Background information:

I currently manage a series of computer labs (127 machines running Windows 7 x64 Enterprise) for the engineering school of a university. These machines are used constantly by ~2000 undergraduate students. We use Symantec Ghost Solutions Suite 2.5 to image these machines every 2-3 weeks. Currently, we manually create a profile with all of the first-run settings, bookmarks, etc that students need, and then copy it over to the default profile (overwriting it). That way, when a student logs in, they get all of the settings they need. Back in the XP days, there was a neat little GPO setting that would delete user profiles at logoff. This way my machines wouldn't become filled up with hundreds of profiles.

There is a group policy setting to delete profiles that are older (inactive) than X number of days on shutdown (as opposed to the older XP 'on log off' policy). This does not appear to work, or even do anything at all. I've found a bunch of useless threads on Microsoft community sites detailing others with the same problem, but no solutions so I turn to you guys for help :-). Some have suggested that there might be a bug that causes the 'modified since' date to change on all of the stored profiles.

My Question:

  1. Has anybody else experience this problem and found a workable solution?
  2. If not, has anybody contacted Microsoft support and gotten an answer (positive or negative) regarding this? I don't want to unnecessarily waste a support incident if I don't have to.

Thanks for your help!

  • Not sure about your problem, but for the record, a Microsoft support incident is $260. I actually buy TechNet Plus for about $325 yearly, and that comes with TWO support incidents. So it is a great value. – KCotreau May 24 '11 at 18:09
  • My TechNet subscription didn't even occur to me, I'll use that then :-) – Erik Reynolds May 24 '11 at 18:12

I just did a little research and I believe the reason group policy is not deleting the profiles is that they are not roaming profiles, but local based on your post.

I found that A LOT people swear by is adding your student's group to the local or domain guests group. You can keep them in other groups so they can access stuff, but it deletes the profile.

I have also found people, who say that delprof.exe does work on Windows 7. I would create a batchfile, deleteprofile.bat with the command "delprof /q /i /d:0


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  • I just tested the Guest method on a VM...Profile totally gone on logout. Worked perfectly. – KCotreau May 24 '11 at 18:42
  • Awesome, I will check this out and report back! – Erik Reynolds May 24 '11 at 18:52
  • This works great, thanks for your help. here is a relevant blog post – Erik Reynolds May 24 '11 at 19:44
  • See my answer for a version of Delprof that works on Windows 7 (Delprof2). – Helge Klein May 24 '11 at 20:31

Are you sure that you're reading the new GPO correctly? It deletes the profiles older than X days on shutdown not logoff.

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  • Yep! I should have clarified. Even on shutdown it does nothing. – Erik Reynolds May 24 '11 at 18:13

I have written an inofficial successor to Delprof called Delprof2 that works with Windows 7. It is syntax compatible to the original delprof.

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  • This is a great utility, I'll definitely add it to my SysAdmin utility belt. – Erik Reynolds May 24 '11 at 21:08

it seems they fixed it on this hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/983544

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