Mar 25, 2010

Temporary Profile Loaded On Windows 2008 Server

I ran into a little issue lately. For some reason, whenever our two Help Desk guys would log into either of our two Exchange 2007 servers their regular profile would not load. Instead a temporary profile would be loaded instead. WTF?

I have seen similar things like this happen in Windows Server 2003, usually due to low disk space. I have also seen this happen in Windows XP due to corrupt profiles, but never for no clear and apparent reason. First I thought all I needed to do was reboot the servers, and delete the temp profiles in C:\users\ but that did not fix it at all. Nope, when they logged in they continued to received the following pop-up message in their system tray:

Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.
Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.


Credit goes to Eric, my coworker who found the fix in Microsoft’s knowledgebase article KB947242. This is something that normally happens in Vista-Based systems. When this happens, you will see the following appear in your event logs:

Log Name: Application
Source: Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
Date: Date
Event ID: 1511
Task Category: None
Level: Warning
Keywords: Classic
User: User
Computer: Computer
Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off.

The fix is actually pretty easy, and requires only that an Administrator is logged in with a profile that is not experiencing this issue. All you have to do are these five easy steps:

  1. Backup all of the data in the affected user’s profile, and delete it. The user’s profile can be found in %systemdrive%\users\username. This may require a reboot before you can delete this.
  2. Click Start > Run > type in regedit and click OK to open the registry editor
  3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  4. Locate any subkeys named SID.bak (See screenshot) and delete them

  5. Close out of the registry editor and log out

Now have the affected user login, and everything should be good to go!

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