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

Chances are if you are reading this post then you have encountered the following error whilst trying to login to your windows account.

The user profile service failed the login. User profile cannot be loaded

profileService

Cause

This seems to happen if the user profile becomes corrupted. This could happen because of multiple reasons, the most common in my experiance have been

  • Failed Updates
  • Not properly logging of and shutting down
  • A program failed to install

The list goes on.

Solution

To solve this issue I have only ever needed to modify some registry keys. Although this may sound daunting to some it is actually quite simple. To start all you need is access to an admin account on the affected computer. If you don’t have an admin account you can log into then you can unlock the hidden admin account (yes there’s a hidden admin account).

How to unlock the hidden admin account

– Vista
Boot into Safemode (repeatedly tap F8 at start-up and select Safemode)
Click the account named administrator

– Windows 7
Boot the computer using a Windows 7 boot CD (recovery disc) which may have come with your machine,
Open Command prompt (press Shift + F10 once loaded)
Type

net user administrator /active:yes

Remove the CD and reboot
Click the account named administrator

Editing the registry key

Now you have access to an administrator account we can start.

  • Click Start
  • Type Regedit and press enter
  • Click yes if prompted
  • Now Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Hkey_local_machine
  • Then Expand SOFTWARE
  • Now Expand Microsoft
  • Then Expand WindowsNT
  • Now Expand CurrentVersion
  • Then Expand ProfileList
    HLMSoftwareProfileList
  • Hopefully you should see two items (keys) with the same name but one has .bak on the end. Delete the one that doesn’t (in the image it would be the one ending 1003 NOT the one ending 1003.bak)
  • Now right click the one ending with .bak and click rename
  • Delete the .bak from the name

Now you should be able to log off and log on as the affected user with no error.

Lock the administrator account

If you needed to unlock the admin account on Windows 7 as per the above instructions then it is highly advisable that you lock the account. Should this account become corrupted and your normal admin account is corrupted to then you will have no choice but to restore the computer or even recover it to the factory settings.

To lock the account do the following

Boot the computer using a Windows 7 boot CD (recovery disc) which may have come with your machine,
Open Command prompt (press Shift + F10 once loaded)
Type

net user administrator /active:no

Remove the CD and reboot

 

That’s it, now you should be sorted, if not just make a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out 😀

CygnusH33L

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