I have a Windows Server 2003 box with a bunch of scheduled tasks that fire VBS scripts through the day, handling various maintenance, data import and other jobs for a client's web site.
Over the past few days I noticed the jobs were not firing, and after a fair bit of research I finally found a solution.
The first clue came when I tried to call the VBS scripts directly in the command prompt, and received the following error message:
cscript error loading your settings failed access is denied
Which seemed a strange error given I was logged in as a user with Administrator permissions.
After a little more poking around I noticed two more oddities:
1. The Start Menu didn't look right – for example, the Accessories folder didn't contain many of the shortcuts I'd grown used to
2. The Documents and Settings folder contained duplicate user profile folders, for example:
all the way through to
I also noticed in my command prompt window that I appeared to be logged in under the '012' profile.
I found this article that pointed the way:
I searched the Registry for the ProfileImagePath key and found it was set to:
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\[username].[machinename].002
I changed it to:
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\[username]
I logged off, and logged back on again, and this time I was logged in with the [username].[machinename] profile – confirmed by opening the command prompt:
C:\Douments and Settings \[username].[machinename]>
I then tried to call the VBS scripts in the command prompt and they worked fine. Then via Scheduled Jobs window. Again all ok. And my Start Menu is back to normal as well.
As a sidebar I've noticed that the duplicate user profile folders were all created over the space of a single day – Christmas Day. Which is strange because I know that on Xmas Day I wasn't hunched over a computer RDCing into web servers, rather I was enjoying a day off with my family. The duplicate folders were all empty (eg they didn't have the normal complement of folders such as My Documents, Desktop, Favourites and so forth). All except the last one, 012. But that was the one I was logged into. So somehow Windows reacted to something and created the duplicates – but presumably whatever the 'something' was didn't constitute a login otherwise it would have populated the folders with the subfolders needed for the profile.
I've Google a little but can't immediately find anything that explains a big bunch of duplicate user profile folders turning up that are all empty.
All a bit strange, and I wish I had a more concrete explanation for how this all came about.