Recently I have to reset a Windows 7 users local profile, so as I had done with previous version of Windows I deleted the users local profile folder.

I then found that whenever the user logged on they were logged on with a temporary profile, it was as if  Windows did not even try to create a new profile for the user.

I found messages similar to the below in the even log;

Log Name: Application
Source: Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
Date: Date
Event ID: 1511
Task Category: None
Level: Warning
Keywords: Classic
User: User
Computer: Computer
Description:
Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off.

 

Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.

Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

After a bit of digging around I found this seems to be by design in Windows Vista and 7. If a local profile is deleted or renamed you now have to also clean up the registry;

  1. Log on to the system by using an administrative user account other than the user account that is experiencing the problem.
  2. Back up all data in the current user’s profile folder if the profile folder still exists, and then delete the profile folder. By default, the profile resides in the following location:
    %SystemDrive%\Users\UserName
  3. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
  4. Locate the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  5. Under the ProfileList subkey, delete the subkey that is named SID.bak.Note SID is a placeholder for the security identifier (SID) of the user account that is experiencing the problem. The SID.bak subkey should contain a ProfileImagePath registry entry that points to the original profile folder of the user account that is experiencing the problem.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.
  7. Log off the system.
  8. Log on to the system again.

After you log on to the system, the profile folder is re-created.

win7_profile.gif

Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947242