create a new DWORD called DeleteRoamingCache  
Setting a hex value of 00000001 deletes all local roaming profiles.
See Screenshot below.

Here is an alternative location for DeleteRoamingCache
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System

While it worked in Windows 2000, again creating a delete roaming profile value in the registry seems to have no effect in XP, Vista or Windows 7.


delete-roaming.jpg
no-roaming.jpg
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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33513081
The article says:
"While it worked in Windows 2000, again creating a delete roaming profile value in the registry seems to have no effect in XP, Vista or Windows 7."

I disregarded the whole thing on the basis that if it doesn't work in Windows 7 to delete the profiles it probably is equally as useless to set it to save the profiles in Windows 7.

I can try it though...

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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33513193
rg20:
I just remembered that her logging in to an Xp machine and keeping the profile doesn't tell us much because Xp and Windows 7 stores to versions of the user profile (one for each).
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Author Comment

by:neil1997
ID: 33513225
Sorry that's "two" not "to" in the last post. I will have to try and log her into another Windows 7 machine to see if her profile sticks there or not. That will give us some more info. I will have to wait until tomorrow to check that (when she isn't here). I thank you for all your help so far. You are greatly appreciated. I will let you know what I find out.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rg20
ID: 33513280
Since 2 copies are there one for windows 7 and one for xp, and the box will store the windows 7 profile for others on that same machine, I would have to believe that is is a user configuration issue on the server.

Do the event logs tell you anything such as "The roaming profile could not be saved to the server"?

I have instaces here with XP where it cannot find the profile, so it uses a default for that session, then it tries again on the next login, but there is no trace of the temporary one it created.  (that was local profiles).  

The other thing to check is to see if she has permissions on the server to access the profile created for her :)

I wait to be updated, good luck.
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Accepted Solution

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neil1997 earned 0 total points
ID: 33520958
Found the Solution... The user was part of the Domain Guests group on our Domain. Took her out of that group and it is now staying on the local machine. I also tried it with a test user and same results! Thanks for all your help.
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