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
After you log on to a Windows Vista or Windows 7-based system, you may notice that a temporary profile has been loaded instead of the ‘expected’ profile that corresponds to the current user. Therefore, any changes that you make to the current desktop are lost after you log off the system. Additionally, the notification area may display the following 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.”
Finally, the following event is logged in the Application log:
Log Name: Application
Source: Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
Event ID: 1511
Task Category: None
Description: Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off.
This problem occurs if the current user's profile cannot be located or is unreadable. The causes of that may be because the profile was accidentally deleted from the system or has become corrupt. In my case I found that there was evidence of a virus infection on the system which may have been at the root of this.
Important This section contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to backup and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.
To resolve this problem, follow these steps:
- Log on to the system using an account which has administrative privileges and is other than the user account that is experiencing the problem.
- Create a backup of all data in the current user's profile folder if the profile folder still exists. For this step I used the Windows Easy Transfer app which worked a treat in my case. When the backup’s been completed go ahead and delete the profile folder. By default, the profile resides in the following location:
- Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
- If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
- Locate the following registry subkey:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
- Under the ProfileList subkey, delete the subkey that is named SID.bak.
- Note SID is a placeholder for the security identifier (SID) of the user account that is experiencing the problem. The SID.bak subkey should contain a ProfileImagePath registry entry that points to the original profile folder of the user account that is experiencing the problem.
- Exit Registry Editor.
- Log off the system.
- Log on to the system again.
- After you log on to the system, the profile folder is re-created and is, therefore, empty.
- Restore from the backup that was created in step 2 to recover the user data.