The naming convention for user profile folders in Windows 2000 is different from that used in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and earlier versions. This article describes the location for user profile folders and how subfolders are created for individual user profiles.
If the Windows 2000 installation is an upgrade from Windows NT, user profile folders are stored in the same location as in Windows NT:
In a new installation of Windows 2000, or an upgrade over Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98, a new folder for user profiles is created on the same partition as the Windows 2000 installation:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings
: For the remainder of this article, the appropriate path to the user profiles folder is represented as %ProfilePath%.
When a user logs on to a Windows 2000-based computer, the name of the folder that is created is derived from the user ID, and if necessary, suffixed with the name of the local computer or domain, whichever is applicable to the user logging on. For example, if the down-level name is "MYDOMAIN\joesmith," the user ID is "joesmith." If the user logs on with his or her User Principal Name (UPN), the down-level name defined in Active Directory for that account is used. Typically, the user ID portion of a user's UPN and the down-level name are the same. However, they may not be, as in the following example:
Down-level Name: MYDOMAIN\joesmith
Regardless of whether the user logs on to a local account or an account from a domain, if the %ProfilePath% folder does not contain a folder with the name of the logged-on user (in this case "joesmith"), a folder with that name is created and the path recorded in the registry along with the Security Identifier (SID) of the user associated with the profile. The folder created as a result would be:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings\joesmith
If another account with the down-level name "JOESMITH" were to log on, another folder would be created, but with the name of the local computer or domain in which the user's account originates:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings\joesmith [NEWDOMAIN]
Or, if the user account was established on the local computer:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings\joesmith [LOCALBOX]
If another "JOESMITH" account logging on to the same Windows 2000 computer logs on from an identically named source (whether a domain or local computer) and the SIDs of the two accounts are not the same (this could occur if the user accounts were re-created and the user logged on to the same computer), a new folder would be created with an extension denoting how many times the profile experienced this exception. For example:
- For the first user:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings\joesmith [NEWDOMAIN].000
- For the second user:
Windows 2000 installation drive:\Documents and Settings\joesmith [NEWDOMAIN].001
- And so on.