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I have a user account which needs to be renamed on a production server running Server 2003. The ntuser.dat and ntuser.dat.log files on a service account (not logged in at the moment) still have active handles from the system #4 process.

Is it safe to close these handles? I would generally do a reboot and rename on a user workstation but this server has about 100 active users at any given time.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As a preventive solution you should be using UPHClean to help unloading profiles upon user logoff.

The UPHClean readme states that the root of the problem are buggy services holding open user registry handles even after logoff. If you just throw the switch, these services are likely to misbehave. Take a look at the list of services running within the system process to do a risk-benefit analysis.

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I have thought about using the UPHClean utility in the past. This behavior generally hasn't been a problem. I recently upgraded to a new set of domain controllers and ever since this one set of file handles has remained open. –  Tim Brigham Dec 2 '11 at 21:19
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