Corrupt Roaming Profiles
I am using Roaming profiles at the School and sometimes when users login there are no icons on the desktop and the start menu only has Internet Explorer and the Accessories folder. To fix this problem I usually delete the profile on the affected PC and delete the profile on the Windows 2008 R2 Server. Then when the user logins in again, the desktop icons appear and the start menu shows all the available programs.
I use group policies to redirect the start menu, desktop and other folders to decrease the size of the profile folder to increase the login speed.
I would like to know why this happens because it seems to happen randomly and affects random users? Is there anything I can do stop roaming profiles from corrupting?
This used to happen a lot for us (XP,2003) in the end we abandoned roaming profiles. I maybe wrong but that is the consensus on edugeek?
I've used roaming profiles with XP and 7. The only issues I've had is when they get too big.
Believe it or not iTunes is the worst for it. I'll have to remember to add in a folder exception to prevent it being re-synced with the server!
Best advice is to have a look at the event viewer for profile related errors. Other possibly reasons are permissions on the Profiles$ share. You could/should also specify a new name for the profile - something as simple as \\Servername\Profiles$\username1 for example in Active Directory.
Use a tool like treesize to see which folders are growing too big and if possible exclude them from roaming.
Also redirecting AppData, while it may seem like a good idea, generally encourages corruption and data loss since most apps assume it is local, rather than redirected. So don't do it. (you didn't say that you did, but it seems likely hat you'll have considered it)
Finally have you installed the Hotfix Rollup for Windows 7? It contains hotfixes which solved profile corruption for us.
An enterprise hotfix rollup is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1