Stale user profile folders are not deleted completely in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2

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Article ID: 2661663 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Consider the following scenario:
  • You apply the Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart Group Policy setting on a client computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • The computer is in an Active Directory domain environment.
  • A user in the domain logs on to the computer.
  • The user logs off the computer after a user profile folder for that user is created.
  • The computer is restarted after the number of days that is configured in the Group Policy setting.
  • The user logs on to the computer again.
In this scenario, the stale user profile folder is not deleted completely. Therefore, you experience one or more of the following issues:
  • An additional user profile folder is created. The name of this folder is appended with a NetBIOS domain name or with a three-digit suffix. For example, the folder name is Username.CONTOSO or Username.000.
  • If the user has a roaming profile, some applications that rely on the "Shell Folders" paths in the registry stop responding. Additionally, when the user logs off the computer, changes to the application data that is stored in the user profile do not roam to the domain database.
  • An event that resembles the following is logged in the Application log:

    Event ID: 1533
    Source: User Profile Service
    Type: Error
    Description
    Windows cannot delete the profile directory C:\Users\username.
    This error may be caused by files in this directory being used by another program.
    DETAIL - The directory is not empty.

Notes
  • This issue occurs when the Windows Search service is enabled.
  • When this issue occurs, the registry subkey that represents the stale user profile is deleted. This subkey appears in the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

CAUSE

This issue occurs because of a race condition between the User Profiles service (Profsvc.dll) and the Windows Search service (SearchIndexer.exe). The User Profiles service is hosted in an Svchost.exe instance. When the Group Policy setting is applied, the User Profiles service searches the user profile folder to delete the contents recursively. However, the Windows Search service may try to verify the contents of the folder at the same time. Therefore, a deadlock situation occurs, and you experience the issues that are described in the "Symptoms" section.

RESOLUTION

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft website:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Note This hotfix creates two registry entries under the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlset\Services\ProfSvc\Parameters
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Entry nameDefault valueExplanation
DeleteRetryWait1000The interval (measured in milliseconds) between attempts to delete a user profile folder when the deletion fails
DeleteRetryAttempts15The maximum number of times that the deletion is retried
Note The re-attempts to delete the user profile folder are performed by a background thread in the User Profiles service. Therefore, these attempts do not delay the user logon process after the computer is restarted.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must be running one of the following operating systems:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
For more information about how to obtain a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
976932 Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Registry information

To apply the hotfix in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The global version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 file information notes
  • The files that apply to a specific product, milestone (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table:
    Collapse this tableExpand this table
    VersionProductMilestoneService branch
    6.1.760 0.21xxxWindows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2RTMLDR
    6.1.760 1.21xxxWindows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2SP1LDR
  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows Server 2008 R2 and for Windows 7" section. MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are extremely important to maintain the state of the updated components. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profsvc.dll6.1.7600.21126166,40013-Jan-201207:07x86
Profsvc.dll6.1.7601.21897166,91213-Jan-201207:25x86
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profsvc.dll6.1.7600.21126212,48013-Jan-201207:59x64
Profsvc.dll6.1.7601.21897212,48013-Jan-201208:13x64
For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profsvc.dll6.1.7600.21126454,65613-Jan-201206:50IA-64
Profsvc.dll6.1.7601.21897454,65613-Jan-201206:54IA-64

WORKAROUND

To work around this issue, manually delete any stale user profile folders that do not contain an Ntuser.dat file. User profile folders are located in the following folder:
C:\Users
Important Do not delete the All Users or Public folder.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Additional file information

Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameX86_5abf8ad0a5d02b742af383a9d86b3503_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_33aaf9f03b91d019.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size695
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_7d5847fc4a582c6cd7e402d2e9e2d9d0_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_dc5495183ca216c7.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size695
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_fc530db3acecd4c1.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,206
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:35
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_fdeee36daa4aea59.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,206
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:35
PlatformNot Applicable
Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameAmd64_8d63e60f0bb11aca9d8984e1491451ca_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_04422b537ac7ac72.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size699
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_aca71de53443408b5fac82c2161b3a2d_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_21cc1da9b03294ea.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size699
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_5871a937654a45f7.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,210
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:39
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_5a0d7ef162a85b8f.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,210
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:39
PlatformNot Applicable
Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameIa64_6a1052fafcfe0bb75f8b8708d41c06ea_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_b843b11c9dce517c.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size697
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_9f14b19758caa47f572a3ebb2563e94f_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_6128e3540d3dcd9c.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size697
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.21126_none_fc54b1a9aceaddbd.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,208
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21897_none_fdf08763aa48f355.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size40,208
Date (UTC)13-Jan-2012
Time (UTC)18:32
PlatformNot Applicable

Properties

Article ID: 2661663 - Last Review: February 21, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver kbfix kbsurveynew kbexpertiseinter KB2661663

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