Question

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How do I force a delete of NTUSER.dat?

By shadetreeadmin ·
I am attempting to delete old profiles from one machine on the network. I have full control of the user's folder, but it does not allow me to delete it because it will not allow me to delete NTUSER.dat? I'm attempting to do this remotely.

I have already tried using del without success.

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dos commands

by brian In reply to How do I force a delete o ...

maybe try going to dos shell....navagaiting to folder where file is, do an attrib -? for information and change attributes of the file to make it deletable (then delete in dos)....

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user logged in?

by oldbaritone In reply to How do I force a delete o ...

I know this seems obvious, but is the user logged in? That would lock the file.

If you can't get it deleted, it may be time for an alternate path, such as booting another OS and mounting the drive as data to do the cleanup.

WARNING - ANY time you mess with the registry, you're running the risk of making the system unbootable. and NTUSER.DAT is part of the registry, so deleting it improperly could "brick" the system.

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Attempt

by shadetreeadmin In reply to How do I force a delete o ...

No, the user is not logged in and has been deleted from Active Directory some time ago. Yet his profile remains on the machine and to free space on its relatively small hard drive, I need to delete the folder.

attrib was not able to change the attributes on this file.

One more thing. This isn't the only profile on the machine. There are many. I'd rather not have to make changes to each ntuser.dat for each folder.

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Have a go with this and see if it works......

User Profile Hive Cleanup Service

http://tinyurl.com/26dd9so

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Yep - If the profile won't unload,

by seanferd In reply to Have a go with this and s ...

that works wonders.

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Are you deleting the profile

by Michael Jay In reply to How do I force a delete o ...

from Windows explorer? If so you can run into trouble, this is the correct way to delete profiles;
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/sysdm_userprofile_delete.mspx?mfr=true

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Excellent point.

by seanferd In reply to Are you deleting the prof ...

This is sure to clear the registry hives as well.

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