If you work in a corporate environment, your IT administrators may backup your profile to the main file server. This is because they feel you are incapable of backing up your data and might accidentally delete it! Which happens quick a bit actually!
However, sometimes problems occur and your profile cannot be saved to the server or some other type of error occurs when you try to log off your computer. Usually what happens is that you click Logoff or Shutdown and then have to wait about 5 minutes for the computer to finally get off the Logging off screen.
The problem is unloading the current user profile and it takes Windows several minutes to logoff because Windows keeps trying over and over again until it times out. This problem is sometimes caused by the third-party program that does not shutdown correctly, but it’s hard to pinpoint.
So that’s why Microsoft created the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service, a necessary program for every Windows 2000 or Windows XP computer in a domain environment. I can’t tell you how many users were much happier after I installed this service on their computer.
Firstly note that you only need this program if you are still running Windows XP and earlier or Windows Server 2003 and earlier. The program was so popular that it’s built into Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
The good thing about the UPHCS is that it’s an MSI file and you can easily deploy it using Group Policy to all computers in your domain or forest. Once you install it, you won’t notice any new icons or Start Menu items. Instead, you will have to go to the Services applet under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel.
If you are running Windows 2000 and you see entries with Event ID 1000 that indicate the user profile is not unloading, then this will fix those errors. In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, the Event IDs are 1517 and 1524.
The way the service works is that it monitors which processes and applications still have connections to the registry when a user tries to logoff and automatically releases them. It also logs which application and which registry keys were left open and then unloads the profile.
This will significantly speed up the logoff or shutdown time for Windows 2000 and XP machines in a corporate environment that use Roaming Profiles. Enjoy!