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Unable to delete local profiles

Posted on 2014-08-25
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Last Modified: 2014-09-02
Recently added new user to Active Directory of Windows Server 2008R2.  In doing so, simply right-clicked existing user and choose "copy", forgetting that in doing so the user profile path for existing user was also duplicated in new user.  I manually went in and changed the user profile path to \\servername\userprofiles\newusername and it of course created the share on the server.
When logging into the workstation however, all that happened was it created a TEMP profile.  Logged off/on several times and now I have profiles ranging from "USERNAME" to "USERNAME.DOMAINNAME" to "USERNAME.DOMAINNAME.001" ETC.  

I cannot delete ANY of these profiles.  Ive attempted logging in as "domain administrator" - a "local administrator" the actual "administrator" account of the local machine (after re-enabling it). Also tried "Unlocker" utility.  

Tried to take ownership of the file, inheriting permissions from parent, deleting profile from Advanced System Setttings (Desktop settings related to your logon - Settings).

Rebooted multiple times.

Fail.
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Question by:Inertlogic
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Assisted Solution

by:Mark Galvin
Mark Galvin earned 1000 total points
ID: 40285480
Hi

Try http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947242

Works for me everything. When you are in the Profile List you can click on the profile and it will show you the windows name. Delete the ones you do not need and try again.

Thanks
Mark/
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Author Comment

by:Inertlogic
ID: 40286397
Good day Mark, and thank you for responding to my inquiry and your help!

I read the link in the KB you suggested for the Vista O/S (these are Windows 7, but no worries) and have a possible problem.  In step #2 of the "Resolution" section it says:

2.Back up all data in the current user's profile folder if the profile folder still exists, and then delete the profile folder. By default, the profile resides in the following location:
%SystemDrive%\Users\UserName


Backing up the current user's profile is not a problem (done).  But couple of things...first, it isnt the current user profile causing the issue, it is the "new" user's profile that cannot be deleted, even when logging in as a local administrator.  Also, it isnt possible to delete the profile folder.  This seems almost like  a file permissions issue to me.

That said, I did delete the registry key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5- (corresponds to the two local machine administrator users that I've used to successfully login to the machine without tampering with the current users profile.   Dont know what if any result that will have.  The "temp" directories didnt have profile SID's of course.

More clear?  My thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40286531
If you log in as a local admin and try to delete the profiles?
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Author Comment

by:Inertlogic
ID: 40286539
Yes, that is correct.  This is a domain workstation (Windows Server 2008), so we have tried deleting them with a domain admin account, a local administrator account, and even re-enabled the "administrator" account in windows 7, assigning it a password and attempted deletion, all with same effect.   Now, whenever we login, the system appears to be working as expected, and the "current" user experiences no problems...but now that we have a "new" user and there are all of those old profiles out there, concerned that they are going to have mass issues.   Profile folders appear to be empty, and many have the "padlock" icon on them, but when you double-click its possible to access.   Seems like permissions, but I've tried making a local admin the owner, then giving local admin "full" permissions.  Still cannot delete, it gives error message that one needs permission from (either) "username" or "administrators" where "username" is the name of the current logged on admin!  Wild!

I know this was caused by connecting the machine to the profile with the incorrect permissions on the file server...somehow wondering if these incorrect permissions transferred to workstation, or there is a GPO or something rancid.   Thanks Mark!
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Expert Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40286561
Are you running AV on that computer? If so, can you disable it and then try to remove the profiles?
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Accepted Solution

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Inertlogic earned 0 total points
ID: 40286563
Ok, I think I've found a work-around.  

If I login to the Windows Server 2008 as a domain administrator and map the C$ hidden share on the local workstation, it is possible to delete all of the "defective" profiles.  I've done so now and believe it was successful.  Currently, the system is still being used by the end-user, so I'll try after-hours to replicate the issue with the "new" user and see if this event has been solved.  Again, my humble thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40286574
Glad you have made some progress.

Thanks
Mark/
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Author Comment

by:Inertlogic
ID: 40291233
Thank you again.  We've confirmed proper operation of the user profile.  In fact, the new person started today without a hitch, which is always nice as as technology provider (and somewhat rare).   Your help was very kind, and I wish you much and continued success!  Be well today, and enjoy the long weekend.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Inertlogic
ID: 40297958
Ultimately this appeared to be a file permissions issue where the credentials of a domain administrator (superior to those of a local administrator) were required.  In the end, there was no additional work required to remove both the temporary profiles and those previously created that were not needed.  Excellent help.
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