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Windows 7: nothing but temp accounts & systemprofile\desktop unavailable message


16 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 professional 6.1.7 SP1 64bit
 
 
nothing but temp accounts & systemprofile\desktop unavailable message

Hi everyone,
I know this issue is a popular evergreen. But Iīve done my best to go through this forum and all others to find advice - but this time everything Iīve read doesnīt help in my case. So once again a thread on temp accounts:

System:
- HP Elitebook 8540w
- Windows 7 professional x64 OEM
- local network with XP computers as work group
- I use the preinstalled system for a year now
- automatic Windows updates were disabled in the recent days
- system protected by Avast
Tweak:
- my personal account with admin rights (I call it "xxx") was on D:\users with a link in C:\users pointing to it (with mklink /d xxx "d:\Users\xxx")
this had always worked fine

Problem:
yesterday my system crashed in a BSOD when loading an online 3D viewer. Not the first bluescreen on this system, but for the first time with lasting effects: when I login to "xxx" I only get a temp account (blank default desktop) and the message that the path c:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\desktop is not accessible. This is still the case. Additionally all new accounts I create start up as temp accounts with the same message. Luckily the original admin account is still alright.

things I tried so far:
(all failed, logging into anything apart from "administrator" opens a temp account and brings up the systemprofile\desktop message!)

- many restarts (also safe mode)
- from admin account I copied my accountīs desktop into the systemprofile folder. This brought the desktop back but didnīt solve the problem or make sence. Other than in some threads I never had more than one desktop directory.
My systemprofile contains now:
· AppData (folder)
· ntuser.dat
· ntuser.dat.LOG
· ntuser.dat.LOG1
· ntuser.dat.LOG2
· ntuser.dat{6e9cb85a-7a02-11df-8dab-806e6f6e6963}.TM.blf
· ntuser.dat{6e9cb85a-7a02-11df-8dab-806e6f6e6963}.TMContainer00000000000000000001.regtrans-ms
· ntuser.dat{6e9cb85a-7a02-11df-8dab-806e6f6e6963}.TMContainer00000000000000000002.regtrans-ms
- from admin account I copied the "xxx" folder to C and erased the link
- step by step I went 3 system restore points back to earlier setups (maybe thatīs why the recommended BSOD dumper tool Windows_NT6_BSOD_v3.03_jcgriff2_.exe always got stuck when searching for drivers, although I let it run for over an hour)
- from admin I created new accounts (via control panel)
- from admin I killed the explorer, typed
set userprofile=c:\users\xxx
into the command prompt and restarted the system
- from admin I wanted to put the xxx content into a newly created account folder on C:\users - but they never get created since I canīt log into them (it will always open as temp account)
- occasionally after trying to start the xxx account I had a .bak behind itīs key in the registryīs ProfileList (I had always watched this entry). Taking this .bak away never made any difference, the same with adding it for renaming. I never had two versions of my account key (with and without .bak - so there never was an older one to overwrite the newer one) also setting the state key to zero made no difference
- also renaming the accountīs directory on C (without any link to D set) and deleting the corresponding SID didnīt help - no account apart from the original admin opens up correctly
- the second path (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList) was always updated together with the other RegKey, so I never changed that one
- finally I erased the whole xxx account on C (with backup still on D) and itīs complete key in the registryīs ProfileList (S-1-5-21-560... key) - in the hope that subsequently created accounts would work - no success!
- probably I forgot a few other things

when I type
net user yyy /add
into the command prompt the corresponding account is created and appears in the control panel and on the login screen - but like all newly created accounts it will open up as temp account with the known message - and because of that no directories will be created on C:\users

I didnīt boot in repair mode yet - maybe that should be the next step.

By now Iīd be happy to create ANY working account - even if I have to do all the tweaking of my old account from scratch again.

Any new ideas greatly appreciated from a burnt out mind! +_°


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Did you see this MS article: Fix a corrupted user profile
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 professional 6.1.7 SP1 64bit
 
 

Hello Ztrunker,
thanks a lot for your reply!
The advice this link provides unfortunately doesnīt help: itīs the most common advice to create a new profile and move the old profileīs data into it. But as I wrote: I CANNOT CREATE NEW PROFILES! Thatīs the real problem. All profiles I create (as admin) load as temporal profiles, so no folders in C:\users will ever appear (as well as no registry keys are created).

I might try the repair a F8 boot provides. And if that also doesnīt help I might have to do a repair install with the digital river ISO (linked here in the forum) since my OS CD is from HP.

What do you think?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Here is another possibility. It was written for XP but still applies to Vista and Windows 7.

Quote:
Before doing any of the following, make a backup of your registry. I suggest you install ERUNT to do this.

Your files are still there. Sounds like your user profile has lost it's connection with where it's data is stored. If you are comfortable with using regedit, try this by booting to Safe Mode by pressing F8 during boot. Login as Administrator, no password.

Note: For Windows 7 you may have to enable the hidden Administrator account first. To do this:

Open an Elevated Command Prompt
Type net user Administrator /active:yes and press Enter.

The key is a registry hack that redirects Windows back to the ProfileImagePath of the original profile.

Click on Start then Run. type <font color=red]regedit</font] and press Enter or click OK.

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

Once there, you will see the SID's listed for all of the profiles on the machine. Within the Key for each SID there is an entry called "ProfileImagePath" that will look like

C:\Users\UserName...

Scroll through the SID's until you find the one with the screwy name, like

C:\Users\youruserid.2

The .2 is just an example, could be something else weird.

Just edit the Key to remove the ".2", and it will point the user back to their old profile...
Got this from TechRepublic.com post by CGraham7 near bottom of thread.

Also some excellent information here: Get IT Done: Recover A Damaged Windows XP User Profile
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 professional 6.1.7 SP1 64bit
 
 

Hi all!
And thanks Ztrunker once again!

I still didnīt succeed with my problem.
Iīve been trying things all weekend long and found a variety of advices on the net. So far nothing helped. At some point I got so frustrated from the endless puzzle that I decided to recover my system from a 3 month old backup instead.

THIS I DO NOT RECOMMEND! Against all expectations I learned that despite the recovery itlelf succeeded I ended up having the same problem in this older system state as well! The malfunction must have "survived" the recovery because three months ago my system was fine and this horrible error had just appeared three days ago.

The difference is: instead of the message AFTER login "the user profile was not loaded correctly - logged on with a temporary profile" I get this one right ON THE LOGON SCREEN: "user Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded."

Now Iīm bringing my system back to itīs most recent state and during that I want to quickly share my collected notes of what other people found helpful:


i m p o r t a n t :
this incomplete list here is meant as nothing but an overview or inspiration! If you decide to go for any of these advices please follow the links for detailed descriptions!

general note:
- in most cases you should set your folder options to "Show hidden files and folders" and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files"
- if you have no administrator account on your login screen run command prompt as administrator and type
net user administrator /active:yes
to switch the built-in administrator account on (off is same command toggled to \active:no)


1.)
Many people can fix their temporal account problem by a system restore. Switch off your security programs. Be aware that in doubt older restore points might provide better chances!


2.)
If you still can create new accounts (that means: create their directories & registry keys by successfully logging into them!) you can move your old account into a new one
- as admin or in safe mode (or both) create new profile
- reboot (some say)
- login admin
- replace all content exept all files starting with "ntuser." of the new account with your corrupt accountīs data


3.)
There are several variations of regedit fixes out there. Very often SevenForumsīShawn alias Brink is linked with his really detailed descriptions (also recommended by Ztrunker):

A)
message: "user profile not loaded correctly - logged on with a temporary profile."
cause: accidentally deleted profile
- (if still existant: manually delete corrupt account in C:\users ->after backing up!)
- as admin or in safe mode (or both) go to Registry ProfileList
- remove the whole Key of the according profile (most likely with .bak extension)
- reboot

B)
message: "user Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded."
cause: probably manually deleted or renamed profile OR the result of a recovered system backup
- as admin or in safe mode (or both) go to Registry ProfileList:

-> if one profile (with .bak ending):
- remove the .bak ending
- set itīs RefCount and State Subkeys to zero
- reboot

-> if two profiles (with and without .bak):
- delete or rename the profile without .bak
- reactivate the other profile by taking away itīs .bak ending
- also set itīs RefCount and State Subkeys to zero and reboot


- - - - -


In my case none of the above methods worked. I was very happy to finally find Rob Brook-Bilsonīs page, since my problem resembles his descriptions very much:

+ his corrupt user account used to be on a different partition than the C:\ drive
+ his admin account still worked
+ newly created accounts will load with error messages as temporal accounts and therefore wonīt create user directories or registry keys.

In the replies different scenarios are described - but generally I experienced this thread as a great source for methods I had not come across elsewhere.

One basic understanding discussed here is that new accounts get created during the first login by using c:\users\default as a template. Many people here spotted their problemīs origin within this directory.
(find detailes descriptions under the given message numbers - the structure I made overlaps sometimes a bit)


4.)
RobBrooks-Bilson(Owner) Mark(#4) Jeff(#13) Bernd(#37) Anon(#49) jack(#52) JeffBoyd(#56) Dave(#64) Ed(#65)
#######################################################################

Have a close look at the event log!
event logs might state that filenames within c:\users\default are too long to copy or donīt have sufficient permissions set

RobBB:
in two directories he found several instances of the 'folder within the folder' (as I understood)
eg. c:\users\default\AppData\local\ApplicationData
or c:\users\default\localsettings\ApplicationData
deleting these additional subfolders made it possible to create new accounts again

other people found write protected files or folders within c:\users\default
#37 found a protected folder with useless temporary files and deleted it
#49 moved a protected folder from c:\users\default\AppData\ to
C:\Users\Default User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14
#4 #13 #52 #56 & #65 found microsoftīs own copy protected .sqm files in Windows Live subdirectories such as
C:\users\default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\SqmApi\
C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Bici\
#64 found a hint in the event log that his firewall prevented creations of new accounts


5.)
Brock Sampson(#9)
#######################################################################

turn off
- all security (anti virus)
- firewall
- UAC
creating new accounts worked


6.)
MartinStrasser(#54)
#######################################################################

Check the event viewer under applications and look for a 1509 event (warning) like
"Windows cannot copy file C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\....... "

Check out that this folder has sufficient permissions:
- Everyone Read& execute
- Users (local) Read& execute
- Administrators full control
- System full control


7.)
Charles(#21) Charles(#26) Julio(#34) Steven(#35) warwick(#40) jebise(#41) pheeek(#53) bobby(#60)
#######################################################################

generally increase permissions of C:\Users\Default as inheritable!
- (explorer Options: show hidden files, folders and drives)
- as admin or even better as admin in safe mode (according to pheeek)
- C:\Users\Default > properties > security tab > advanced > change permissions
- highlight problematic account
- check both radio boxes below "add"
"include inheritable..." &
"Replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object"
- apply & ok
check if folders and subfolders have read/execute permission for everyone
also check if the Everyone Group still exists


8.)
Scott(#5) Steve(#61) Eng.Mr(#66)
#######################################################################

copy a Default user profile from another computer to replace the local one


9.)
Amanda(#2)
#######################################################################

disable UAC (User Account Control) and DEP (Data Execution Prevention)
as they might prevent new accounts from creation
- disable UAC
- disable DEP by command prompt:
bcdedit.exe/set {current} nx AlwaysOff
- (optionally delete corrupted account)
- create new account
- restart system
[comment: to return back into original DEP state same shell command toggled to "AlwaysOn"]


10.)
Biggles(#10)
#######################################################################

if you have no profile key to your needed account in your registry
but find one pointing to an unused or manually deleted account
- in safe mode edit registry
- point ProfileImagePath of unused account to needed account
- set itīs RefCount and State Subkeys to zero
- (optionally delete corrupt Key ending with .bak)
- reboot


11.)
Kloepfer1(#39)
#######################################################################

if the account data is on a different disk check Disk Manager!
Possibly the disk has a wrong status
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 professional 6.1.7 SP1 64bit
 
 

Finally Iīve found the reason for all my troubles!!!
And it was right to put the focus to the Default User.

I found a screenshot on the net of what the Registry Keys in the ProfileList is supposed to look like. Actually all these days I had ignored that additionally to the keys UNDER the expanded ProfileList there are completely different Keys showing up on the right when ProfileList itself is selected.

Anyway, in here I found that my Key "Default" had the value

%SystemDrive%\Default

instead of

%SystemDrive%\Users\Default

With this changed I could create a new account, log into it and as adnimistrator replace everything in itīs directory exept the ntuser files with my corrupt accountīs content.

Conclusions:
1.)
My last postīs assumption must have been wrong: the mysterious error had not survived my backup recovery! Instead I must have had it all the time without knowing, right from the moment I had created my first account and tried to relocate it to D:\Users together with all accounts except the administrator. This had not worked and except for my personal account I copied everything back to C:\Users.
In this procedure something must have gone wrong - although the chosen method used symbolic links in C:\Users and did not use the registry. I never tried to create a new account since then and never realised the mistake.
2.)
five letters and a slash saved my life! For my situation the HP Support had nothing better to suggest than formatting my drive...


Thank you Ztrunker for replying me and giving me great input!
And thanks to everyone in this Forum for collecting and structuring all this exquisit knowledge! Just after my last post I found out that even Rob Brooks-Bilsonīs awsome Page had already been linked by Shawn on his "failed logon" thread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 nothing but temp accounts & systemprofile\desktop unavailable message




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