Deleting and Recreating Profiles In Windows 2008

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    In the past to fix corrupted profiles was to simply delete them in the c:\users\ profile in order to start with a clean slate. However, since windows Vista and Server 2008 you can no longer do this.

    Most people think that a local user profile only consists of the directory %USERPROFILE% typically located below C:\Users on Vista and Server 2008 (and newer). But there is more. Windows keeps track of the local profile incarnations in the registry key;


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. For each locally stored profile a subkey is created whose name is set to the profile owner’s SID..

    ( Modifying with registry is dangerous, do below or modify registry, at your own risk)

    So to remove the profile we must do the following;

    • Log off current profile and go onto another user account.
    • Go into registry editor, and find the profile in question and determine it”s SID. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
    • Within the ProfileList key find a sub key called ProfileImagePath, match it with the username of the profile you want to delete. (See image below)
    • Delete the registry key.
    • Log into the computer again with the username and password of the profile you just deleted, this will create a new one

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