How to Fix a Corrupt Profile in a Windows domain for a Server or Desktop


So I have this happen to me from time to time when I log into a server or desktop and I have a profile that is in a limited stated or just won’t login to your desktop (the notorious blank screen after “preparing your desktop” goes away with just the cursor)

So to help others out I normally do about 4 things totally to fix this problem.


1. If your on a Windows domain and the profile that is corrupt is the domain administrator account, then log into the domain controller and copy your account and make a twin of the account.

2. log into the server/desktop that has the corrupt profile with the new account and go to the C:/Users/ folder and cut the folder/folders of the user/users affected by the corruption and go back to the root of C:/ and make a folder called “Users.old” and paste the folders of the user/users to this folder. UAC may pop if you have it still enabled asking to confirm this action, just press ‘Yes’

3. Then go to start or run and type ‘regedit’ and press enter.

4. inside of regedit navigate to the following location: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\” you will notice a bunch of files in here that will look like this: “S-1-5-21-4238801274-3091212317-1355826954-1000” – click on them until you see the line that says something like : “ProfileImagePath: [username of corrupt profile] – once you find this SID just right click it and delete it.

5. Once the user’s SID is deleted, just log back into the desktop or server that you just purged the users folder and Registry SID from and it will force the re-creation of the profile and you can then log into the server/desktop normally.


I hope this helps someone, as I find myself doing this from time to time. 🙂