How To Reset Your Profile

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Revision as of 11:45, 15 March 2013 by Derekp (talk | contribs)
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When using Windows workstations on the UBC_ECE domain, you may experience what can be described best as "corrupt profile" problems. There are many manifestations of a corrupt profile, including:

  • problems downloading files
  • problems using the Internet
  • problems assigning the default printer and printing PDF files

The solution to these problems is to reset your profile. To reset your profile, you need to:

  1. Logoff from Windows
  2. Login to UNIX system (Use your neighbour's computer for a second to ssh to There is also a machine named fixprofile in the MCLD 348 that you can use for this purpose.)
  3. Rename your profile directory with mv profile Also, for WIndows Vista, Windows 7, and newer versions of Windows, mv profile.V2
  4. Logout from UNIX
  5. Logon to Windows; you will get a warning about your profile; ignore it
  6. Logoff from Windows; logging out is what actually creates the new profile
  7. If necessary, logon to Windows and restore files from directory. Delete to free up disk space

At this point problems with downloading files, surfing the Internet, assigning the default printer and printing PDF files should be gone. If you still have a problem, let us know by emailing

If this is too complicated, email and we will remove your profile (brute force, but it works).

Please do not save any files on the "Desktop" or in "My Documents". Files stored in these locations are copied between the PC and file server every time you log in or out. Having a large number of files in these locations will cause login times to increases. Most importantly, files left in these locations may not be reliably saved to the file server. At all times, you should store your files in your Z:-drive.

Please consider changing your settings in Windows to store the minimum number of files on the "Desktop" and in "My Documents". For example, please change the settings for IE to reduce the cache to 10-20MB. Large caches will take a very long time to copy from the server, increasing login times to several minutes. Please see How To Keep Your Profile Small.

Also, you should stay well below your account's disk quota. If your home directory is full, Windows will fail to sync your profile with the server, causing it to become corrupted.