Roaming user profiles on Windows 8-based or Windows Server 2012-based computers are incompatible with roaming user profiles in other versions of Windows.
Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs:
Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
Note In this article, when the client operating system is referenced, the same issue applies to its corollary server operating system.
For example, if you try to deploy Windows 8 in an environment that uses roaming, mandatory, super-mandatory, or domain default profiles in Windows 7, you experience the following:
After you use a user account that has an existing Windows 7 profile to log on to a Windows 8-based computer for the first time, the components from Windows 8 read and modify the profile state.
Certain Windows 8.1 features may not work as expected because the expected profile state is not present.
When you try to use the same user account to log on to a Windows 7-based computer, the user profile modification that was performed in Windows 8 may not work as expected in Windows 7.
The issues occur because the profile will contain values that are used differently between the versions of Windows. The user profile will be missing default profile configuration information that is expected by the operating system, and could contain unexpected values that are set by a different operating system version. Therefore, the operating system will not behave as expected. Additionally, profile corruption may occur.
Roaming, mandatory, super-mandatory, and domain default user profiles have to be isolated between versions of Windows.
For more information about this issue in Windows 8.1, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2890783 Incompatibility between Windows 8.1 roaming user profiles and roaming profiles in earlier versions of Windows
To prevent this issue, follow these steps before deploying roaming, mandatory, super-mandatory, or domain default profiles in an environment where users will be used other versions of the operating system in addition to Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012:
Install the hotfix that is described in this article.
Create a new registry entry by following the steps that are described in the "Registry information" section.
Restart the computer.
Note If roaming user profile corruption has already occurred, you cannot use this hotfix to resolve the issue. To recover from profile corruption, restore the roaming user profile from a backup.
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 this specific problem.
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, submit a request to 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:
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.
To apply this hotfix, you must be running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012.
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
After you apply this hotfix, you must create a registry key before you restart the computer. To do this, follow these steps:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search. In the search box, type regedit, and then tap or click regedit.
If you are prompted for an administrator password, type the password. If you are prompted for confirmation, provide confirmation.
Locate and then tap or click the following registry subkey:
On the Edit menu, point to New, and then tap or click DWORD Value.
Press and hold or right-click UseProfilePathExtensionVersion, and then tap or click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 1, and then tap or click OK.
Exit Registry Editor.
After you configure the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry entry, you have to restart the computer. Then, Windows 8 creates a user profile and appends the suffix ".v3" to the profile folder name to differentiate it from version 2 of the profile for Windows 7. Then, Windows 8-based computers that have this hotfix installed and the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry entry configured use version 3 of the profile.
You can disable this feature by setting the value of the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry entry to 0. However, user profile corruption occurs if you continue roaming user profiles between Windows 8.1-based computers and other operating systems.
You can use the Group Policy Preference (GPP) Computer Configuration Registry Preference item to populate the registry key on multiple computers. For more information about this, go to the following Microsoft website:
You can safely apply this hotfix on all operating systems. If these profile types are not being used, the registry setting is ignored.
You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
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 8 file information notes
Important Windows 8 hotfixes and Windows Server 2012 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, only "Windows 8" is listed on the Hotfix Request page. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 8" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.
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:
6.2.920 0.20 xxx
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 8" 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 8
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 8
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
An alternative approach for preventing profiles roaming between Windows 7-based computers and Windows 8-based computers is to configure the Set roaming profile path for all users logging onto this computer Group Policy setting separately for the Windows 7-based computers and for the Windows 8-based computers. The Group Policy settings configure unique paths for the users. Then, the user has separate Windows 7 and Windows 8 user profiles that can be applied, depending on the computer that the user logs on to. Additionally, you can use the Folder Redirection feature to provide access to the user's data when either user profile is applied.
Note This method may not apply to all customers because of the following limitations, and it is recommended that these customers apply this hotfix and configure the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry entry as described previously:
The Set roaming profile path for all users logging onto this computer Group Policy setting has to be applied on every client computer where the roaming profile is used, and then applies to all users who log on to the computer.
The Set roaming profile path for all users logging onto this computer Group Policy setting can only set one file server location for all users who log on to the computer. If the profile storage is partitioned by groups of users, which is common in large organizations, a Distributed File System (DFS) namespace has to be used to have a consistent logical profile naming scheme for this policy to function as needed. Use of a DFS namespace allows the consistent logical path to resolve to different physical servers to support the partitioning of profile storage by user group.
For more information about how to deploy roaming user profiles, go to the following Microsoft website: