Windows Vista always logs you on with a temporary profile?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.01.2008 at 08:33

If you’re facing problems logging in with your domain account to Windows Vista computer joined to a domain, and you’re wondering why you’re always getting logged on with a “temporary profile” on your Windows Vista computer, you need to read this post.

You’ve tried it all, deleting and recreating the profile, deleting the C:users%username% folder, etc. But the problem still remains.

This is because your domain user account is a member of either the Guests or Domain Guests local user group in the Windows Vista computer. Remove yourself from the group and feel the magic! 🙂

If that doesn’t work, here is another tip:

Open up Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList

You will find one entry for each profile. Check the following for the user account in question:

  1. Ensure the key name doesn’t end in “.bad
  2. Ensure the RefCount value is 0
  3. Ensure the State value is 0

Thanks goes to my colleague Georgee for this tip!

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One Response to Windows Vista always logs you on with a temporary profile?

  1. Shawn Zernik says:

    This applies only to Active Directory and New Roaming Profiles:

    I just ran into this exact same problem: after setting up the profile path in Active Directory, the user recieves an error that they are using a temporary profile. This ultimatly had to do with the “profile path” I had entered “\sbserverusershares%username%”.

    The server will try to append and extension indicating the profile/windows version to the path, in my case it was “.V2″ making the path “\sbserverusersharesjohn.V2″. Unfortunately, the user does not have permission to modify the “UserShares” folder so a temporary profile was used for that session. This can be resolved by adding a trailing backslash making the profile path a folder named “\sbserverusersharesjohn.V2”. To make thing more windows like, I ultimately made the profile path “\sbserverusershares%username%PROFILE” and windows translated this to “\sbserverusersharesjohnPROFILE.V2″.

    This applies to existing roaming profile that started acting up:

    For roaming profiles that started acting up, you will be heading for more of an up hill battle: the profile can exist on multiple machines, and the server, and will replicate from machine to server to machine. You will want to rename the user profile folder on the server or current workstation as this is the current copy. From there, go to each and every workstation that has the profile in question log in, and rename it. Once the use logs in again, it will create a fresh new profile. Copy his documents, favorites, PSTs, and so on back into his new profile. Make sure to do this on all machines that have a copy of the profile, otherwise a login on the wrong machine could corrupt his profile again.

    Workgroup/standalone computers:

    This is usually due to a corrupt user profile, corrupt default profile, corrupt user account, file system, or windows problems. Start by renaming the profile and letting windows create a new profile. Copy back the users data. The second step is to rename the users profile directory, delete the user, create a new user, and copy the users data back.

    A fatally corrupted file system can be causing user profile issues. Run a check disk and retry the proceeding steps. If that fails, windows could be to blame. But always give web searches a good try before blowing away Windows.

    Shawn Zernik
    Internetwork Consulting

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