"Unable to Load User Profile..." with Windows

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Article ID: 151979 - View products that this article applies to.
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If you log on to a Windows NT Workstation 3.51 computer, and your account has a profile path that has been configured using the Windows NT 4.0 or later syntax may receive the following error message:
Unable to load your central profile. The cached copy of your profile will be loaded instead. Possible causes of this error include network problems, insufficient security rights, missing or corrupt central profile.


This error occurs when a subdirectory has been created (containing a Windows NT 4.0 or later profile) within the profiles share that has the same name as the user profile the Windows NT 3.51 computer is requesting. This is because, under Windows NT 4.0 or later, the syntax for defining a user profile path is \\server\share\username. In this case, the Windows NT 3.51 computer is requesting the file "username", but a directory exists with this same name because of the presence of a Windows NT 4.0 or later profile. An error is returned to the Windows NT 3.51 computer, stating that the requested file is a directory, and thus the error message returned to the user.


This problem will not affect accounts created and configured for use under Windows NT 3.51 using the .man or .usr extensions. As part of the upgrade process, a new user profile is created in Windows NT 4.0 or later that consists of the original user profile updated to the Windows NT 4.0 or later format. This can be identified by a "username.pds" folder (subdirectory). Also, the Windows NT 3.51 profile is not deleted, and the configuration of the user account need not be changed. Instead, when a user is validated and a profile path is defined with the .usr or .man extension, if the user is using a Windows NT 3.5x computer, the Windows NT 3.5x profile is located and loaded. If the user is logging on from a Windows NT 4.0 or later computer, Windows looks for \\server\share\username.pds instead of \\server\share\username.usr.


Article ID: 151979 - Last Review: February 21, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
kbnetwork kbprb KB151979

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