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Thread: Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP

  1. #1
    NZSchoolTech Guest

    Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP

    I have a laptop user who has lost their desktop items and My Documents
    contents etc as well as access to Outlook data files.

    When I look in the Registry at
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders, I
    find that most of the string values in this key point to C:\Documents and
    Settings\TEMP path instead of C:\Documents and Settings\<user name> which is
    the default that this user was set up with when they were set up on the
    laptop.

    The laptops are set up so that the main user has a local profile. Everyone
    else who logs on gets a roaming profile from the server.

    Folder redirection is applied by GPO. The GPO setting for the group they are
    a member of explicitly redirects their folder My Documents and Desktop to
    %USERPROFILE%\Desktop and My Documents meaning that these should be set to
    wherever the user's profile comes from. Ordinary this is not this TEMP
    folder. I do not know why this would have been changed to C:\Documents and
    Settings\Temp for this user. It is a very strange situation.

    What other steps can I take to try to determine why the user's profile path
    has changed? I haven't yet looked in User Shell Folders but I expect it will
    probably contain the expected Expandable String values loaded with variants
    of %USERPROFILE% as normal.

    There is definitely no user called TEMP and no idea why this path would have
    been created to be used for a userprofile.

    I remember another user was having problems one day because an application
    had altered one of the environment strings causing their path to be wrong.
    This meant Windows could not load a DLL it needed because of the path
    change. Is it possible that an application has somehow changed the
    environment variable %USERPROFILE% ? How would I be able to determine what
    is causing this to happen?


  2. #2
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] Guest

    Re: Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP

    NZSchoolTech <nzschooltech@school.nz> wrote:
    > I have a laptop user who has lost their desktop items and My Documents
    > contents etc as well as access to Outlook data files.
    >
    > When I look in the Registry at
    > HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell
    > Folders, I find that most of the string values in this key point to
    > C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP path instead of C:\Documents and
    > Settings\<user name> which is the default that this user was set up
    > with when they were set up on the laptop.


    In a command prompt, type
    set
    and look for the %userprofile% path. ....

    >
    > The laptops are set up so that the main user has a local profile.


    Meaning, your domain user logs in, the roaming profile is downloaded once,
    and then you change the type from roaming to local? That's what I often do
    if I've got a user who has a laptop & a desktop - you know you've got at
    least some backup of their profile settings. If they don't use both a laptop
    and a desktop, just leave it roaming (why not)?


    > Everyone else who logs on gets a roaming profile from the server.
    >
    > Folder redirection is applied by GPO. The GPO setting for the group
    > they are a member of explicitly redirects their folder My Documents
    > and Desktop to %USERPROFILE%\Desktop and My Documents


    Ah. Do not use folder redirection to send anything over to the user's
    roaming profile folder- it kinda defeats the purpose of having folder
    redirection at all. By default, those folders *would* roam as part of the
    profile - and you don't want that, as you want your profiles to stay *tiny*.

    Instead, redirect them elsewhere....I usually use the users' home
    directories (& appropriate subfolders therein).


    > meaning that
    > these should be set to wherever the user's profile comes from.
    > Ordinary this is not this TEMP folder. I do not know why this would
    > have been changed to C:\Documents and Settings\Temp for this user. It
    > is a very strange situation.


    Check the event logs, and I'll bet you the domain profile got corrupted and
    a temporary one was loaded. I'd delete the cached local profile and log in
    again as the user (see note above about roaming profile/change to local).

    Download & install the latest version of the User Profile Hive Cleanup
    Service on all computers.

    >
    > What other steps can I take to try to determine why the user's
    > profile path has changed? I haven't yet looked in User Shell Folders
    > but I expect it will probably contain the expected Expandable String
    > values loaded with variants of %USERPROFILE% as normal.
    >
    > There is definitely no user called TEMP and no idea why this path
    > would have been created to be used for a userprofile.
    >
    > I remember another user was having problems one day because an
    > application had altered one of the environment strings causing their
    > path to be wrong. This meant Windows could not load a DLL it needed
    > because of the path change. Is it possible that an application has
    > somehow changed the environment variable %USERPROFILE% ? How would I
    > be able to determine what is causing this to happen?


    See above (event logs are where you ought to start). I'm presuming you've
    got backups of the data (My Docs & Desktop), right? That they were
    redirected & are available on the server?




  3. #3
    NZSchoolTech Guest

    Re: Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP


    "Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]"
    <lanwench@heybuddy.donotsendme.unsolicitedmail.atyahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:uZ8GndQqHHA.4104@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > NZSchoolTech <nzschooltech@school.nz> wrote:
    >> I have a laptop user who has lost their desktop items and My Documents
    >> contents etc as well as access to Outlook data files.
    >>
    >> When I look in the Registry at
    >> HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell
    >> Folders, I find that most of the string values in this key point to
    >> C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP path instead of C:\Documents and
    >> Settings\<user name> which is the default that this user was set up
    >> with when they were set up on the laptop.

    >
    > In a command prompt, type
    > set
    > and look for the %userprofile% path. ....
    >
    >>
    >> The laptops are set up so that the main user has a local profile.

    >
    > Meaning, your domain user logs in, the roaming profile is downloaded once,
    > and then you change the type from roaming to local? That's what I often do
    > if I've got a user who has a laptop & a desktop - you know you've got at
    > least some backup of their profile settings. If they don't use both a
    > laptop and a desktop, just leave it roaming (why not)?
    >
    >
    >> Everyone else who logs on gets a roaming profile from the server.
    >>
    >> Folder redirection is applied by GPO. The GPO setting for the group
    >> they are a member of explicitly redirects their folder My Documents
    >> and Desktop to %USERPROFILE%\Desktop and My Documents

    >
    > Ah. Do not use folder redirection to send anything over to the user's
    > roaming profile folder- it kinda defeats the purpose of having folder
    > redirection at all. By default, those folders *would* roam as part of the
    > profile - and you don't want that, as you want your profiles to stay
    > *tiny*.


    Doesn't matter at all on a local profile - it doesn't roam. On a laptop,
    they expect their files to be on the local hard drive - not on the network.

    >
    > Instead, redirect them elsewhere....I usually use the users' home
    > directories (& appropriate subfolders therein).




    >
    >
    >> meaning that
    >> these should be set to wherever the user's profile comes from.
    >> Ordinary this is not this TEMP folder. I do not know why this would
    >> have been changed to C:\Documents and Settings\Temp for this user. It
    >> is a very strange situation.

    >
    > Check the event logs, and I'll bet you the domain profile got corrupted
    > and a temporary one was loaded. I'd delete the cached local profile and
    > log in again as the user (see note above about roaming profile/change to
    > local).
    >
    > Download & install the latest version of the User Profile Hive Cleanup
    > Service on all computers.
    >
    >>
    >> What other steps can I take to try to determine why the user's
    >> profile path has changed? I haven't yet looked in User Shell Folders
    >> but I expect it will probably contain the expected Expandable String
    >> values loaded with variants of %USERPROFILE% as normal.
    >>
    >> There is definitely no user called TEMP and no idea why this path
    >> would have been created to be used for a userprofile.
    >>
    >> I remember another user was having problems one day because an
    >> application had altered one of the environment strings causing their
    >> path to be wrong. This meant Windows could not load a DLL it needed
    >> because of the path change. Is it possible that an application has
    >> somehow changed the environment variable %USERPROFILE% ? How would I
    >> be able to determine what is causing this to happen?

    >
    > See above (event logs are where you ought to start). I'm presuming you've
    > got backups of the data (My Docs & Desktop), right? That they were
    > redirected & are available on the server?
    >
    >
    >



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Re: Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP

    I am NOT a developer - just a user. I booted my computer this morning to discover that all of my user profile settings were apparently deleted and XP said it had to create a new (default) user profile. I wasted two hours trying to get reconnected to my Outlook email accounts, reconstructing my desktop, etc. I started poking around and discovered a "TEMP" file in C:\Documents and Settings that apparently is the repository for this default user profile. I still have a number of folders under my username (Charles) under C:\Documents and Settings but I don't know how to redirect XP to this user folder on start-up and I can't seem to delete the C:\Documents and Settings\Temp folder either. Other folders in C:\Documents and Setting include: \Administrator \All Users \Charles \Default User It would also be useful to me if I understood under what conditions XP uses each of these folders for user settings/profiles - I have had no luck trying to find this myself on the internet.
    Please help!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    Re: Strange user profile path change to C:\Documents and Settings\TEMP

    I had the same problem. Try this:
    - Download and install UPHClean Service by miscosoft
    - Log off damage profile and reboot
    - Log in again and all the information about the paths will be fixed.

    See ya!

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