Currently I have a terminal server setup on windows 2003 server. Recently I have had 2-3 users login and it creates a new user for them under documents and settings that has the domain suffixed. I tried to delete the old user directory (without the domain suffix), but it says ntuser.dat is in use. Does anyone know why it has created a duplicate user folder and why is the old user directory still in use?

  • I am having the same problem with the creation of new user profiles when logging in remotely. Deleting the new profile does not allow the original profile to be accessed. Nothing was changed in the Active Directory or security settings. How do I get the original profile to be used? – Tech Feb 1 '11 at 22:01

It creates a new one when it can't access the old one - if the permissions are wrong, for instance, and if it can't make a new one with the same name then it adds .DOMAIN to the end.

The old ones are almost always in use because of Windows keeping the user's registry settings loaded, and a reboot is needed to clear them.

Quite why you, specifically, have 2-3 users who had profiles and now suddenly have new ones, doesn't make sense with the information you have given. Has anything changed on the server since they last logged in?

  • For some reason, the users were not loading updated group policies, so I deleted the AD user and re-added the user. After I did this, the problem was still happening so I went to the User Profile settings and deleted the profile from there and re-added the user after this. This fixed the Group Policy issue, but caused this other glitch. – Jacob Oct 22 '10 at 18:04
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    If you have recreated the user account in AD, it may have the same name but it will have a different security identifier (SID) and Windows will consider it a completely different account, and therefore it will not have permissions to the old profile folders as permissions go by SID not account name - hence, new profiles and new profile folders for the "new" accounts. – TessellatingHeckler Oct 22 '10 at 18:17
  • The only way to delete the old documents and settings is a reboot? – Jacob Oct 22 '10 at 20:08
  • The only way I know which wont risk breaking things, the other way is to use SysInternals Process Explorer, then search for file handles and search for the username. Close the filehandles which hit c:\documents and settings\username\whatever and you can delete the folders. I do it occasionally, but I'd be a bit uncomfortable closing open files on registry things on a multi user server... – TessellatingHeckler Oct 22 '10 at 20:20

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