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I have a client machine (XP SP3) which used to be connected to a windows 2003 domain, but the server has since gone down due to a hard drive failure, however the profiles still remain in 'documents and settings'. I have a local admin account on the same machine (in the administrator's group), except when i try to remove the profiles manually from System Properties -> Advanced -> User Profiles -> Settings, the delete button is disabled.

Also, Windows prevents me from deleting or renaming the user's profile folder as well, due to a lock with ntuser.dat

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated,


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You may try the delprof.exe utility from Microsoft, with sufficient credentials it may do the job.

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Hi Maxwell, the result from running delprof was a little strange, I tried it with the 'p' option as well, it reported no errors both times I ran it. I then rebooted to see if anything had changed, but both the profile directory and profile itself (under System properties) are still there, and nothing i can tell has changed. – Steve Rathbone Jun 14 '10 at 12:46
However, i tried doing what Aceth had recommended with the file permissions (i had to use this and… to enable the security tab first), but then I tried deleting the folders again manually, and it worked. The profiles are also now not listed in the Profiles list in System properties->advanced etc. Thanks again – Steve Rathbone Jun 14 '10 at 13:09

if you have a local admin account try changing ownership of the files then edit the permissions and try deleting again?

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When your looking at the User Profiles page click the link at the bottom for user accounts. Should be able to delete or downgrade then delete the user there.

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Hi xjerx, thanks, I tried that too, but unfortunately the associated accounts (to the profiles) aren't available to be modified on that page either (they dont show up). – Steve Rathbone Jun 14 '10 at 12:16

You can delete the profile directory manually. Then you just need to get rid of the corresponding registry entry so Windows knows it's gone. The registry entry is in:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\[User SID]

Find the registry key with the matching SID (easiest to look at the ProfileImagePath value under the [User SID] keys, it should be C:\Documents & Settings\[User Name]

If you're not very familiar with the Windows Registry, be sure to backup any registry keys before deleting them.

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