How to restore a user profile in Windows 2000

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Article ID: 314045 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q314045
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to restore a user profile as well as the following user profile items:
  • Documents
  • Desktop settings
  • Favorites
  • Cookies
By default, when you first log on to a Windows 2000-based computer, Windows creates a user profile folder in the %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings folder, and you are given Full Control permission. If you lose the Full Control permission for this folder, Windows creates a new user profile folder the next time that you log on and you can no longer access the original user profile folder unless you have local administrative authority on the computer.

If you lose access to your profile folder, Windows creates a new profile folder for you, and places it in the Documents and Settings folder by default. Windows attempts to use your user name as the name of the new profile folder. However, if the old profile folder still exists, Windows modifies the name of the new folder to avoid duplicating the name of the original profile folder. In this scenario, you may see multiple profile folders for your user profile. The following information describes the default naming scheme that Windows 2000 uses for user profiles:
  • If the username folder does not already exist, the new profile folder is named:
    username
  • If the username folder already exists, the new profile folder is named:
    username.computername
  • If the username.computername folder already exists, the new profile folder is named:
    username.computername.000
  • If the username.computername.000 folder already exists, Windows uses the next available increment of the username.computername.000 naming scheme.

    For example:
    username.computername.001
Another way to keep track of these duplicate profile folders is by the creation date or time, as long as you have not modified the creation date or time.

Requirements

To restore a user profile, the Documents and Settings\username profile folder must still exist, and you must have the Full Control permission for this folder. If you do not have the correct permission for your user profile folder, you (or someone else) must log on to the computer as an administrator and restore the required level of permission to your user profile.


Copy Documents from the Current Profile Folder to the Appropriate User Profile Folder

If you have logged on to Windows since you lost access permission to your original profile folder, there are at least two user profile folders that have your user name. To make these files accessible from the user profile that you are restoring:
  1. Log on to the computer as an administrator.
  2. Copy all of the documents from your current My Documents folder to the My Documents folder of the profile that you are restoring.

    NOTE: Step 2 is not required if you have moved your My Documents folder to a location outside the Documents and Settings folder; however, after you restore your user profile, you may need to re-specify the target folder location of the My Documents folder.
  3. To retain the Internet favorites links, copy all of the Internet shortcut files from from your current Favorites folder to the Favorites folder of the user profile that you are restoring.

    NOTE: Do not copy Desktop.ini file.

Grant Full Control Permission for the User Profile Folder

  1. Right-click your old user profile folder, and then click Properties. By default, this folder is %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\username.
  2. On the Security tab, click your user profile in the Name list, and then click to select Allow for the Full Control permission.

    NOTE: If your user profile is not displayed in the Name list, add your profile: Click Add, click your user name in the list, and then click OK.
  3. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Edit the User Profile Registry Key

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Edit the registry so that the profile image path points to the user profile folder that you worked with in the "Grant Full Control Permission for the User Profile Folder" section in this article:
  1. Log on to the computer with the user profile that you want to restore.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  5. Locate your user profile folder.

    NOTE: When you open the ProfileList folder, you see several folders, each of which belongs to a different user. These folders are named according to the user security IDs (SIDs) and not according to the user names.

    To locate your user profile folder, use one of the following options:
    • For each folder, click the folder, and then look for the ProfileImagePath value that contains the path to your user profile (such as %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\username).

      -or-
    • In Registry Editor, press CTRL+F to start the Find tool. Type your user name in the Find what box, click to select the Data check box under Look at, and then click Find.
  6. After you locate the subkey folder for your user profile, double-click the ProfileImagePath value.
  7. In the Value data box, change the path so that it points to the profile folder that you are restoring, and then and click OK.
  8. Quit Registry Editor.
The next time that you log on to the computer, Windows will use your restored user profile.

REFERENCES

For additional information about a related topic, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
814584 How to restore a user profile in Windows Server 2003
2003 version(814584)

Properties

Article ID: 314045 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 3.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB314045

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