There are hundreds of reasons why the local profile of a domain user would need to be deleted, in fact, too many to list. The main reasons why a profile gets deleted from a machine in a domain environment is because the profile is either corrupt or to save disk space. A corrupt profile can be caused by many things such as a virus or an application being installed that is not compatible with Windows 7. To save disk space, administrators usually setup a script or Group Policy Object that removes the cached profiles from computers. There have been recent additions to the way profiles have been stored in Windows 7, which are outlined below.
Microsoft introduced a whole new way of storing profiles in Windows Vista and Windows 7. In Windows 7, the cached profile is copied from the server to the “C:users” folder as well as a key is created in the Registry with information about the user and profile. A UID (user i-d) is created to give that user a specific one which differentiates a logon profile path from another’s. Basically, if you delete a user’s folder in “C:users”, then the person whose profile you deleted won’t be able to logon. A message will come up saying that the user profile service isn’t running, but it’s because the operating system is trying to create a folder and it’s not matching with the UID created before. The quick fix is to go into the Registry and delete it manually. Microsoft supports a way to remove a user’s profile along with the registry key using a GUI provided with the Windows operating system automatically. Mind you, in Windows XP, this was never an issue about profiles being deleted.
Below are two different ways to delete a user’s profile. The first way is the Microsoft supported way, and the second method is how to do it manually by going into Windows Explorer and the Registry.
Microsoft Supported Way:
1. Open your start menu and type in the search bar “advanced user”
2. Open “Configure advanced user profile properties”
3. Select the profile you would like to delete and press delete
4. Select yes (the profile is completely removed now)
1. Restart the computer to “unlock” the user accounts so they can be deleted
2. Open Windows Explorer to “C:Users”
3. Right click the profile you would like to delete and press delete and the yes.
4. Open “regedit.exe”
5. Navigate to “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList”
6. Click the sub-key that corresponds with the profile you deleted and right click and delete it