Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vista deleting user profiles and data!

It's been an interesting week full of bug fixes and data loss for me. The most exciting case was when I started getting calls from various Vista users claiming that they had lost all of their user settings.

Investigation revealed that users were in fact losing their entire user profiles. All trace of their local profile was completely gone - including all of the user's local folders and files. If we hadn't been using Folder Redirection all of these users would have lost all of their data. Disastrous.

Microsoft was able to quickly find the cause of the problem. It turns out that there was a bug in the GPO "Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart". The GPO is supposed to delete user profiles from the Vista computer that have been unused for a set number of days. It turns out that the GPO simply deletes the user profiles the set number of days after the user profile was created - whether the profile is being used or not. I guess the logic picked the wrong date to look at.

Two days after resolving my problem, Microsoft posted this KB article:

I'm glad to see them react so quickly to such a critical issue. I strongly recommend that you get the hotfix described in this article to prevent the GPO from wiping out your user's data. The fix should be released as part of SP1 - I certainly hope it is.

No comments: