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Windows 7: can't access User Accounts or log into Safe Mode or change anything

13 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 x64 home
can't access User Accounts or log into Safe Mode or change anything

I received a message that I had logged into a temporary account and in order to save my work I had to change users.

The problem is: I cannot do ANYTHING. If I log off and try to log on as a different user, the only active icon is my regular account (david) and the ADMIN icon is grayed out. I cannot access User Accounts; I cannot log into Safe Mode; I cannot access msconfig.exe; I cannot do a system restore, I cannot change anything in REGEDIT; I cannot install a program.

For almost anything I try to do, I get a window that says, “Do you want to allow XXXX to make changes to your computer?” and the “YES” button is grayed out.

There are six temporary user accounts. Five are empty, the sixth one appears to be the one I’m logging into. When I log off and try to switch users, the sixth one does not have an icon.

I have a SATA USB drive attached that has some of my programs. Now, when I boot, Windows usually does not recognize it. Sometimes, it does. When it does not, I can access many of the programs on it by going to \users\david\desktop\startup. David is my user name

I downloaded and burned a "Windows 7 Rescue Disk 64 Bit" CD, but it appears to be the same thing as the Windows installation CD. I have not doene anything with it. -- I don’t want to re-install all of the applications (like Office, Firefox, and Thunderbird) on the C:\ drive.

I've downloaded, burned CDs, and looked at 11 "rescue" CDs, but haven't found anything that helped. What else can I do?

Windows 7 x64 Home, 100 gig SSHD with 30 gig free, Intel i-5 2 core 3.3 GHz, 8 gig memory, MalwareBytes AntiMalware shows no problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2014   #2


Hello Davicolb,

I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing this and let's try to resolve it as soon as possible.

For troubleshooting steps, please follow the instructions listed on this following link:
A temporary profile is loaded after you log on to a Windows Vista-based system

Does the issue then still occur?

Thank you,
Vinny Buxton
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2014   #3

Windows 7 x64 home

Thanks for your reply, Vinny. Re Step 1: In Windows Explorer under C:\ users, there are three accounts: david, public, and temporary. Actually, there are six temporary accounts, but five are empty directories. I muist be booting into the non-empty C:\users\temp.david-DesktopPC.005 account. If I try to switch users by logging off , the log on screen shows “david” and “Administrator”, but the Admin account is grayed out. I cannot do anything by going to Control Panel\User Accounts. Re Step 2: I backed up the C:\users\david directory, just in case, but I don’t think that it will be useful. Re: Step 3. I can access the registry without a password, but I cannot change anything. (But see below) Re: Steps 4 and 5: Just for the record, there are 5 keys under in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. The first three are “s-a-5-18”, “s-a-5-19”, and “s-a-5-20”. Under “s-5-21…etc...…”, the profile image path is “C:\Users\TEMP.David-DesktopPC.005” where David-DesktopPC is the name of the computer. Under “s-5-21….etc.…bak”, the profile image path is “C:\Users\David”. Should not the two should be the reverse? Perhaps I should change “C:\Users\TEMP.David-DesktopPC.005” to “C:\Users\David” and then delete the bak key? It looks like I CAN delete the bak key, but I have not yet tried to do so it since I am logged on as David, the instruction is to change user before proceeding, and I don’t want to cause a bigger problem. And remember, I cannot change users. Just for the record, the entries in the two keys are the same, except for the profile image paths given above and: 1. The “reference count” in bak is 000 000 000 (0), the original is 000 000 000 (1); 2. The “Run Log On Script” [ 000 000 000 (0) ] is in the bak key but not in the original; 3. The two SIDs are different, of course; and 4. The “State” of the bak is 000 000 000 (32769) and the original is 000 000 000 (18948) The extra zeroes in the keys is my doing so I could count the zeroes. :>) Comment: Hiren’s Boot CD has something called “MiniXP” that can load a stripped down version of XP [ what else would it be? :>) ]. If worse came to worse, I probably could boot with it and modify the registry with it. I haven’t tried it. I don't want to cause more problems.. So -- Should I go ahead and delete the .bak key although I cannot change users? And change the profile image path as mentioned above? Thank you for helping me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2014   #4


Hello Davicolb,

Is your account 'David' an administrator on the system? If not, are you able to make it an administrator.
Change a user's account type - Windows Help

It will be safe to follow the Registry steps listed on the webpage I gave you, as it was written by Microsoft. A good idea would be to back-up your registry though. How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Thank you,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 can't access User Accounts or log into Safe Mode or change anything

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