User profiles blowing up XP/2k3



Oke I'm baffled,

I'm a sysop at the IT study association on the campus of University of
Twente, The Netherlands and we're running into some serious trouble with user
In this case we have roaming user profiles.

The issues started about two weeks ago, Office suddenly complaining about
not being able to write it's temp path and having issues with the Normal.dotm
template, as well as Outlook refusing to start, with whatever command line
switches we managed to come up with.

After doing some debugging (thanks to FileMon) we found some Share
Violations when it came to the Normal.dotm template, it seems as if Word
opens the file twice to read but forgets to close it after the first read.
Google'ing some more a lot of those issues seemed related to Windows Desktop
Search so we removed that just to be on the safe side.

We formulated a theory. It seems the problem only attacks heavy-duty outlook
users and especially those who used Windows Desktop Search with it (how this
affects the normal.dotm Office template still remains unclear) or either the
local copies of the user profiles were conflicting the hell out of it.

So in the end we reset all the user profiles on our domain controller, wiped
the slate clean and removed all local copies and asked a few users to log
back in.
The result, some users can work, some have again a broken profile. The test
was to start Word twice and see if it worked. The first time worked for
everyone, the second time some users go the error back which resulted in the
necessary entries in FileMon, some are error free for now.

The user's who's profiles were reset but not the local copies wiped never
got rid of the issues to begin with.

Another detail. Two users who suffered from the problem logged in on the
same physical system. One user's user profile is just fine, the other said
poof again which also eliminates the last theory, that the All Users profile
itself which is copied when no profile is available would be at the root of
the issue.

To be honest I'm stunned, never seen anything like this and wondering if
anyone could point me in the right direction.




Hi Daenney

I must say your story does sound very baffling indeed, but it also smells
maybe of a file/file system corruption. Have you tried a chkdsk of the file
system which hoststhe profiles and Word? Wonder if they are the same server?

Can't understand why Outlook wouldn't open, I take it you are using an
Exchange server, is this Exchange server a seperate server or are you using
something like a Small Business Server?

G. Lucas MCP




Outlook is indeed used in combination with an Exchange Server. This is not a
server we host but the once provided by the University itself, they host and
provide our mail facilities.

Word is installed locally on all our 10 client machines, the profiles
themselves are stored on a FreeBSD server which is available to the Active
Directory, that setup has never failed us before.

A decent filesystem check could reveal something, will give that one a go.

Anyone else with suggestions? Please?

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