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We use desktop-folder and user-folder redirection on our terminal servers, so that user settings are remembered when moving between servers.

When we were configuring and testing this setup, my user account was logged into a particular server, time passed, settings were changed, folders were moved, and now, weeks later, I get weird bugs on that server. Mostly this is confined to Windows Explorer crashing when accessing certain folders, and completely taking out whatever program had created the Explorer window (in OpenFileDialogs, and such).

I've looked at the registry settings for folder redirection for that user account on that server and they are a mess of different versions and folder locations and the like, from back when we were still changing settings. On our newer servers, this user account is completely fine; it's only on this server which I've been using for some time that the problem occurs.

My question is: How can I completely remove all record of my user account from that server so that I can go in clean, and the server will think that this is the first time I've ever logged on to it?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Log on using an alternative administrator account.

Go to Start, right click on "Computer" and select "Properties"

You'll now be at the System page.

Click on "Advanced system settings", then go to the "Advanced" tab and click on the "Settings" button underneath "User Profiles"

This may take some time to populate. Find your username in the list and click "Delete"

Do NOT, just delete the folder in C:\Users

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Delete the user from Active Directory, check each server to see that there's no reference to them locally on the profiles tab of the machine, delete (or rename) every top-level folder in which you put their home directory/profile, and do a search through the registry for references to the user's username and rename those instances on the local servers that aren't AD servers.

Or change the user's username to something else and they'll have a whole new login that would be brand new.

When we get login glitches, often it's registry corruption for the profile. I'll rename just the profile with an _1 and have them log in and it'll usually give them a new profile to start fresh without interference from the broken login; we didn't do folder redirection, but we taught our users to save to the home directory for things they wanted saved (Which is a file share) and then manually recover favorites or desktop items from their old profile folder. Renaming the profile keeps most of the account intact and the user doesn't need to worry about most of the items in it.

Your best strategy to approach this depends on how you were doing redirection, what exactly you redirected, and how you were saving profiles over how many servers. Nine times out of ten with us it is just a matter of changing the profile, not the account, and making sure the user was logged off while making the change (and changing or deleting cached profiles on the servers so the new jdoe account doesn't get a cached, corrupted account on the other machines that ends up contaminating the newly created jdoe_1 profile on the server)

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Profiles now have a corresponding reg key you also need to remove if you are manually deleting profiles

There is some new way of handling user profiles in Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7, which requires you to either use the method decribed by Dan (if you haven't already deleted the profile) or if you make the mistake and deleted the profile already from the C:\Users folder you will likely get a temp profile next time you logon and everything you save in that profile will be deleted when you log off. Happened to me twice during the Win7 beta's. ;(

If you already deleted the profile and need to finish the job!

The profile related reg keys are located:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Find the key that match the SID of the account you are wanting to delete. And your done. This is the hackesh way of doing it, but I never heard of the method above until today.

Here is a blog post that talks more about it -

Note: Posting is for completeness and offers a way to fix a botched profile removal, I understand the original poster has marked this as solved.

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