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Temporary Profile Error

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#1 srossi


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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:27 PM

About a week ago I booted my PC and saw that it was "preparing my desktop" and then got a message that I had been logged in with a temporary profile.  I shut down and re-started and my old desktop was there.  This now happens every single time I turn on my PC.  I get the temporary profile the first time, the correct profile the 2nd time.

Last night I used the advice here to try to correct the problem: http://www.sysprobs.com/fix-temporary-profile-windows-7 

First, I tried to repair the corrupted files by clicking on the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" option.  Nothing out of the ordinary was found.

Then I went into the registry editor and followed the instructions to rename the new profile key and delete ".bak" from the correct profile key.  This seemed to work as I was able to log into my correct desktop a couple of times in a row, but today it's more of the same.  

I have backed up all of my data just in case one day I'm not able to get into my correct desktop at all, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.  Any other ideas of how to permanently fix this issue?  Thank you!

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 01 November 2017 - 05:35 PM

I believe in following MS guidance re problems...where such is a typical problem.


See Here.




Files...can become...do become corrupted/damaged all the time.  There is no "fix" that can prevent such, there are only steps which can be taken to recover from such.

Edited by hamluis, 01 November 2017 - 05:37 PM.

#3 joseibarra


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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:43 AM

The symptoms you describe is a corrupted user profile.


That Registry "fix" is for when you see a message like this:


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


The Microsoft article for that is here:




That is not the same thing as a corrupted user profile - and the solution is not the same.


You cannot "fix" a corrupted user profile but sometimes Windows seems to be able to login okay on a subsequent reboot but if the issue becomes chronic then you can consider creating a new user profile (a new Windows user) and then you can copy the data from the afflicted/suspicious user profile to the new user profile and be on your way.


You need to be sure about which problem you have so you can apply the solution specific to the problem.


Another symptom of a corrupted user profile is when Windows logs you into a temporary profile the desktop will not have all the icons and things you are used to seeing and it will appear that all of your personal files (documents, images, pictures, music, etc.) are missing creating some panic...  but those personal files are not really missing at all.


There is a quick way to tell (using a Command Prompt window) if Windows has logged you into a temporary profile and here are some notes that tell you how to do that and then what to do about it.


When your user profile is corrupted Windows will log you in to a temporary profile and that temporary profile is not going to have any of the things that you are used to seeing - but you can usually recover everything missing from a corrupted user profile.

When you login you might briefly see a message "Preparing your desktop" followed by a message like this:



That message will fade away leaving you with a desktop with just a few icons - maybe all you see are a few basic things like a Recycle Bin.

A temporary profile does not last...  as soon as you shutdown or logoff the temporary profile is deleted and when you restart your system or login again you will see the same thing again (a good thing to test).

Sometimes the problem is temporary and if you restart your system a few times things might start working again (lucky you) but if that does not work you are going to have to create a new Windows user and copy parts of the afflicted user profile to the new
user profile.

Another quick test to verify the problem of a corrupted user profile is to open a Command Prompt window and see what the prompt says:

Open a Command Prompt window and tell us what the prompt says:




Normally the Command Prompt window will open in the Users folder that belongs to that user like this for user Jose:


If the prompt looks like this, it means your login profile is corrupted and you have been logged in to a temporary profile (it says TEMP):




When you open a Command Prompt window what does your prompt say?

Enter 'exit' to close the Command Prompt window.


If your user profile is corrupted and fails repeatedly to login, you cannot fix or salvage it - you must create a new Windows user account and copy most (not all) of the files from your corrupted profile to the new user account and then use that new account
from now on.


Microsoft has an article that tells you how to do that:




The problem is that one of these files in the afflicted user profile is corrupted so don't copy these to the new user account:


  • Ntuser.dat
  • Ntuser.dat.log
  • Ntuser.ini

One of those files has the corruption in it so you don't want to bring those corrupted files (or any that look like it) into the new user account you have created.

For example you would NOT want to copy files that looks like these from the corrupted profile into the new profile:


Edited by joseibarra, 02 November 2017 - 02:46 AM.

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#4 sr8031


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Posted 08 February 2018 - 03:57 PM

I am having same temporary profile issue. The reboot isn't fixing it. My neighbor, computer technician, reinstalled the Windows 7 _64 bit  operating factory settings. Problem reoccurred about 4 days after that. I've been doing system restore to try and fix but even that is a temporary fix. My neighbor is wondering if problem is corrupted hard drive   so he plans on testing hard drive this weekend.


Regarding creating a new profile, Hewlett Packard tech support did that about 2 years ago. It worked fine but then suddenly within last month...same temporary profile started again. This is such a inconvenience and I never encountered this problem during the over 15 years that I've been using computers.


I am also wondering if a virus could be causing the temporary profile to load? I've also noticed that even updating Norton virus definitions and rebooting causes the problem. Also software installs might be causing problem. I am just perplexed.


Any feedback would be appreciated.


Thank you

Edited by sr8031, 08 February 2018 - 03:58 PM.

#5 srossi

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:00 PM

Unfortunately I wound up just buying a new PC.  I attempted every "fix" I read about and it would work fine for a couple of days, maybe a of couple weeks, but the problem kept persisting.  The good news is that it's only an annoyance and not anything that seemed to be a genuine risk to my data.  Even when I was logged into the wrong profile, I could find all of my documents, pictures, etc. somewhere if I searched around for them, and if I shut down and re-booted the correct profile would always come up the next time.  The bad news is that once this starts happening it appears to be fairly permanent and even if you think you've fixed the issue, it creeps up again shortly after.     

#6 opera


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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:05 AM

This can be related to security software and a 'race issue' at boot to see which thing loads first. Sometimes the av prevents things loading in correct order and you get the temp profile issue.


If it's a temp profile issue (not a corrupt user profile) you don't need to shutdown and boot again.. just select log off instead and you should then be offered a choice of profiles to log into, your reall one or the temp one

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