So you go to the c:\users\whateverusername you’re working on and rename the user profile, log in and it loads a temporary profile in Windows 7!  What is happening?  In Windows XP, 2000, etc you could just do a rename on the user folder and log in, Windows would then log them in, create the profile and you could copy files over but in Windows 7 it seems you can’t do this anymore.  I found the answer here on a Windows 7 forum.

What you do is this (thanks to sat450):

  1. Restart your PC to release the locks on your profiles.  <- I didn’t have to do this, just logout
  2. Log on with another administrative account.
  3. Delete C:\Users\%username% <- I would recommend doing a rename, username_old or something
  4. Delete C:\Users\TEMP <- That didn’t exist for me once I logged them out
  5. Delete the registry key matching your SID from “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList”. Check the value “ProfileImagePath” to make sure you pick your own profile. <- When you click on the SID’s you’ll see the path thus you’ll be able to identify the user “c:\users\username” Restart once again and then you’re done! <- I didn’t have to do this, just log in

This was certainly useful information and worthy of posting!  I had to do this because of an Outlook error I couldn’t overcome, Outlook failed to start…I’ll post that exact error when I think about it.  You reconfigure outlook and import your old mail and contacts – done!