Windows 7 Network Profiles

Posted on 2011-10-17
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2012-07-21
On a network running Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 Pro on the clients,  I had a user with a corrupted profile. I want to delete his profile but there are some files, such as his .pst files, that I need to move to a new profile. What I did was rename his profile - profilename.old. I had him log on expecting a new profile to be created but he was logged on with a temporary profile. How do I get his new profile to automatically create itself when he logs on?

Thank you!

Question by:RobertEhinger
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    Robert, unfortunately this is a rather common mistake.  While the method that you used worked rather well during the Windows XP era, it will definitely cause problems on a Windows 7 machine.

    There are registry entries that need to be deleted, also.  If you need to salvage important user data from a Windows 7 profile before you delete it, the best way to do it is to create a new folder called "backup" or something similar and copy the pertinent information to that location.  Once that is done, the proper way to delete a system profile (including the registry entries) is to navigate to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced System Settings.  Once you're there, use the Advanced tab and click on the Settings button within the User Profiles section (as seen below).  You can highlight and delete the user profile within that interface, and in addition to the files/folders it will clean up the registry entries, too.

    In your current situation, it would probably be wise to create the temporary folder as I suggested, copy only the user's important files and folders to that location, and then delete the ".old" folder hierarchy.  Once that is done, navigate to the following registry location:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

    First of all, take a moment to play it safe by right-clicking the ProfileList entry on the left and exporting it as a .reg file to create a backup.  After that, when you scroll through the entries on the left side under ProfileList, you should see an entry on the right named ProfileImagePath that corresponds to the user's original profile location.  Once you do, right-click on that S-1-5... entry on the left and delete it.  That should solve the problem.

     User Profiles Settings
    LVL 57

    Assisted Solution

    by:Pete Long
    As stated above this is common, and has been so since Vista and the "V2" Profile :)

    Windows - "Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile"


    Expert Comment

    Hi Guys,

    When we delete a profile in the manner shown in the screen dump above, does it take owenership of that users folder only or the entire c:\users?
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    To the best of my knowledge it only affects the target folder, not the %SystemDrive%\Users folder.

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