I've had Chrome installed on the Windows 7 PC I use at work for quite a while now. Everything was great until recently, when our IT department decided to roll out Chrome to everyone. My understanding is that they decided to lock down a few settings, like the home page/new window behavior, at that time.
The IT department subsequently decided not to roll out Chrome to everyone, but now whenever I use Chrome I find that it selects (seemingly randomly) between two different profiles, each one having its own history, bookmarks, extensions, etc. One of those also has certain settings (like homepage) locked down; the other one doesn't. I find that the switch occurs when I launch a new window, but only sometimes; and sometimes I'll end up with two Chrome icons on the taskbar, which later on combine all by themselves.
I've done enough sleuthing to find out that the two profiles it's selecting between are located at C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data and C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Chrome. My actual Chrome "user" within each of the profiles is the default one (which is the only one, according to Chrome Settings).
Why does this happen, and how can I fix it? My IT department is as mystified as I am.
(I took a stab at cleaning out one of those profile directories and making it read-only, to see what would happen; I then found out that new Chrome windows would just fail silently if they were targeting that profile.)