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Can't recreate Vista's NTUSER.DAT file like I could in the ol' days

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  • Can't recreate Vista's NTUSER.DAT file like I could in the ol' days

    While troubleshooting some user profile issues, I discovered that the old pre-Vista trick of renaming the NTUSER.DAT file to recreate it no longer works as it used to. When one renames NTUSER.DAT in Vista and then tries to log into the account, it instead gives a warning about not being able to load the profile and that I'm now using a temporary profile which will be deleted when I log off. Fun. This seems to have cased much consternation on the interwebs. Oddly, I can't seem to find the new way of recreating NTUSER.DAT aside from blowing away the user profile entirely and recreating it. At the moment, I'm not keen on doing that. Anyone run into this? Any ideas?
    Wesley David
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  • #2
    Re: Can't recreate Vista's NTUSER.DAT file like I could in the ol' days

    What's wrong with renaming the profile folder to <username>.old and then creating a new one by logging on? You can then copy over any stuff you need like settings, favourites, app setting folders etc. Then you can also always get the old profile back if you need to...


    Tom
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    • #3
      Re: Can't recreate Vista's NTUSER.DAT file like I could in the ol' days

      Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
      What's wrong with renaming the profile folder to <username>.old and then creating a new one by logging on?
      If you do that, Vista won't create a new profile - you'll just have a temporary profile for that session that is cleared out when you logoff.
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

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      • #4
        Re: Can't recreate Vista's NTUSER.DAT file like I could in the ol' days

        This might work
        http://blog.tiensivu.com/aaron/archi...-contents.html
        Dealing with corrupt user profiles in Vista and saving the contents
        Assume in this example that the username is 'atiensivu', the domain is 'staff', and the user profile is located in %systemdrive%\users\atiensivu. %systemdrive% is typically C: on standard Vista installs. Replace every instance 'atiensivu' with the username of the corrupt profile.

        1. If you can log into the profile, make note of the %USERPROFILE% environment variable value. Most likely it will be 'C:\Users\atiensivu' or 'C:\Users\atiensivu.staff'. Logoff.

        2. If you have logged in with the profile at any point since your last reboot or you suspect there are files in use within the profile, reboot. The important part is to make sure there are no open files within the broken profile directory.

        3. Login as administrator or another account with local admin rights.

        4. Run 'takeown /r /a /d y /f %systemdrive%\users\atiensivu'.

        5. From %systemdrive%\users, rename 'atiensivu' to 'atiensivu.old'.

        6. Within %systemdrive%\users, create a directory called 'atiensivu'.

        7. Run 'takeown /r /u staff\atiensivu /f %systemdrive%\users\atiensivu'.

        8. Run regedit and go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and delete the SID key for the corrupt profile. Easiest way to find the correct SID is to search from the 'ProfileList' key for the directory mentioned in %USERPROFILE% in step #1.

        9. Logoff.

        10. Log into the 'atiensivu' account. A new profile should be created. Copy over any files you might want from the old profile directory.

        The 'takeown' commands might be overkill but I don't like getting permission errors.
        Marcel
        Technical Consultant
        Netherlands
        http://www.phetios.com
        http://blog.nessus.nl

        MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
        "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

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