Recovering lost profiles in Windows 2000

This tip was submitted to the SearchWin2000.com Tip Exchange by member Ricardo Molina. Let other users know how useful it is by rating the tip below.

When a user logs in, a new folder is created under 'C:Documents&Settings' and the former desktop preferences and user configurations can occasionally be 'lost' (this profile usually remains in the user's former folder). With this tip you can recover the missing profile intact.

First of all, verify that the user's former folder still exists. You must then change permissions on that folder to allow the user access -- the user's information may have been altered, so they must be able to change it back. Then you must change registry keys (Don't attempt this unless you know what you're doing.) You must change the key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Profile\List\(the new user's id)Profile\ImagePath from the new folder to the former.
With regedt32, you must then check the security of the HKEY_USERS (User's new SID). The user must have total control of that registry subfolder. You can grant them administrative access long enough to apply the change and then go back to their usual rights. Now when the user logs on, it will use their former profile folder, load their former 'ntuser.dat' into the registry, and everything will work as it did previously. This can be especially useful, for example, when a user is changing back and forth between domains.

    Requires Free Membership to View

This was first published in January 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.