Local Administrator can't access User Profile



I'm trying to Copy a User Profile using the Local Administrator account but I
get a Profile Error message "Directory <C:\Documents and Settings\<username>
could not be deleted. Please delete the directory and retry." Upon closer
examination using Windows Explorer I notice that the user profile that I want
to copy in C:\Documents and Settings doesn't have a "+" sign next to its name
while the other profiles such as the Administrator, Default User and the
target user have one next to their name. When I try to click on that profile
that doesn't have the "+" sign I get an Access Denied warning message. But
if I login as the user and check the Documents and Settings folders I can see
the "+" sign next to the user name as well as for the Administrator, Default
User and target user since this user has Computer Administrator privileges.
Is there a way to fix this problem so the Local Administrator can access this
profile that doesn't have a "+" sign next to its name?

Thank You

David Shen [MSFT]

Dear Customer,

Thank you for posting in newsgroup.

From your description, my understanding is that:

You want to copy the user profile and you encounter the error message
"Directory <C:\Documents and Settings\<username> could not be deleted.
Please delete the directory and retry." Meanwhile, when you try to access
the user profile you see the "Access Denied" error. You want the Local
Administrator can access this profile that doesn't have a "+" sign on it.

Analysis and Suggestion:

The error message may happens when the INDEX.DAT file under this user
profile folder was accessed by some processes. Would you please boot the
computer into Safe mode and then login as the built-in local administrator
account to troubleshoot it? To verify that the local administrator can
access the user profile, you may need to confirm that local administrator
has full control permission on this user profile folder.


1. Boot into safe mode.

a. Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. On
a computer that is configured for booting to multiple Operating Systems,
you can press the F8 key when you see the boot menu.

b. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe Mode, and
then press Enter.

c. Log onto Windows by using the Administrator account or any user account
with the Administrator privileges.

Please note: In Safe Mode, your system display and desktop will look and
perform differently than in Normal Mode.

2. Launch Windows Explorer

3. Right-click on the user profile folder under C:\Documents and Settings\,
and select Properties, click Security Tab, add the local administrator and
grant it with full control permission on this user profile.

4. Then please check if you can access it and copy the user profile that
you want.

5. You may also try it after you reboot into normal mode later.

If the issue still continues, please take screenshot of the problematic
user profile that you view and the error message when you encounter the
issue, and you may send the screenshot to (e-mail address removed)

Hope it helps.

David Shen
Microsoft Online Technical Support

David Shen [MSFT]

Hi chipmunk,

Thanks for the reply.

Based on the research on the description and the screenshot, it seems that
you were unable to copy LocalMachine\Profile to domainuser\profile that
exists on the local machine, and you view the error message when you
perform the copy operation.

Failed to set Security on the Destination Profile. Error - Access is

According to the research, here is some information for your reference.

Analysis and Suggestion:

It seems that the administrator don't have permission on the target user
profile folder.

Troubleshoot steps:

1. Logon the computer with its local administrator account.

2. Grant both the source user profile and the target user profile with
Administrator user full control on them.

3. Launch Windows Explorer and open the target user profile folder, and
then delete the content of target user profile under it.

4. Then try copying the source user profile to the target user profile.

Please note: when we copy the user profile, the user profile cannot be
launched or handle by the user.

Hope it helps.

David Shen
Microsoft Online Technical Support

David Shen [MSFT]

Hi brown,

This may be related to the default permission on the domain user profile.

Here is something that we need to check.

1. Permissions on C:\Documents and Settings, C:\Documents and
Settings\<user1> and <subfolders>

User1 is USER1's Profile

2. Check for the ownership of the profile

Owner of the profile's folder is Local Administrators group, and subfolders
like Application Data, Cookies, Desktop is the user itself, when you copy
the local profile to a domain profile, it will attempt to delete the domain
profile first and then copy into it.

Please Notes

To copy local profile to the domain profile, we need to logon as a member
of the Administrators group on the local computer or the built-in
administrator delegated with the appropriate authority. By default the
local administrator doesn't have full control permission on the user
profile, if we grant it with full control on the target domain user
profile, the local administrator on the computer can perform the procedure.
If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group
might be able to perform this procedure.

For more information on the Default NTFS permissions

Default NTFS Permissions

How To Create a Custom Default User Profile

Create an XP Pro Mandatory User Profile on the Local Machine

How To Assign a Mandatory User Profile in Windows XP

Hope it helps.

David Shen
Microsoft Online Technical Support

David Shen [MSFT]


How's everything going?

I'm wondering if the suggestion has helped or if you have any further
questions. Please feel free to respond to the newsgroups if I can assist

David Shen
Microsoft Online Technical Support

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