User Profile Cannot be Loaded

  • Thread starter Mr. Home Compter Man
  • Start date


Mr. Home Compter Man

I purchased a new Dell computer with Windows Vista Home Premium and set it up
a couple of weeks ago. I use the computer at home and use a dial-up service.
It was working fine until today when I tried to logon and was unable to
logon. This message kept appearing:

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

I saw another discussion item along this line, but I am not entirely sure
how to follow it. The person referred to F8 and using a safe mode. Can
someone explain it in a litttle more detail for someone who is not a computer
guru? Thanks.




When you first press your start button (power button on the machine) right
before any windows related messages appear, press F12 button. For a brief
moment you should actually see: F2 - something and F12 - boot menu.
You may actually try to do it a few times if you missed the moment. Also I
am not
quite sure if it is F8, most likely it is F12 - boot menu.
You will get a black screen with a few options. You will have to select them
with UP and Down arrows. There will be an options Run In Safe Mode. Click

It takes some time to navigate through subsequent instructions because
people who write them usually lapse in technical slang that creates
ambiguities in a lay mind. But it is doable.

Mr. Home Compter Man


Thanks for your detail reply. I will try the procedure and hope that it



I've just had this problem on my computer, and I just fixed it.
It seems to be caused by a horrendous bug in Vista that renames your User
Account Profile as a backup, and then creates a new user account with the
same name but with nothing in it.
I googled it and followed several bits of advice but none of them worked,
but I managed to fix it with a combination of ideas.
This is how I did it:

1. Boot up in Safe Mode. To do this, hit the F8 key while the computer is
booting, and then scroll down to the "Safe Mode" option and press enter. On
my computer the user account icon appeared, but bigger than normal, and I
clicked it and it loaded my desktop in safe mode. It came up with an error
bubble saying that my user account hadn't loaded properly, but i just ignored

2. Click the Start Button and in the white "Start Search" space at the
bottom type "regedit" (without the quotation marks). This will open the
registry editor.

3. In the left-hand pane, navigate by clicking the little triangles next to
the following folders:
Windows NT

You should now have a list of folders all starting with S-1-5- and then a
(You might need to drag the divider between the 2 panes of the window across
so you can read the whole folder name)
Look at the end of each name and you should see one with .bak at the end of
it, and there will be another one above it with exactly the same name but
without .bak at the end.
The one that's got .bak at the end is your old User Profile that Vista has
now made into a backup, and the one without .bak after it is the new empty
User Profile that Vista has created.
Just to check that this is the case, have a look in the right-hand pane for
each of the 2 folders and look at what's written after "ProfileImagePath".
For the folder with .bak at the end it should say C:\Users\ and then your
usual User Account name, and for the one that doesn't have .bak at the end it
should say C:\Users\TEMP.

What you need to do now is to rename the folders in the left-hand pane so
that the one with .bak at the end changes back to being the one containing
your proper User Profile and the new one without .bak at the end becomes the
backup. Do do this follow the next step:

4. Right click on the folder with .bak at the end and then click "rename",
and just change the ".bak" part to ".bk" - i.e. just remove the "a" from the
middle - (this is just to allow you to change the other one to have .bak at
the end). Press enter or click on some blank part of the screen for the
change to take effect.
Then, right click the one that doesn't have .bak at the end and click
"rename". Remove the .bak from the end and press enter or click anywhere on
some blank part of the screen to accept the change.
Then, right click on the one that now has .bk at the end, choose "rename"
and add the "a" back into the middle, so it now has .bak at the end. Press
enter or click on blank park of screen to accept the change.
Close the regedit window.

5. Click the Start Button and then "Restart". It should work now. Fingers
crossed. :)




christine.dobson said:
am i reading this fix correctly?
point 4
change .bak to .bk
then click one that doesn't have .bak then remove .bak?
then change the one with bk to .bak

how can i remove .bak if it doesn't have it? and if I am supposed to
add it then but files would end up the same after changing .bk back to

sorry to be a dumb wit but I want to be clear before i start this fix
as I am allways nervous with thing like this that I know nothing about.
many thanks

As you say, those instructions don't look exactly correct, but I'd suspect
that the bigger picture is that you are essentially swapping the one that
doesn't end in 'bak' with the one that does, via a 'bk middleman'.

In other words, let's say you have 2 files or folders


and you want to swap their names

You can either go

1. a >> a.bk
2. a.bak >> a
3. a.bk >> a.bak


1. a.bak >> a.bk
2. a >> a.bak
3. a.bk >> a

It's like having a glass of orange juice and a glass of lemonade, and
wanting to transfer the contents of one to the other, using a spare third
glass. You could tip the lemonade first into the spare, and then the orange
juice to the emptied lemonade glass, and then finally from the
lemonade-filled spare into the other. OR you could start by pouring the
orange juice into the spare ....

Not sure if that makes matters clearer, or just makes you thirstier, but
hope it helps anyway.


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