Solutions Through IT

October 14, 2013

Windows 7 and XP Profile Won’t Load. Profile status set to Backup

Filed under: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows XP — solutionsthroughit @ 10:22

I’ve had this issue twice in one day, and have seen it at least once before.  User profile will not load (Windows 7) or user profile appears to be blank/temp (Windows XP).

When I have checked the profile status (Advanced Computer settings, User Profiles) the profile is set to Backup (instead of local / roaming etc.).  In theory, you should simply have to reboot the computer and this will work.  If you’re reading this, then I’m guessing the first, second and seventeenth time you tried this, it didn’t work.

Standard Disclaimer: Backup your computer & data, don’t try this at home without professional supervision, Errors and Exceptions Omitted, I am not an astronaut, you do this at your OWN RISK.

The following steps are taken from KB 947215, which also has additional steps for recovery – see below in references, although these are recovery, and not repair as per the process below.  Read everything twice, before making changes, and screen capture / take notes of what you change so that you can change it back if you get it wrong.

  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

  3. In the navigation pane, locate the folder that begins with S-1-5 (SID key) followed by a long number.
  4. Click each S-1-5 folder, locate the ProfileImagePath entry in the details pane, and then double-click to make sure that this is the user account profile that has the error.

    2705065

    • If you have two folders starting with S-1-5 followed by some long numbers and one of them ended with .bak, you have to rename the .bak folder. To do this, follow these steps:
      1. Right-click the folder without .bak, and then click Rename. Type .ba, and then press ENTER.

        2493038

      2. Right-click the folder that is named .bak, and then click Rename. Remove .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.

        2493039

      3. Right-click the folder that is named .ba, and then click Rename. Change the .ba to .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.

        2493040

    • If you have only one folder starting with S-1-5 that is followed by long numbers and ends with .bak. Right-click the folder, and then click Rename. Remove .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.
    • If you have two folders starting with S-1-5 followed by some long numbers and one of them ended with .bak, you have to rename the .bak folder. To do this, follow these steps:
      1. Right-click the folder without .bak, and then click Rename. Type .ba, and then press ENTER.

        2493038

      2. Right-click the folder that is named .bak, and then click Rename. Remove .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.

        2493039

      3. Right-click the folder that is named .ba, and then click Rename. Change the .ba to .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.

        2493040

    • If you have only one folder starting with S-1-5 that is followed by long numbers and ends with .bak. Right-click the folder, and then click Rename. Remove .bak at the end of the folder name, and then press ENTER.
  5. Double-click the folder without .bak in the details pane, double-click RefCount, type 0, and then click OK.

    2493045

  6. Click the folder without .bak, in the details pane, double-click State, type 0, and then click OK.

    2493046

  7. Close Registry Editor.
  8. Restart the computer.
  9. Log on again with your account.

References:

The Micro IT Blog pointed me in the direction of the Microsoft KB article.

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5 Comments »

  1. over 3 years later and this still works and helped me! Thanks

    Comment by Alex — December 21, 2016 @ 22:13

  2. This works at treat. Thanks for sharing your fix!

    Comment by JimmyJam — October 10, 2014 @ 02:59

  3. This was the only article that recommended modifying State and RefCount. This fixed it for me. Thank you.

    Comment by Jason Mehrvarz — May 1, 2014 @ 06:39

  4. Thanks for this great post, after trawling the internet for hours to fix my corrupted profile this has fixed it quickly and easily. Writing solutions when amending registry entries is one thing but doing it in a clear and concise manner is rare. Thanks again.

    Comment by Chris Lees — February 22, 2014 @ 19:36


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