User Profile Error - Logged on with a Temporary Profile

ByLine
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Synopsis
When you log on to Vista using a temporary profile (user account), and you receive this error message:
Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.
How to Fix the Error "Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile." in Vista and 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.

When you log on to Vista using a temporary profile (user account), and you receive this error message:

Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.

Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

For more information, see:
A temporary profile is loaded after you log on to a Windows Vista-based system

Tip   Tip
This problem usually occurs if the current user's profile was accidentally deleted from the system or got corrupted.
warning   Warning
If you have this error message below instead, then see: How to Fix the Error "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded."

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


EXAMPLE: Error Message in Windows 7
Windows7.jpg



STEP ONE
Log On to the Computer as an Administrator
warning   Warning
You must be logged on to an administrator account using either step 1 or 2 below before you can move on to do the STEP TWO section below.

1. To Log on to another Administrator account
NOTE: If you do not have another Administrator account, then proceed to step 2.​
A) Go to the STEP TWO section below.​

OR
2. To Boot into Safe Mode for the built-in Administrator account
NOTE: You may not need to enable the built-in Administrator account. If this was the only normal administrator account you had, then Safe Mode should automatically boot into the built-in Administrator account.​
Tip   Tip
If you cannot boot into Windows and do not have a Windows installation DVD, then you can create and use the boot disc below to boot into Safe Mode with instead.
Tip   Tip

Windows 7: (Option Two at link)
Vista: (Option One at link)
A) Boot into Safe Mode (in Vista) or Safe Mode (in Windows 7).​
B) If Safe Mode did not boot into the built-in Administrator​
account, then enable the built-in Administrator account. If it did , then go to step 2C.​
C) Log off in Safe Mode, and then log on to the built-in Administrator account to logon with that account in Safe Mode.​
D) Go to the STEP TWO section below.​

OR
3. To Enable the Built-in Administrator account at Boot
B) When enabled, log in to the built-in Administrator account, and go to the STEP TWO section below for what you would like to do​





STEP TWO
Delete the User Account Profile's SID Key

1. Backup anything that you do not want to lose in this user account's C:\Users\(user-name) profile folder, if the profile folder still exists, to another location, then delete the (user-name) profile folder.​
2. Open the Start menu.​
3. In the Start Menu search box, type regedit and press Enter.​
4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7).​
5. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 7)​
Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
6. In the left pane, click on one of the S-1-5..... folders (SID key) with the long number. (See screenshot below step 7)​
NOTE: It should have .bak at the end of it.​
A) In the right pane, look at the ProfileImagePath to see if this is the same user account that you deleted in step 1 above.​
B) Repeat step 6 until you find the one that you deleted in step 1 above.​

7. To Backup the Registry SID Key
WARNING: You should backup this SID key to be safe in case you delete the wrong one in step 8 below.​
A) Right click on the SID key from step 6, and click on Export.​
B) Type in a name and save the REG file to a safe location.​
NOTE: This is your backup. To Restore the Backup, right click on the REG backup file and click on Merge.​
C) Continue on to step 8.​
Repair.jpg


8. Right click on the SID key, from step 6 with bak at the end, and click on Delete. (see screenshot above)​
9. Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (See screenshot below)​
Confirm.jpg

10. If there is another SID key with the exact same long number from step 6 for this user account without bak at the end, repeat step 7 first, then right click on this same SID key, and click on Delete. (see screenshot below step 7)​
11. Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (See screenshot below step 9)​
12. Close regedit.​
13. Log off and log on.​
Note   Note
After you log on to the computer, the profile folder you are having problems with is re-created. If not, then try a System Restore using a restore point dated before you got this error. If this still does not help, then you will need to create a new account and restore the user folder files from the backup created at step 1.




That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hello Nshabib, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Did you try step 2 in the STEP ONE section to try and enable the built-in Administrator account while in Safe Mode?

If you are able to do this, you may be able to backup anything that you do not want to lose.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hi Shawn,

Thanks for the reply. I did try it, and it worked i now have an administrator account. however when i go into the users folder my old profile still isn't there. Its only when i search for a folder which i know was there (example, Itunes) does it come up. Then when i click on it, it says the link refers to a location that is not available. and that the information may have been moved to a different location.
 
That's ok Nshabib,

Go ahead and do the STEP TWO section from within the built-in Administrator account to try and restore your user account. :)
 
I tried to do step two but after i backed up the SID files ( i think thats what they are called) none of them had a .bak extension, since i backed them up i tried to delete them anyway but the system wouldnt let me delete them.
 
The computer does not have a restore point before the error, the oldest is today when it crashed again this morning. i have a feeling this computer is going to die on me very soon :shock:. i need to try and get to those files.. what i dont get is everytime i do a search it finds the files but i just cant access them.
 
I know this thread is massive but if someone could help me out, this would be great.

I have a slight idea why I'm getting this error; I was installing a driver for my printer. My laptop's battery is shot and my cat yanked the the power supply out of my laptop.

When I first tried to log in after it would show the Welcome screen forever. I had another account with regular access for my family. I managed to do a System Restore to before the point I tired to install the driver but now it logs me in with a temporary profile. My stuff still exists...I can access the data and backed it up.

I had two profiles on my computer, Family and Me. 'Me' had admin access and that was the one that's not working. I changed 'Family' access to admin.

Unfortunately, I skipped the first step and just deleted the .bak file. I'm able to log onto 'Family'.

Which user profile would I delete? 'Family' (the one that works) or 'Me' (the one I'm trying to restore)?

I would really really appreciate some help! I'm going to try and do another system restore, see if that helps. Any ideas or suggestions?
 
Hello Nevermored, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You want to use the STEP TWO section on your account since it's the corrupted account. Be sure to do it step by step to avoid having issues though.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hey,

I don't have an admisitrators login or a safe mode login!! I only have one login. I can't do anything past turn my computer on! I am kind of freaking out here, I have to do homework on my laptop today and I know absolutely nothing about computers!! I CAN'T lose the stuff that is saved under my login's documents/music! Please help!!!
 
Last edited:
Hi shawn as posted above you are life saver, im a college student with no money for a new laptop and this worked, now it wasn't the easiest considering i was worried i would screw something up but i don't think i did, i have two questions.
i couldn't delete everything from the C: drive with the username, i went in and deleted things one by one but got to the app data, a hidden file on the drive that i made visible, when i got to it and tried to delete it a pop up said something like, this is a system file and if deleted some things may not function correctly on the computer. so i did not touch it!!! what can i do to get rid of it (or should i leave it?)
second now rather then having one profile folder in the users section i have the original with only the app data folder. and i now have one that was renamed with my admin name followed by a . then the recovered account then a -pc so something like this BLANK.BLANk1-pc this one contains all the folders for the new or recovered account is there a way to correct this, now if not im absolutely ok with it, its not that big of a deal but im thinking i did something wrong and thats why that happened.

i believe this user temporary thing started when i downloaded a Christmas gift pc game and it installed it using the cmd which i had never had happen before, after this i played the game and found that my system wasn't capable of smooth playing and good graphics, i tried to delete it but couldn't find it in uninstall programs. so i found two different uninstall within the folder for the game, once i used both the game was still there and allowed me to play so what i did was just highlighted it and deleted it. then went into avg pc tuneup and ran a complete scan and it said there was errors on the hard disk that needed to be repaired so i ran it and thats when this started happening, i think it was the game because it only installed it on the problem account and happened right afterward.

also when i first went back into my computer, avg anti virus wasn't working it said some dll. file was missing. im not quite sure what happened so i repaired the avg and it works fine.

also all of my system restore points where deleted, so a lot instructions online wouldn't work because i wouldn't be able to do it

thanks again for the help. i use that account because i find my admin account to be much slower for some reason, i don't mess with the settings so i really don't know why?
 
Last edited:
Hello Colby, and welcome to Vista Forums.

For all of this, I would recommend to backup anything that you do not want to lose. If you are unable to access what you would like to backup, then see if using the option in the tutorial below may work to allow you to, but with Vista instead.
Afterwards, it may be best to do a factory recovery to reinstall Vista. :(

 
Here's the short story:
Suddenly, each time 'user' logged into Windows it created a new TEMP.User profile. 'User' was confused :confused: and could not find her files. Finally 'user' found her files and copied them to her 'My Documents' and 'Desktop' folders under her (temporary) profile. 'User' cleansed everything and made sure all files were now in their proper location, etc.
Satisfied 'user' went to bed and had a good night. Next morning 'user' booted her computer and was horrified :shock: to find out that all files were gone!
After reading everywhere I understand Windows deleted the temporary profile (and thus all files it contained!).
I could not find anywhere how to recover the files. Are the files hidden somewhere, in a hidden folder / volume ? Or the files are lost and I need to use an undelete tool? If that is the case, which tool is the best for this particular situation in your opinion / experience ? There are many, many such tools out there, perhaps one is better to handle this specific problem?
Thank you very much for your time and your help.
 
Hello Fmongeau, and welcome to Vista Forums.

While logged on to a temp profile, whatever is done will not be saved or remembered the next you log in to that temp profile. It's basically just a blank slate, that will always stay that way.

You'll need to use the tutorial on the first page of this thread to see if you may be able to restore the user's profile. Afterwards, you'll hopefully have the files back.
 
Brink, Thank you for your help and your prompt reply.
I did read the tutorial but step TWO.1 says that I should backup the files and then delete the profile folder. But there are no files in the profile folder (just the usual folders -Desktop, Documents, etc ...- but they are empty). I was worried that deleting the profile folder would worsen the problem (should I need to undelete the files). My solution, and I mention it here so that others can benefit from it should they need it, was ShadowExplorer. With this I could browse all of the restore points on the machine and salvage all the files. My take away is that we all really should turn on the System Restore feature (if it is not already), and use the full option ('Restore system settings and previous versions of files'), and allocate as much space as reasonable (possible) to System Restore.
Of course, the main, universal, always true lesson is: be disciplined about doing backups.
Cheers! :)
 
The tutorial doesn't actually delete the user folders, but delets the SID.bak registry key for the affected user profile in an attempt to rebuild and restore the profile afterwards upon restarting the computer.

If you're lucky, you could also use the method you mentioned with ShadowExplorer if you were only interested in trying to restore the files instead of both the user profile and files.

I agree that it would be best if everyone enabled system restore and allocated as much space as they could for restore points. It sure could save them when things go wrong. :)
 
You wrote "The tutorial doesn't actually delete the user folders, but deletes the SID.bak registry key for the affected user profile in an attempt to rebuild and restore the profile afterwards upon restarting the computer".

The tutorial [on the first page of this thread], on STEP TWO.1 says: "Backup anything that you do not want to lose in this user account's C:\Users\(user-name) profile folder, if the profile folder still exists, to another location, then delete the (user-name) profile folder" [emphasis mine].

I read this as deleting the user folders since these reside under C:\Users\(user-name), no ? I misunderstood?

Thanks.
 
Making a backup is a precautionary step to preserve the data in case something should go wrong. Normally, the user profile should be fully restored as it was after the tutorial.
 
Hi. My problem began when my laptop was updating and the power cord came out without me noticing, so it died in the middle of updating. When I turned it back on I got the "Preparing your Desktop..." and temporary profile messages. I followed the tutorial and it seemed to have worked (my profile returned after being deleted), but when I clicked my profile and logged on the "Preparing your Desktop" message came back. I was wondering if maybe I did something incorrectly? After deleting the .bak file I shut down the computer instead of logging off, maybe that was it? Any help is very appreciated.
 
Hello Mr. Duracraft, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Since you were doing an update, that would normally create a restore point by default before the updates were installed. You might see if you may be able to do a system restore using this restore point created before the updates to undo and hopefully fix this for you.
 
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