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7.1   Profile Issues

This sub-section covers the following:

  1. Fixing a Hosed Profile
  2. Some causes and solutions
  3. Session loading extremely slow ...
  4. Stale local (user) profile
  5. Fix failed (gotchas)
  6. Macromedia Flash serial number issue, possible fix
  7. ArcMap crashes when opening a map document
  8. Macromedia Flash serial number
  9. Problem loading profile
  10. Clearing profiles on local machine
  11. Uncrazing an MS Windows profile
  12. Lost document, viz.: (MyDocuments, U:, and Profile)
  13. Unable to login to MS Windows
  14. Uneraseable files

-->   Fixing a Hosed Profile

Going over quota during a login session can hose a person's MS Windows profile (as changes can't be written to disk).   People should now be informed of their quota and limit in a hard-to-miss window under MS Windows.   We hope that will clear up the majority of problems.   In cases where it doesn't and a hosed profile results it can be fixed by following the steps below.

(Thu Feb 12 07:46:11 2009)

Joel has written a script to automate profile backup and deletion.   It's in /fs/tedium/userscripts.   Follow these steps:

  1. Log off of TCC MS Windows sessions everywhere.
  2. Log into Linux and open a command prompt.
  3. Type "/fs/tedium/userscripts/" and press ENTER.
  4. When prompted, type "y" and press ENTER again.

As these aren't copies, they're moves, they should always work, even at maximum quota.

The MS Windows profile will be deleted and all files from the MS Windows Desktop and My Documents (and only those files) will be saved to directories in ~/From_Windows.

Now you should have a blank profile that will get populated with the default user profile of the first TCC MS Windows computer you log in to.

Note that you may find yourself back where you started if the machine you launch MS Windows on has a cached copy of your profile on it.   Such copies are supposed to be erased as part of logging out but that doesn't always happen for some reason.   If you bump into this problem you will need to repeat all the steps above and then try logging into a different machine (preferably one you haven't logged in to before -- see it does pay to know where you've been! -- if you can know you need to remember such things before knowing you do).

If you are missing things from the desktop then replace the default files in the Desktop directory with those saved above.   Similarly for My Documents.

-->   Some causes and solutions

From Thu Dec 11 15:37:06 2008
Subject: TicketID#20081204123941

I found out what has been causing the Windows profile problems.   Computers in the Library (and possibly Fidel, we'll have a full list tomorrow) are running low on space.   Since the latest Service Pack, it appears that old user profiles were not being deleted properly.

Here's the current plan to prevent these problems:

  1. Run a script tonight to find out how many computers are nearly out of space.   Manually delete unneeded files from Documents and Settings on those computers.
  2. Expand the new Windows Template to 90G next semester.
  3. Implement a WPKG program for freeing space on boot.
  4. Move large packages (ArcGIS data, etc.) onto network storage.

-->   Session loading extremely slow; also can't save desktop settings

From Joel Eidsath, Tue Oct 21 09:30:42 2008
Subject: Re: TicketID#20081019201229

In that case, the easiest way to check is for the UC to log on as administrator, look at the cached accounts in C:\Documents and Settings\

If the user in question has a folder there, it is safe to delete it (as administrator).

Ray Piworunas wrote:

> Joel,
> How should one proceed if the user can't remember which machines he's
> used?  In Speare 5 that may be the case as those machines see a lot of
> users.  I imagine the Library machines may be similar in that regard.
> Ray.
> <*> Joel Eidsath (
> --- [Tue. Oct 21, 2008 at 07:12:19AM]:
>> Ticket Description: Unable to save desktop settings in MS Windows.
>> It sounds like the profile was not deleted correctly. Was the user
>> still logged on in Windows when the deletion attempt was tried?
>> It's also possible that the first computer he tried logging in to had
>> a cached copy of the profile. After the next deletion attempt, please
>> get him log in to a computer that he hasn't used before to create the
>> new profile.
> --Mailed: thras, tcc-uc
> --Time: 0.06

-->   Stale local (user) profile

From Joel Eidsath, Wed Feb 20 08:17:01 2008 Subject: TicketID#20080219191540

Yes, in fact user profiles on the local machines are deleted automatically except in rare cases.   I believe that the only time it will not be deleted is when the machine can't talk to userhost when the user logs off, or the connection is too slow.   I'm not sure though, it's an automatic Windows thing.

Worst case, the user will see his old Desktop, and then have to go through deletion on another machine.   (The UC can actually check for instances of old profiles by logging into the Windows machine and looking inside the C:\Documents and Settings folder.)

-->   Fix failed (gotchas)

From Joel Eidsath, Tue Oct 7 2008
Subject: TicketID#20081006155204

Here are a couple of things that can make it look like a profile deletion didn't work.

If a person is logged into Windows when their profile is deleted, the deletion won't have any effect because the profile gets copied back to userhost from the computer they are logged into.

Another problem could be that the first computer they log in to after deletion has a copy of their profile on it already, and it will restore from that copy.

To avoid/correct those problems try deleting the profile again (with the person logged off everywhere) and have them log into a MS Windows session on a computer that they haven't used before.   If that doesn't fix the problem, bring him up to my office and I'll take a look.

-->   Macromedia Flash serial number issue, possible fix

From Michael Martinez, Wed Mar 8 16:40:34 2006
Subject: TicketID#20060308151739

This will have to wait until the new template.   But it should be noted that Flash doesn't lose the serial number for individual users.   What happens is that when someone uses an old computer with an expired Flash license, their profile gets updated with the old license information.   This is happening on our computers, because we have a mix of computers with old templates, versus computers with new templates.   I suspect the actual fix for this will be replacing the old templates with the new template, and then resetting the user's profile on a case by case basis.

-->   ArcMap crashes when opening a map document

From Joel Eidsath, Mon Mar 6 14:29:54 2006
Subject: TicketID#20060306140602

ArcGIS should have a folder in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data where it stores settings.   While in Windows, try deleting this, which should reset ArcGIS to defaults and fix the account.   The other fix would be to blow away the entire Windows profile.

-->   Macromedia Flash serial number

From Joel Eidsath, Mon Feb 6 11:39:31 2006
Subject: TicketID#20060202193648

Per Michael, deleting a user's Windows profile will fix this.   If a user comes in to see me about this problem I may be able to find a more targeted solution.

(The first thing I'd try is deleting the Macromedia folder under the Application Data directory in the user's XP profile directory.   In Linux, delete the particular folder underneath the .windows-xpprofile.   In Windows, go to Documents and Settings\username\Application Data and delete Macromedia there.   If this does not work, I'll need to find the particular registry key involved.)

Be sure to let us know which computers this is happening on so we can check the machine.   (You can file a ticket by going to; the category should be Windows, and the sub-category should be app.)

-->   Problem loading profile

From Mike Hogan, Mon Nov 7 17:18:32 2005

Too frequently, for whatever reason, a temp file is created in some MS Windows directory that has characters MS Windows is not able to handle.   You can fix the resulting "profile loading" problem by deleting that file in a Linux session.   Simply copy down the name and location of the file from the MS Windows error message, then log in to Linux and open a terminal (by right clicking the desktop and click "Open Terminal").

In the terminal type (being sure to convert MS Windows' back-slashes for Linux forward slashes, and using (in Linux) "\ " wherever MS Windows used " ") :

rm .windowsxp-profile/<type in the path and name of the bad file>

then press <Enter> and you should be able to log on to MS Windows without the "loading profile" error message.

For example.   The problem file is reported by the MS Windows error message to be
\favorites\Little Big Man.doc.   In Linux you'd want to type the command

rm .windowsxp-profile/favorites/Little\ Big\ Man.doc

(then press the <Enter> key to actually issue the command).

-->   Clearing profiles on local machine

From Michael Martinez, Tue Oct 25 16:31:16 2005

Any thing in C:\Documents and Settings\ can be deleted (and should) EXCEPT:

All else is fair game.   ("test" and "winadmin" are only on some computers.   If you don't see them, don't worry about it)

-->   Uncrazing an MS Windows profile

From Michael Martinez, Thu Oct 13 08:56:43 2005
Re: TicketID#20051012194219

Before resorting ghosting, check to make sure the local disk is not full.   Also delete user profiles in C:\Documents and Settings.   Regular user profiles - leave Administrator, Default User, All Users, and test untouched. Need to be Administrator to do this.

-->   Lost document (MyDocuments, U:, and Profile)

From Dustin Graham, Thu Oct 6 11:31:08 2005

MS Windows does store My Documents on userhost (seen as U: under My Computer).

They are cached locally, however, while the user is logged on.   This is part of the "loading profile" and "saving settings" roaming profiles nonsense that makes it take so long to log in and out.   This file would have been on C: while the user was editing it, and failure (e.g. a write failure) before or during logout and resynchronization of the userhost copy of My Documents could have lost it.

-->   Unable to log in to MS Windows

If a person can login on some of our machines but not others (thus far it's been a split between the Library machines and the machines in Speare) it may be due to problems with their profile.   The solution is to follow the steps for Fixing a Hosed Profile.

-->   Uneraseable Files

From Jon Hill, Tue Feb 11 09:00:46 2003.
Subject: TicketID#20030210161721

We now have profiles and with profiles comes data that follows you, even if you don't want it to.

NOTE:   If you log in, delete files from your network account and log back out, you've done nothing since all that data is copied back to your network drive from the local machine.

To delete data, use whatever program's natural cache cleaning function within the program.   i.e. Netscape's "clean cache" or IE's "Delete Saved Files" options.   OR log out, have someone else delete the data (which usually can't happen unless you're root) and then log in.

WARNING:   If a user fills up their quota and their profile can't be written, their profile can become corrupt.

Jon L. Hill <>
New Mexico Tech

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