I thought I cleared a user's profile from 2008, but it keeps coming back. So, I was looking for the best way to clear a roaming profile in Server 2008, but I have been unable to find anything.

But, I did see the post here: User Profile keeps loading TEMP Profile

I wanted to add a comment to that post, but it was closed as not being related to sysadmin. But, I think it IS related because I dealt with precisely this same problem on our Wndows 2008 terminal server.

Here was the issue: we have a user who was getting an "unable to load your roaming profile" type of error at logon in Windows 2008. Looking at the server, we could see her temp profile listed in the profile list while she was loggged (listed as a "temporary" and not a "roaming" profile). While she was logged on, a folder called C:\Users\Temp.DOMAIN existed in the users folder, but that disappeared as soon as she logged out.

When this thing happened in 2003, we would clear the contents of the roaming profile folder & delete the temp folder in C:\Documents and Settings. The thing is, 2008 behaves a bit differently.

  1. Server 2008 created a new roaming profile folder in the roaming profile folder share: \SERVER\ProfileShare\UserName.V2
  2. The local profile disappears from the profile list in System Properties, so there is no profile to clear
  3. Also the local profile folder, C:\Users\Temp.DOMAIN doesn't stay on the server when the user logs out, so we can't delete that as we would normally do when this sort of thing happens in Windows 2003
  4. Despite all of this, every time the user logs back on, the frickin' Temp profile always comes back.

One of my team-mates, who is much more experienced with 2008, said I should check the registry for the user's profile in this key (the users are listed by SID): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

I saw the user's SID listed there, but it ended in .BAK. I checked several other servers where she is having the same profile errors: in all cases, her SID ended with .BAK.

For example (xxx replacing the LONG SID): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-21-xxxxx-xxxx.bak

On the server she was logged on to, there were two keys for her profile in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-21-xxxxx-xxxx


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-21-xxxxx-xxxx.bak

So, here is how I cleared up the issue.

  1. I had the user log off.
  2. I deleted the apparently bad profiles ending in .BAK from the ProfileList key on each server where it appeared.
  3. I made sure her roaming profile folder was empty
  4. I made sure that all the TEMP profile folders were gone
  5. The user logged back on: no more profile errors!

Anyway, I wanted to make a comment on that closed question, but I didn't see any way to re-open the question so I could add it.

But, I also would like to know if this is the best practice to clear out a bad roaming profile for Server 2008? I'm having a hard time finding any instructions on line on how best to do this, but this method I used seemed to work.

I'd like to find some documentation to give to our Level 1 support staff so they will know how to clear user profiles on 2008 since this seems to be more involved that clearing user profiles in server 2003.



2 Answers 2


This how I fix this on 2003 - May help.

  1. Make sure that there are no group policy rules still being applied to that user.
  2. Delete the profile stored locally, as in on the desktop system.
  3. Delete the roaming profile from the network.
  4. Run gpupdate /force on the desktop.
  5. Reboot the desktop.

Log on as the user - The roaming profile should not kick in.

Then add the user to the appropriate OU's and all done :)


I know its a bit of a delay but to answer your question, from my own investigation into this problem, Yes this is the best way to clear out faulty or broken profiles within Windows 2008 (and R2 btw)

I recently ran into the same problem, and it was a Microsoft Tech Article that documented your process on how to-do this.


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