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There are many annoying things that can happen with your Windows installation, but one of the most annoying bugs is a corrupted user profile.
If you receive an error message indicating that your user profile is corrupt, the solution is to create a new user and copy your current user’s files to the new account.
The Cause of this Error
This error is known to be due to one of the following causes:
Cause 1: The user profile is corrupted or missing…
Failure of Windows updates or automatic Windows updates that involve updating critical system files (especially service pack installations) that update the user’s profile may cause this error.
Cause 2: File system integrity is affected
The file system of the hard disk drive may be damaged due to writing errors, power failures or virus attacks. If this happens, the operating system cannot correctly load the user profile at startup and the loading process is stopped.
Backing up the registry
Your first task is to make a registry backup to protect your computer if the following steps fail. Fortunately, this is an easy task and you don’t need to be able to boot into the full operating system. Reboot your computer and press F8 after the BIOS POST screen to bring up the boot menu. Select the secure mode from the list.
Let your computer boot. You may need to enter your username and password to log on to the desktop in secure mode. Normally, you can back up the registry by creating a system restore point, but you cannot do this in secure mode. Instead, click Start, type Regedit, and then press Enter. In the Registry Editor, click File, Export, locate the location where you want to save the backup, type a name, and then click Save.
If your computer has a second administrator account that you can access, you can easily back up the registry by starting in Windows and creating a new system restore point. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then select Properties. Click System Protection in the left pane, click the System Protection tab, and then click Create. Your computer creates a backup of key files and the registry.
Replace the corrupted user profile
- Login to Windows 10 with an administrator account
- Navigate to the “Users” folder in the C drive:
- Press the View tab and make sure that you have enabled the display of hidden files and folders.
- Locate the folder named Default and rename it Default.old.
- Note: Do not delete this folder, as it serves as a backup in case something goes wrong.
- Create another folder named Default
- In the new folder, create subfolders with exactly the same names as those in Default.old
- Copy the NTUSER.DAT file from your management account and paste it into the new default folder.
Install the latest Windows 10 updates
- Press Start
- Click Settings
- Select Update and Security
- Select “Check for Updates”.
Force Windows to Use a Different Folder
I would try to work around the problem instead of trying to solve it by simply forcing Windows to use a different folder for all new profile folders. This is how it works:
- Create folder C:\NewUsers
- Give everyone full access rights to this file.
- Modify ProfileList to read C:\NewUsers.
- (HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\window NT\ProfileList Current Version)
- Create a new user account and log in under it.
- Save the result here. (Many posters unfortunately skip this step …)
- Step 3 has no effect on existing accounts. It is therefore risk-free and can be easily cancelled.
If this method works, you will have two profile folders, one for existing accounts and one for newly created accounts. If it doesn’t work, I would choose a destructive factory restore.
If all of the above solutions fail, it is best to perform a hard reset on Windows 10. While this is a very destructive procedure, it ensures that you will not have any more errors in your user profile.
Which of these solutions has helped you best to solve this problem? Let us know by leaving a message in the “Comments” section below.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.