Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), and Windows 2000 SP4 checks for correct permissions on pre-created roaming profile folders, and do NOT permit roaming if the permissions are not what Windows requires.

Windows Server 2003 will consider the folder legitimate if the user or the Administrators group is the owner of the folder, or if the Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders policy is Enabled.

When a user logs on and the roaming profile folder is not legitimate, the System event log records an error and the user receives :

Windows did not load your roaming profile and is attempting to log you on with your local profile. Changes to the profile will not be copied to the server when you logoff. Windows did not load your profile because a server copy of the profile folder already exists that does not have the correct security. Either the current user or the Administrator's group must be the owner of the folder. Contact your network administrator.

The Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders policy is located at:

Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / User Profiles