Vista bug – Deletes Inactive Profile

vista Sometime ago now, but still worth sharing, we had an issue with our Vista tablets for Staff. The issue was with Vista, pre SP1 we think, and a Group Policy setting for deleting an inactive profile after 30 days. This GPO setting was a legacy setting that we had on the network to delete Student profiles on network machines that weren’t removed when they logged off.

After successfully rolling out the notebooks to staff, we think about a 30 days after the imaging, we had 4 panicked Staff call the IT Helpdesk within minutes of each other. Their machines had fouled up and restarted and when they logged in they had a fresh profile and all of their documents and email had disappeared!

After a some quick Googling we found Dave’s post on his blog and he’d had exactly the same experience. This is straight from Dave Says:

“Seems the domain controller software has a (Y/N) parameter to delete old profiles that have not been used for 30 days or more.
If set to Y, the software screws up when a terminal logging in is running either Vista or Server 2008 OS. In these instances, it sometimes concludes the current user profile has been inactive for 30 days & deletes it!

Solution is have your admin set parameter to N – apparently there was a note floating around back in the beta days last year – thanks for publicising it guys!”

Thanks to Dave, we immediately change the GPO setting and, luckily, didn’t have any more problems. It was interesting that we only had 4 notebooks with the problem, if it was all 55 we would have been in trouble, but this is what happens when you dive into a new OS I suppose…

More info from Dave Says