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strange windows user profile behaviour in XP

Posted on 2011-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a strange problem with one of the PCs/users on our SBS2008 network.

This problem is only affecting one PC. When the user in question logs into a different PC everything works fine.

When she logs into the problem PC it isnt loading her profile. It appears to be loading the local administrators profile. If have discovered this by saving a file called "aaaaaahhhhh!" to her desktop and then doing a search of the c:\ drive for this file. It shows as being held in the administrators desktop folder.

When she logs off this profile is then written back to the correct (ie not the administrators) profile on the server. At no point do I see her profile in documents and settings or a temp profile folder

The profile path is set correctly in AD.

What is happening here?

 When she tried to run Outlook she gets an error saying she doesnt have permission to .ost file.
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Question by:roy_batty
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976616
roy, iit is being caused by the sid in hkey local user not unloading properly.

 In Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe), select the user's SID and then click Unload Hive.
remove the users sid
rename her profile directory to .old
then have her log back in creating a new profile
then delete this new profile and remove the .ol from the previous one you renamed
now she should be able to log in fine.
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976627
roy, see this microsoft link.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/187453

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Author Comment

by:roy_batty
ID: 36976693
can you explain the part about the selecting the users sid in the registry. I dont have much experience with editing the registry other than making the odd change.
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976718
NTUSER.DAT is a file containing the user's registry hive. it is loaded in the machine-wide registry under HKEY_USERS.

So we need to unload this user's registry hive, in order to rename his profile in "c:\document and settings"
 or in c:\users if your using vista or win 7

unlide user hive






You need to find out which SID (the S-1-5-21 ..etc) correspond to this user
So check the loaded hives in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist

Then go back to HKEY_USERS , select the SID and go to file > unload hive.
You should now be able to rename his profile in "c:\documents and settings"

Try the UPHCS first it may fisx it for you , reboot your machine after the installation.
User Profile Hive Cleanup Service

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en




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Author Comment

by:roy_batty
ID: 36976768
is it the user with the problem who's hive needs unloading or is it the administrators hive
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976774
the user try the tool i posted a link to in my last post first, what happens is that there hive never gets unloaded so when they log back on they loose permisions to there profile and the computer loads a default profile.
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Author Comment

by:roy_batty
ID: 36976792
i installed uphcs then rebooted buy it didnt help.

the users (the user who is having the problem) sid isn't listed in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist

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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976812
did you run the tool after you rebooted??? you need to run it.  If she is not in the hive list then just log on as admin, renamer her profile in docs and settings or users in win 7 or vista and then have her log bak in, it will create a new profile with her user name, for intabce if her user name is jane then you should see a folder called jane in the directory. After she logs back in then just copy over her files etc to the new directory and set up outlook again.
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Author Comment

by:roy_batty
ID: 36976822
the problem is that the user doesn't have a folder in documents and settings so I cant rename it. Even when they are logged in there is no folder.
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36976831
that seems impossible but if windows cant create the local profile it is a issue with permissions or the hive. Did you run the tool?
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Expert Comment

by:Russell_Venable
ID: 36980262
Sounds like a corrupt profile to me. Have you tried to create a dummy account and see if you get the same results? You might want to backup the files on that account and recreate it. This should remap the user to the hive properly and create the right folder listing with default user permissions.
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 36980899
Russell, he said there is no profile folder for that user, that it is not being created when the user logs in.
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Expert Comment

by:Russell_Venable
ID: 36981596
Yes, Exactly! Another way to test if its a registery problem is to delete the profile image mapping by going to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Open in new window

looking for the SID of the user and deleting
ProfileImagePath = "c:\user\someprofile"

Open in new window

then have the user relogin

As this will rewrite that key and create the folder for the profile properly. I don't think they have a user folder in c:\users.
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Accepted Solution

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roy_batty earned 0 total points
ID: 36981858
I managed to resolve this issue earlier today myself.

I  had to rename the local administrators profile to "administrator.old"

then when I logged in as the user it created a new, correctly named, profile in docs and settings. It all worked fine from there on and writes back to the server.

I then removed the .old from the admin account.

All very strange.
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Author Closing Comment

by:roy_batty
ID: 37010577
I resolved this myself. Unfortunately the suggestions didnt help. But thanks anyway guys.
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