Normally, removing the SID-named key from the ProfileList does not do all that much of harm - it just removes the association between the user and her on-disk profile copy. If the user has a roaming profile defined, it is simply re-loaded from the profile path upon next logon and stored in a different local directory in
C:\Users. If the user has a local profile, it is created anew in a different directory. Windows detects the presence of a conflicting directory in C:\Users and generates new names (e.g. by appending
.<DOMAINNAME> to the user name).
To troubleshoot why this process might be failing, try logging on with a different (maybe even a newly created) user interactively. Note that a Windows Server also has a whole bunch of remote administration features where the user's profile is not involved (and which would be unaffected by a possible profile corruption):
- you can view event logs from any Windows host using the eventvwr.msc and the "connect to another computer" feature
- you can do the same with the Computer Management snapin (compmgmt.msc)
- you can connect to the remote computer's registry by using
- you can get through to the remote command line by using
- you can install the RSAT (Windows 7) or the appropriate management features (another Server 2008 R2 machine) to manage roles, features and Active Directory remotely
- after enabling PS remoting you can run remote PowerShells
- you can access the administrative shares using the
\\servername\C$ notation. From there, you even can access shadow copies (aka "previous versions") of your files - especially
%windir%\system32\config\SOFTWARE where the HKLM\Software subkey would be stored. You could load a copy of a previous version of this file into regedit using the "Load Hive" function and restore the ProfileList entry to its previous state, if necessary.
Note that not all of this functionality will be available if you do not have a domain (or are not using a domain member to connect), also Windows Firewall settings might prevent you from doing one thing or the other remotely.