Unable to activate license due to an invalid profile folder


An administrator is unable to apply a license against their server, receiving the error Unable to process request. We were unable to activate your license. Please contact customer support.

The DNN log file brings an additional error message with more insightful details:

2018-08-24 16:44:52.797+08:00 [SERVER_NAME][D:26][T:45][ERROR] 
DotNetNuke.Services.Exceptions.Exceptions - DotNetNuke.Services.Exceptions.BasePortalException:
Please ensure the AppPool Identity is a User with non-readonly profile.
.Net 4.0 doesn't allow use of service accounts for decryption ---> System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException:
The profile for the user is a temporary profile.

Root Cause

The errors point to a temporary profile that MS Windows has created when it was unable to read the user profile files.  Usually, users may not notice it happened until they run into some issues, like the DNN account not being able to perform administrative operations. 

Looking at the C:\USER folder, there is no subfolder for the account that the user logged in with (which is the product default procedure). Instead, there is a private temp folder. In summary:


Follow the steps below to fix this issue:

  1. Restart the Server, in order to release potential locks on the file system, specific to the corrupted profile user.
  2. Connect to the Windows Server using an Administrative user account.
  3. Delete the Temp subfolder: C:\users\Temp <===
  4. Open the Registry Editor.
  5. Back up the Registry entries, so it is possible to restore them in case of any problem.
  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
  7. Go through each subfolder under ProfileList to find the key ProfileImagePath that contains the corrupted path folder (c:\users\temp) .
  8. Take note of the subfolder key string name (e.g. S-1-5-21-3781269710-2253848316-4214219372-10197).
  9. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileGUID and delete the subfolder with the same key string name noted in previous step.
  10. Go back to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and delete the key string subfolder.


  • Log out from the system and log back in with the user account which was found corrupted.  
    • It should now create a proper profile folder under c:\users directory.


Content Author: Marko Manchev



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