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Author Topic: Scary Windows error: Failure to log in to profile, loading of temp profile  (Read 4926 times)

mouser

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This morning I had a scary experience -- when i woke up and sat down to start work, my pc was at the login screen and when i tried to log in as my normal user, my desktop layout was completely changed, none of my startup apps ran, etc.  Then I saw an innocuous message in the system tray saying that my user profile could not be loaded and so a temp profile was created and loaded instead.

While this may sound like no big deal, what windows is really saying is: Something went badly wrong with your user files/registry and they are now corrupt and i don't even know how to let you start working..  It's better than a complete hd crash, but not much more informative.

After trying a few fixes found on the web along these lines: http://www.techsuppo...rofile-in-windows-7/

None worked, and I had to RESTORE my last known good user profile from a restore point.

Thankfully:
  • The last good restore point was only a couple of days old.
  • Since I just got back into town i have worked on the pc very very little since then.
  • I also had a full backup before my trip out of town that I could (still can) restore from if need be.
  • None of my important documents are actually in my C drive user profile so not end of world.
  • I have online backup of my user profile stuff (crashplan).

But this reminds me:
  • A severe HD crash and/or loss of data can happen at ANY TIME with NO WARNING.  Backup, and do it redundantly.

And:
  • I still have no idea why this happened -- that scares me.  Normally I replace the hd on first hint of HD corruption, but this is an expensive SSD and i still don't know if this was an HD issue or not.

Anyway, just a warning.. I've never seen this error before and I hope to never see it again.

Ath

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I've had a similar experience, a couple of years ago, and a simple reboot cured it at that time, probably because I had previously (a couple of days before) installed some funky display-link drivers (those are funky by default :'().
System has been working just fine after that, but the backup reminder is very valid :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Some other remarks:

I normally avoid (and warn people to stay away from) the System Restore stuff in Windows except as a very last resort -- I just don't trust it not to result in having some things restored to one version, and other files out of sync.
So I almost *ALWAYS* do a full system restore when I have a mystery situtation like this.
I may still do a full system restore -- but in this case it seemed like restoring just the User Profile to a point 2 days ago was pretty harmless, at least as a first try.
I may go back and try to figure out which file(s) got corrupted, if i can figure out how, using some file comparison tools.

Fyi here is my general recovery procedure when i encounter serious problems like this:
First, make sure you don't make situation WORSE, by making a full image of the BAD CORRUPT drive, if at all possible.  Put this someplace safe.
Second, if I am going to do a system restore from drive image / backup, do so on a NEW hd -- if you don't have a new hd you can use as your new hard drive, buy one.  If the restore is successful, this will be your new hd drive, and the suspicious one can go on the shelf marked as an untrustworthy backup.

wraith808

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I've had this happen before, and it wasn't anything as problematic as the drive or even needing to do a restore.  There was something in my profile that could not be accessed on startup, but needed to be accessed.

https://support.micr....com/en-us/kb/947215

In my case, it was my antivirus.  That's when I finally got rid of AVG.  But a host of other things can cause it.

And as to system restore... it's saved my life more than a few times.  Enough that I trust it in my toolbox of things i have in my back pocket and hopefully never need.

mouser

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There was something in my profile that could not be accessed on startup, but needed to be accessed.

that is infuriating that windows doesn't tell you WHAT in your profile is causing the problem!

x16wda

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How's the free space on the drive? I've seen that (on older boxes, anyway) when there's no space on C:. Of course that can be a temporary condition, but if you're on a comparatively small disk it's worth checking.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

mouser

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plenty of free space, no errors in chkdsk, no smart errors.

pip2kk

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Lots can cause this sort of issue.  I see it a lot dealing with domain environments.  I would highly doubt it's bad ssd or hardware related at all.

Stephen66515

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Lots can cause this sort of issue.  I see it a lot dealing with domain environments.  I would highly doubt it's bad ssd or hardware related at all.

I've had the issue quite a few times, and pretty much every single time it was simply a botched install of something, a botched update of something, or something that was required on startup had gone mad....every single time, a reboot was the cure to the problem and it started working just fine.

Backups are a good plan mouser, but, when it comes to the user profile problem...usually a reboot is all it takes - It may well have been something as simple as your PC has decided it would be a fun idea to try load one thing before another thing...when doing so would result in failure.

mouser

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yeah, reboots didn't help me.

Ath

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In my case, it was my antivirus.  That's when I finally got rid of AVG.
@mouser, didn't you say in another thread you are running AVG on (some of) your system(s)? :o

Stephen66515

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In my case, it was my antivirus.  That's when I finally got rid of AVG.
@mouser, didn't you say in another thread you are running AVG on (some of) your system(s)? :o

Good catch, he says it here: (Internal Forum Link): 365 day trial of AVG AntiVirus 2015

mouser

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Yes, I have run avg for a year -- this is the first time this has happened to me..

wraith808

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I had run it for a while also.  So much so, I'd bought licenses for the whole house.  To be clear, this isn't an AVG problem.  It's a problem of exclusive access to files, and how not having that access affects loading of the profile.

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There was something in my profile that could not be accessed on startup, but needed to be accessed.

that is infuriating that windows doesn't tell you WHAT in your profile is causing the problem!

So if you create a new clean login with its own profile, do you get the same error?

mouser

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wasn't happening with the admin profile/login.

wraith808

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wasn't happening with the admin profile/login.

But a little different than the admin profile- can you create a new user with it's new resulting profile?

One reason I ask is for troubleshooting, the other because you can copy parts of the user profile over the problematic one and recover it that way.

http://windows.micro...rofile#1TC=windows-7

Shades

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I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of bad sectors on your hard disk just yet. This error can also appear when (parts of) the registry aren't loaded on time.

CHKDSK may report that there are no errors, but I have learned that the outcome of running the CHKDSK command isn't that helpful.
Yes, it will mark bad sectors as bad sectors and use sectors that are intended as replacement. However, I got the feeling that it doesn't verify if the replacement sectors are any good.

In my case I had a hd with 6 partitions and the same error kept happening on that system. That got irritating pretty quick and Windows/CHKDSK kept telling me that all was fine with the HD. Common sense kicked in, so I shrunk the second partition so much that I had enough room to clone the first partition into the free space that was available.

After cloning I marked the clone as active and removed the drive letter from the previous first partition. In essence I disabled the first 10GByte of storage space on the HD.

In 3 years time this error didn't appear anymore and that database server still runs like new. CHKDSK and Windows may tell you everything is fine, but if this error keeps returning, use the trick above or use proper tools to investigate the state of your HD. Preferably with software such as MHDD that uses a cd/dvd/pen drive to boot.

Windows and CHKDSK are way too forgiving if you would ask me (and I know you didn't).

mouser

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can you create a new user with it's new resulting profile?
i'll try.

mouser

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Re: Scary Windows error: Failure to log in to profile, loading of temp profile
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2015, 11:39:23 AM »
Just fyi -- my solution was to restore to a recent full drive backup.