Check your group policies/ default paths in the registry. They may not be in place/ piped differently because you may never have logged on to the nodes as the render user or limited user privileges in some way.
I have 20 nodes, each one has the same adobe folder infrastructure. Each machine has two loggins local admin and domain admin, both have been logged into.
Group policies and the registry tell me nothing of which helps my issue.
My problem is that the adobe instructions do not fit into the windows 7 folder structure.
I have in the building 40 machines and not one of them, running windows 7, has a folder called "Documents". Its "my Documents", and placing the licence file here does not activate the render only function.
Sounds strange. All it looks for is the user %My Documents% key in the registry and then resolves to whatever that folder is... Could be a bug of some sort, though. What language are you using? Perhaps an odd folder name throws it off...
it could be that network is using a roaming profile.
login as local machine administrator (machine_name\administrator) -> ensure the administrator account has a local profile. This can be found control panel -> system -> advanced -> user profile (select the local admin account and make sure the local profile is selected).
double check to make sure the node is running windows 7 is running SP1 (can check computer -> properties)
go to the cmd prompt (windows icon -> in search box -> cmd.exe)
at command prompt
notepad %PUBLIC%\Documents\Adobe\ae_render_only_node.txt -> it will ask if you want to create the file, answer yes, then get save & exit notepad
download/install trial version of After Effects CS6 -> select try it option during install.
after AE CS6 is installed, run bridge & select help -> updates (this will get all the fixes for after effects).
Hope it helps
edited for roaming profile & profile info.