User profile corruption for Windows service accounts

Good morning. It has been a while since I posted, so I figured it was time for another article. I ran across an interesting issue this morning that I figured I would share. I had a customer that had recently experienced some file system corruption on the C: drive. Luckily chkdsk was able to correct the issue, but there was an issue that cropped up after running it. My customer was seeing an error in the Windows system log coming up frequently. The error was a 7005 with a source of Server Control Manager. The description was his concern though.
“The LoadUserProfile call failed with the following error:
The configuration registry database is corrupt.”

I did some research on this error and it is caused by a corrupt user profile. I figured it was probably a service user account as we had several services starting within seconds of each occurrence. Through a process of elimination I discovered that starting any service using the Network Service as the logon service caused the error.

So now I knew which account was causing the error, but how do you recreate the user profile for the Network Service user? I first checked the c:\users folder and the profile is not there. It is also not in the user profiles list in the system properties. I checked the registry as it has a list of all users with profile locations.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Bingo!

The Network Service profile is located in C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService. I renamed the profile in the registry (S-1-5-20) to S-1-5-20.old and the NetworkService folder to NetworkService.old.

I then started a service that used the Network Service account, and success. The registry key was recreated, as was the folder, and we received no errors in the event log.

On a side note the above process will also work for the Local Service account. Just rename the appropriate registry key and folder.

I hope you found this article informative. If you have anything to add or would like to suggest an edit, please do so in the comments below.

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