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Thread: Spybot 1.6 locking user registry hives

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Spybot 1.6 locking user registry hives

    Hi Everyone,

    I have uncovered an nasty problem with 1.6. I run a weekly scheduled scan using the Administrator account on all of my clients machines. I received several calls this morning from clients saying that they all are receiving the message "Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile." when logging into their limited accounts. Their accounts are limited accounts for security reasons.

    I had one of my clients login to the Administrator account to investigate. When we examined the HKEY_USERS hive, we discovered a folder call PE_C_HARVEY. Harvey is the name of the limited user account that is yielding the error message and creating a temporary profile. We unloaded the hive and Harvey was able login with his normal profile. We then checked the scheduled tasks logfile and discovered that the weekly Spybot scan completed successfully with and exit code of 0.

    I investigated this further on my machine and discovered that when Spybot runs it creates a folder under HKEY_USERS for each account that is not currently logged in. I assumed that this is done so the immunize and scan functions can process all user accounts on the system. The problem is that when Spybot terminates it is not all ways unloading the temporary hives PE_C_USERNAME that it is creating. Three of my clients also had a folder called PE_C_ALLUSERS in their HKEY_USERS hive. I could reproduce this on my machine but can not understand how this folder would ever be created since the ALLUSERS profile does not even have a registry hive.

    I reproduced this problem running Spybot interactively six times in a row closing the program using the red X in the upper right corner. Then I tried terminating the program using File Exit from the menu and the temporary hives were removed. I then went back to closing with the red X and the hives were removed six times in a row. This is very strange and inconsistent behavior.

    This problem can be very serious as it will lock the user registy hive forcing Windows to create a temporary profile. A system reboot will not release the hive, you must unload the hive using regedit. This can really mess up the average user that does not understand this stuff. It sounds like this is what happened to ninjat in this recent post...

    The final point that I would like to make is that I did not have any problems with weekly scans using 1.52 with XP Service Pack 2. I updated all of my clients machines to XP Service Pack 3 and Spybot 1.6 at the same time. I am not sure if the SP3 update, or 1.6 or the combination of both is causing this problem. Can anyone else reproduce what I am seeing on multiple systems? Thanks for your support...
    Last edited by MrGreg; 2008-08-23 at 22:17.

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