Thursday, 30 June 2011

Terminal Server user profile troubleshooting

Users calls in to report they are logged into the system with a temporary
profile - as the user's actual profile may be damaged.

On a Terminal Server the users registry hives are still locked by the
system even after logging off. This will prevent you from renaming the
user's profile directory due to file locks. The solution is to restart the
server to free all the locks on the folder - this is obviously not really
an option on a production system. There is an alternative - use regedit to
unload the user's registry hive under


To identify the relevant hive - first browse to

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

and browse through the entries there looking at the ProfileImagePath value
until you spot the right SID then select the correct SID under
and click File > Unload Hive
this should release the file locks on the profile folder and allow you to
repair the corrupt profile.

Another thing is that the system may have merely locked the profile - go
back to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\

and if the profile key ends with .bak we should be able to rename the key
and remove the .bak extension. Then make sure you modify the State value
to 0x10(16). Now try logging on as the user again and if the profile is
not corrupted, it should logon without any further problems.

Note: This was performed on a Server 2003 based system and may be slightly
different with other versions.

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