Fix Corrupt Windows 7 Temporary Profile

windows7-corrupt-profile


While working with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system over the past few months I have noticed that sometimes when working with multiple profiles that they can sometimes get corrupted. The error I would receive says that “You are logged into a Temporary Profile.” This means that anything that user would do under that profile would get wiped immediately upon logging off. This problem seems to happen more frequently when it is a member of a domain. This will show you how to fix the profile error in Windows 7 without having to simply wipe the profile. This can come in very handy sometimes and has saved me hours of backing up and transferring profile data.

Note – I highly recommend creating a boot or rescue disk before starting any windows 7 technical projects. There are many tools in the market and I use Spotmau BootSuite rescue software and boot disk utility because of it’s versatile features and top notch performance.

Windows 7 – Temporary Profile

Step 1

Restart your PC to release the locks on your profiles.

Step 2

Log on with another administrative account.

Step 3

Delete the following folder: (you could also follow the steps below by simply renaming the bad profile to .bak)

C:\Users\%username%

Step 4

Delete the following folder:

C:\Users\TEMP

Step 5

Browse to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Find the registry key that has the “ProfileImagePath” entry that matches the username of the account.
Make a note of the GUID entry a few lines above, you will need this later. Now delete the entire registry key from the “ProfileList” folder.

registry-profilelist

Step 6

Now in the registry, browse one folder above to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileGuid

Delete the registry key (that matches the GUID you made note of in Step 5) from the folder.

Step 7

Restart once again and then you’re done!

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  • http://karvy.com pradeep

    Same thing repeated again even after editing registry and after restart too, is any other solutions for the prevention of profile corrupation

  • Fiona

    Uhm wouldn’t deleting the affected Userdata from the C Drive put me at risk of losing all my files?
    & just wondering, I did something like this, except I simply deleted “TEMP” and the affected SID.bak from the registry, and it didn’t work because I logged into the affected profile again and it had just created me a new user instead! I had backed up the registry from another admin user however, so I reversed everything.
    I’m getting annoyed by my sister constantly asking me to fix it even though I have no idea how!

  • juan dela cruz

    The fix is:
    1. Login using another local administrator account. (Make one if there isnt another).
    2. Remove the corrupted user from Users in control panel.
    3. Move the corresponding folder from the Documents and Settings (XP) or Users folder (Vista and Windows7) to the desktop of the newly created admin user’s desktop.
    4. Open regedit and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList Find the key on the left that corresponds to the corrupted profile. Note the value of the string on the right called GUID. Delete all keys that list the corrupt user profile (.bak versions and regular).
    5. THIS IS THE STEP THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDED TO KB:
    Go up a few lines in regedit to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileGuid.
    6. Delete the key (keys?) within this ProfileGuid folder that match the value of the GUID string that you noted above.
    7. Restart PC
    8. Login as the temporarily created admin profile. Go to control panel and recreate the corrupted profile. (Make it an administrator at least temporarily so you’ll be able to access the files we moved to the other admin’s desktop if needed).
    9. Logout and login as fixed user.
    10. Copy any files from the temp admin’s desktop where we copied the corrupted profiles data, into the appropriate places in the fixed profile. This includes My Documents,Favorites, Outlook data, and any other user data you need.
    11. Once everything is working properly, you can remove the temp admin from control panel> Users and delete its folder.

    MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL OF THE DATA YOU NEED BEFORE REMOVING THE TEMP ADMIN.

  • R Rice

    Wow, deleting both the ProfileList and Profile GUID did the magic. Thank you!!!!

    • http://www.theitbros.com Brian Jackson

      Your welcome!

  • joel

    the people at microsoft should be shot for this frustrating crap.

  • yeffrey diaz

    Man that fix my prblen 100% thank you so much.

  • http://twitter.com/LockeDown815 Mickey Frklic

    If you know what you are doing and not looking forward to deleting your profile (and spending extra time copying necessary files between old and new profiles) – try these simple steps first (just performed on my brother’s Windows 7 PC):

    1. Login using another local administrator account. (Make one if there isnt another).
    2. Open regedit and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList Find the key on the left that corresponds to the corrupted profile. Note the value of the string on the right called GUID. Look for one with a .bak which should contain the true profile details (verify with the user path for the profile). – If there is no .bak version – this method will not work.
    3. To be safe – recommend right clicking on the existing ProfileGuid and the .BAK version and exporting them to a safe place on your hard drive
    4. Simply delete the ProfileGuid registry folder that is using c:\users\temp that is associated with the .bak version
    5. Rename the .bak version by removing .bak from the registry folder name
    6. Log off the secondary account you are in and log back in as the primary account that was corrupted
    7. If it works – your good to go! If not – resort to the delete the profiles method – but be sure to make backups of the profile folders.

  • Shiva

    Thanks for the info juan dela cruz and also to Brian Jackson. The process worked for me.Great work!!!!!!!!!!

  • hassan

    thank you so much. its very nice. my profile work curectly now

  • joshwa

    [At windows start\search]Type this %temp%.u can see a TEMP FOLDER click it.u can see many files delte it by pressing SHIFT+DELETE .this is an easy solution to overcome windows corrupt.

  • Jim
    • http://samhaine.com Gerry

      Thank you Jim! I have and HP and deleted HP simplepass and was able to get back into my profile. You are awesome! Thank so much for sharing. I am so lucky read your blog, you saved me a ton of time and hassle after an already long and hectic day. Thanks again!

    • Roland

      Thanks so much for posting this Jim! Saved me a ton of time too.

  • Pallavi

    sir, I am not very clear on 2 points:
    step 3- which profile to delete…our original admin profile which we are having problem with or temporary profile?

    step 5: matching ur SID…. how do I know? from the profile imagepath, pick which profile? the temporary one or our original admin profile?

    thank u very much!

    • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

      I have updated the steps above, hopefully it is more clear now. Which username are you having problems with when you log in? Is it your administrator profile?

      • Pallavi

        Thank You very much Sir. I was having problem with my administrator profile,but
        I managed to fix it.Actually a trial version of PANDA antivirus was causing the problem. Uninstalling it fixed the problem.

  • Xty

    I got similar if not worst dellima…I got Windows 7 on my Dell, the User Profiles failed.

    Yesterday I have downloaded few softwares for my friend. Office 2000(torrent) for an old repaired IBM running on XP, Cisco wifi USB driver — I suspected it could be from any of these downloads. I left it to Sleep, then when I was about to use it again…everything froze so I cold-reboot and that’s how the agony started…User Profiles failed.

    1) Upon starting up, Windows stops only at User’s logon page and says User Profiles Failed. Can not open anything at all but that and shutdown/restart/hibernate option below.

    2) My cd-rom is already damaged before this, so I cannot insert an installation disk for recovery.

    3) I was able to get to Directory Services Repair…like Safemode. It says I am logged to the default profile(which is my only user profile). Here comes the bundle of stuff that fails.

    *Desktop failed, control.exe corrupt, regedit or cmd wont work at all, so I can’t adjust the registry nor can I do changes via DOS.

    * I can open My Computer and from there open files on C: where Windows/Desktop has disappeared, and Users folder is empty. But I can find installed programs under Program Files and run the .exe That’s where I am at right now… though not all programs can open.

    *Control.exe is corrupted, so I can barely do stuff in Control Panel. Administrative Tools is unreadable. Recovery – System Protection is turned off, and to turn it on a particular disk it says it can’t be turned on because its in FAT32. User Accounts – only has my default and only user account – there is no option to add another account. User Profile Properties is empty and also no option to add new user.

    *Troubleshooting. Fix problem with Windows update, Run Maintenance Task, —all failed.
    I am connected to the Internet so I can check.

    * Installed programs did not appear on Start menu, only Documents, Pictures, Music – folders of my User Profile are there but it cannot open also. The rest are Control Panel, My Computer, Help and Support….

    I think the fix is here somewhere, and this computer is not totally useless because I can still use the computer…but can’t make my daily stuff such as video editing, graphics, and audio editing. I tried to look around for some fixes but none worked for me. Please help!

    • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

      Sounds like you got a very bad virus or malware. I highly suggest scanning with these four pieces of software.

      CCleaner
      http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

      MalwareBytes
      http://www.malwarebytes.org/

      SuperAntiSpyware
      http://www.superantispyware.com/

      Microsoft Security Essentials
      http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/security-essentials-download

      Run full scans with that software above. If you can’t access internet on the computer you are having trouble with, go to another computer, download those applications and transfer on thumb drive. They are all free. And some can even be run from a thumb drive.

      Hopefully that helps!

      • Xty

        I have tried running Spybot, Avast, and CCleaner…no infections detected. Malwarebytes I already have that installed in the system but it wont run now. SuperAntiSpyware and MS Security Essentials cannot be installed. Yes I can connect to the internet, I am using the same computer on Safemode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.jn.12 Mike Jn

    check out these four steps that always work for me that’s just a corrupt profile.

    http://funbird.co.uk/blog/2013/01/29/fix-temporary-profile-windows-7/

    • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

      Ya that is pretty much the exact same thing. They have more than 4 steps really, there are a couple bulleted items you still have to do. I included a little more due to some more in-depth troubleshooting. It’s good to know that the GUID in step 5 is related to the GUID in step 6.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hannah.pascua.50 Hannah Pascua

    what fi there is no guid???

  • http://www.facebook.com/ksmoke2 Keego J Smoke

    OMG thanks for nothing now it says “The User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.” Huh some magic you got not, thanks for ruining my pc. your info sucks.

    • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

      We know this works as we have done this hundreds of times. Did you rename/delete the original user profile folder before following the rest of the steps? Make sure you follow the directions very carefully. This works for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

  • Brad A. Girard

    I have used this method several times and it works fine. However, I want to know the root cause of the issue. Why do I have several users per week with corrupted profiles? They users are on the same domain, they use redirected desktops and/or roaming profiles. Our server is a Win 2008R2 and the users run WIN 7 Pro. Is there something we can do to the server that could stop this from occurring/ There has to be a centralized issue somewhere that causes so many of these profile corruptions. Any ideas?

    • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

      I totally agree with you Brad. I have seen this issue on and off since 2006. Never tracked down the exact cause. However, several users per week sounds like an excessive amount. At my previous employer, we maintained about 400 employees and I would estimate we saw about 1-2 corrupt profiles per month. May I ask how many users you are dealing with?

      • Brad A. Girard

        It is an accommodation school, probably 180-200 students and staff. It is mainly the student profiles that become corrupt. We have group policy locking the systems down but they always find a way to by pass with proxy. We also have roaming profiles. I am trying to dial in on the root cause. At this point I am not even close.

        • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

          Are the student profiles roaming profiles? There is just a lot that can go wrong with roaming profiles depending on how they are set up.

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  • P1gixxer

    This process is good, but what about preserving user data
    or settings, I’m looking for an easy way to recreate the profile then move over
    user data, ultimately as IT ppl we need to give the user the computer back to
    them as if nothing was wrong with it.

  • satria

    how to release a lock ??? my another profile cant rename or open or delete the admin user

  • souman
  • Epockismet

    I hate windows. I haven’t had a single version that this didn’t happen to. The most recent is with Windows 7 Home Premium with only 1 user, and a homegroup set up but nothing has had a chance to connect since it’s only been installed for a few days. And the work around is just a little faster than reinstalling from scratch in my case. Very frustrating that I can’t just use Linux for this computer.

    TIP: always set up more than one admin user on a Windows system, ALWAYS!! This is the only way you can avoid this issue as it appears to happen randomly on all versions of Windows 7, especially since no real information behind the reason it happens is available even after all of these years.

    Security through obscurity has not been good for anyone except Microsoft and other big and lazy programming corporations that rely on the compiler to do all of their optimizing.