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Windows 7: User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.



User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

Fix "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." Error in Windows 7
Published by Brink
11 Sep 2011
Default User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

Fix "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." Error in Windows 7

information   Information
A user profile is a collection of settings that make the computer look and work the way you want it to for a user account. It contains the account's settings for desktop backgrounds, screen savers, pointer preferences, sound settings, and other features. User profiles ensure that your personal preferences are used whenever you sign in to Windows.

A user profile is different from a user account, which you use to sign in to Windows. Each user account has at least one user profile associated with it.

This tutorial will show you how to fix when you log on to Windows 7 using a temporary profile, and get the following error message:

The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

This tutorial was updated from our Vista Forums tutorial created 02-10-2008:
The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded. - Vista Forums

For additional details on this user profile error, see also:
Error message: "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded

Note   Note
Known Causes:
  • The C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder was manually deleted instead of properly deleting the user account through User Accounts in the Control Panel. A user profile that is manually deleted does not remove the security identifier (SID) from the profile list in the registry. Since the SID is still present, Windows 7 will still try to load the profile by using the ProfileImagePath that points to a nonexistent path. Therefore, the profile cannot be loaded.
  • The C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder itself was manually renamed, instead of using the proper method in this tutorial.
  • An unknown issue with the user profile entering into a backup state occurred.
  • Corrupted user profile.
  • Occasionally, Windows 7 might not read your user profile correctly, for example, if your antivirus software is scanning your computer while you try to log on. Try restarting your computer and logging on with your user account again to resolve the issue before following the options below.





In Preparation:
Log On to an Administrator Account

NOTE: You must be logged on to another administrator account using either step below before you will be able to move on to either OPTION ONEor OPTION TWObelow.
1. To Log on to another Administrator account.
NOTE: If you do not have another Administrator account, then proceed to step 2.
A) Log off, and log on to an available administrator account that doesn't have this error.

B) Go to either OPTION ONEor OPTION TWObelow for what you would like to do.
OR

2. To Boot into "Safe Mode" and Use the built-in Administrator account
A) Using your "retail" Windows 7 installation disc or a created system repair disc, boot into Safe Mode.

B) Do either step C or D below depending if Safe Mode booted into the built-in Administrator account by default or not.
NOTE: If this user account with the user profile error was the only administrator account you had created or enabled, then Safe Mode may automatically boot into the built-in Administrator account.

C) If Safe Mode did not boot into the built-in Administrator account by default, then enable the built-in Administrator account, log off in Safe Mode, and log on to the built-in Administrator account to logon to that account in Safe Mode.

D) If Safe Mode did boot into the built-in Administrator account by default, then go to either OPTION ONE or OPTION TWO below for what you would like to do.
OR

3. To Enable the Built-in Administrator account at Boot
A) For how, see: How to Enable the Built-in Elevated "Administrator" Account from WinRE

B) When enabled, log in to the built-in Administrator account, and go to either OPTION ONE or OPTION TWO below for what you would like to do




OPTION ONE
To Fix the User Account Profile
1. Before starting, it is highly recommended that you create a system restore point in case you make a mistake while in the registry. This way you will easily be able to do a system restore to use the created restore point to undo the mistake.

2. Open the Start Menu, type regedit in the search box, and press Enter.

3. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

4. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below step 5A)
Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
5. In the left pane, click on a S-1-5 (SID) key with a long number.
A) In the right pane of the selected S-1-5 (SID) key, look at the Data value of ProfileImagePath to see if it is the user account (ex: Moderator) with the error.
User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.-sid_reg.jpg
B) If not, then repeat steps 5 and 5A until you have the correct S-1-5 (SID) key with a long number selected.

C) If it is, then continue on to step 6 or step 7 depending on if you have either one or two S-1-5 (SID) keys listed with the exact same long number. One without .bak, and one with .bak at the end.
6. If you have Two S-1-5 (SID) keys with the Same Long Numbers
NOTE: This is if you have two S-1-5 folders (SID key) with the exact same long numbers, but the second one has .bak at the end of the long numbers and the first one doesn't.
A) In the left pane, right click on the first (top) S-1-5..... folder (SID key) that does not have .bak at the end of the numbers and click Rename. (see screenshot below)
User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.-repair.jpg
B) Add .bk to the end of the numbers. (see screenshot below)
User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.-repair_bk.jpg
C) In the left pane, right click on the second S-1-5..... folder (SID key) with .bak at the end of the numbers and click Rename. (see screenshot below step 6B)

D) Remove only .bak from the end of the numbers and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 6B)

E) Now go back and Rename the first one with .bk to .bak now at the end of the numbers and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.-repar_bak.jpg
F) Go to step 8.
7. If you have Only One S-1-5 (SID) key with .bak
NOTE: This is if you have only one S-1-5 folder (SID key) with long numbers and ended with .bak.
A) In the left pane, right click on the S-1-5..... folder (SID key) with .bak at the end of the numbers and click Rename. (see screenshot below step 7B)

B) Remove only .bak at the end of the numbers and press Enter. (see screenshot below and below step 10)
User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.-repair_reg2.jpg
8. In the right pane of the one without .bak now, right click on RefCount and click on Modify. (see screenshot below step 10)
NOTE: If you do not have RefCount, then right click on a empty space in the right pane and click New and DWORD (32 bit) Value, then type RefCount and press Enter. This value for this entry will reset and return back to the original value after you have restarted the computer and logged on to the account.
A) Type 0 (number) and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Modify_RefCount.jpg
Views: 289233
Size:  31.1 KB
9. In the right pane of the one without .bak now, right click on State and click on Modify. (see screenshot below step 10)
NOTE: This value for this entry will reset and return back to the original value after you have restarted the computer and logged on to the account.
A) Type 0 (number) and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Modify_State.jpg
Views: 288540
Size:  30.6 KB
10. The registry will now look like this for the one without .bak now. (see screenshot below)
Click image for larger version

Name:	Repair_Reg2.jpg
Views:	7594
Size:	162.2 KB
ID:	174926
11. Close regedit, and restart the computer.

12. See if you are able to log on to the use account now without getting this error.



Tip   Tip
If this still does not help, then either try:




OPTION TWO
To Delete the User Account and Create a New User Account

NOTE: This option is only if you do not care about losing the user account with this error and possibly all contents of it's C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder. Your programs will still be installed and unaffected.
1. Before starting, it is highly recommended that you create a system restore point in case you make a mistake while in the registry. This way you will easily be able to do a system restore to use the created restore point to undo the mistake.

2. Create a new user account that is the same type (standard or administrator) as the user account with this error.

3. If you are able to, you could copy the contents of the user folders from the old user account's C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder with the error into the new account's (step 2) C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder. Be sure to also copy any shortcuts in the Start Menu from the old user account into the new user account as well.

4. In User Accounts from the Control Panel, delete the user account with the error.

5. Open the Start Menu, type regedit in the search box, and press Enter.

6. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

7. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below step 8A)
Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
8. In the left pane, click on a S-1-5 (SID) key with a long number.
A) In the right pane of the selected S-1-5 (SID) key, look at the Data value of ProfileImagePath to see if it is the user account (ex: Moderator) with the error.
Click image for larger version

Name:	SID_Reg.jpg
Views:	12203
Size:	63.1 KB
ID:	174929
B) If not, then repeat steps 8 and 8A until you have the correct S-1-5 (SID) key with a long number selected.

C) If it is, then continue on to step 9.
9. Right click on the selected SID key with the long number, and click on Delete.

10. Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Confirm.jpg
Views: 287944
Size:  12.8 KB
11. If there is another SID key directly below the selected SID key (step 9) with the exact same long number with .bak at the end, then right click on this same SID key with .bak on it, and click on Delete. (see screenshot below)
Click image for larger version

Name:	Repair.jpg
Views:	8582
Size:	171.8 KB
ID:	174923

A) Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Confirm.jpg
Views: 287944
Size:  12.8 KB
12. When finished, close regedit.

13. Restart the computer, and log on to your new account.
That's it,
Shawn






Published by
07 May 2012   #1
Parslip

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 
Optional cause

I work in an IT department in a school district, and we've run across this error message in conjunction with a full hard drive. We have software we didn't realize was dumping 300 megs of data into each new user profile, and after hundreds of students had logged in, the machines completely ran out of space.

I don't know how common this issue would be for home users, but for all those school districts out there this could be handy to know.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2012   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Parslip, and welcome to Seven Forums. Thank you for the addition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #3
Batroo

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 

I get this message when I only have one Admin account and I go into the User creation under the control panel and create a new one and try to log into it, any help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 May 2012   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Batroo,

If this just started to happen recently, then you might see if doing a system restore at boot using a restore point (if available) dated before this started may help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #5
Batroo

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Batroo,

If this just started to happen recently, then you might see if doing a system restore at boot using a restore point (if available) dated before this started may help.
Before I do the System restore, I do have a question. Could what Parslip said be what's happening, I have a 1.5TB HDD with about 800gigs of that filled, and if I'm understanding what he's saying, when I open the new account, I'm basically doubling that to 1.6TB's which I do not have enough space for.

Also this is the first time I've tried creating a new User account, so I don't know of a restore point that would help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Simply creating a new user account wouldn't double your HDD space at all. A new user account may add around 50 MB plus whatever you save in it's C:\Users\(user-name) folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #7
Batroo

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Simply creating a new user account wouldn't double your HDD space at all. A new user account may add around 50 MB plus whatever you save in it's C:\Users\(user-name) folders.
Ah ok, I was looking through the Event Viewer to see if it had anything that could help and the error it gave me was Event ID 1500

"Windows cannot log you on because your profile cannot be loaded. Check that you are connected to the network, and that your network is functioning correctly.

DETAIL - The system cannot find the file specified."

And Event ID 1511

"Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #8
Janhar

vista 32
 
 
Simple solution for me hope it works for you

After 48 hours struggling with this probem of the new user profile failing to load and visiting forums for vista everywhere and fiddling with my registry as described above, which led me to hell and back, I finally found a little paragraph somewhere in a blog. It said switch off windows defender - restart computer and then switch off every bit of Norton Security...then create the new user profile and load it, then put your Norton and Windows defender back on. IT WORKED.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2012   #9
Bobbio0913

Windows 7
 
 

I've tried the registry fix shown with no luck. System won't allow me change the entries. Plus, I've got 4 long S-1-5 strings. One ends in .ba, one in .bak, the other two just a number. Any ideas?? This is my 2nd registry fix on a 6 month old computer. Little frustrated. The store that sold it says $200 to replace OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.




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