Defining the profile area to use for a user.

A. By default when a user logs on for the first time at a machine a directory under %systemroot%\profiles is created under the name of the user to hold the users profile, e.g. for user saviljo the area created would be %systemroot%\profiles\saviljo.

Problems arise if the directory already exists and so an alternate directory <user name>.nnn will be created, starting with 000. This mapping is stored in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. You can therefore force a user to use a specific profile area by performing the following:

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Move to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  3. Find the SID that relates to the user (check the ProfileImagePath value)
  4. Once found double click on ProfileImagePath and remove the .nnn, e.g.
  5. Click OK
  6. Close the registry editor

The user should now login using the profile you originally copied for them. Once you are sure it works you can delete the <username>.nnn directory under %systemroot%\profiles. You should make sure the user has the right to user the original profile, for example if you have copied it to that location and granted rights accordingly.

TAGS: Windows 8
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