October 2001 Reader Challenge

Congratulations to the winners of the October 2001 Reader Challenge. Dale Braun of Oregon won first prize--a copy of Admin911: Windows 2000 Registry (Osborne/McGraw-Hill). Second prize, a copy of Admin911: Windows 2000 DNS & WINS (Osborne/McGraw-Hill) went to Derek Petersen of British Columbia, Canada

My friend Barney is a Help Desk worker in a company that runs a Windows 2000 domain, with Win2K Professional and Windows XP Professional workstations. Recently, the company decided to bring in temporary workers for several months, so the company's IT Director hired a consulting firm to tighten security. The consultants swarmed over the 250 workstations and 30 servers during the night, and the next afternoon, Barney wrote me a wonderfully sarcastic email describing the experience. He explained that the consulting firm was "a group of idiots led by the IT Director's brother" (Barney's words, not mine), and the next morning the Help Desk staff was inundated with calls as users tried to log on to their workstations. All users confronted one of the following problems when they logged on:

An error message that their profiles couldn't be loaded, along with advice to contact the network administrator; or a blank screen instead of the usual desktop.

Luckily Barney knew exactly what had happened? Do you?

The Solution:
The %SystemRoot% folder, or possibly its subfolders, has had READ permission for the Everyone group removed. If the permission has been removed from the %SystemRoot% folder only, you will get the blank screen symptom. If the subdirectories are missing the READ permission, you'll get the "Cannot load profile" error.

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