Manually Deleting a User Profile Does Not Remove the ProfileImagePath Registry Setting

A Windows 7 user was unable to connect to or display network documents and was notified the system could not load the user profile. The problem appeared to be caused by a corrupt profile. I logged the user off and then logged in as the administrator and removed her profile. Then tried logging in as the user to reload the profile. It still could not load the user’s profile. I decided to rebuild the profile but when I attempted to it failed again.  I placed the backed up profile back and tried another system and the profile worked. 

After some research I found this issue may occur if the user profile was manually deleted by using the command prompt or by using Windows Explorer. A profile that is manually deleted does not remove the security identifier (SID) from the profile list in the registry. If the SID is present, Windows will try to load the profile by using the “ProfileImagePath” that points to a nonexistent path. Therefore, the profile cannot be loaded. The profile had not been manually deleted but I decided to check anyway. I opened the registry editor and navigated to ”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList” and found a SID for the user. I deleted it from the registry and then logged in as the user and the profile loaded fine.

Networking Windows 7