The User Profile Service Failed, the user profile cannot be loaded

Computers drive me nuts. Sometimes, if I wasn’t so tied into them for my career, I might just be tempted to throw them against the wall.

Last evening, Windows installed an update. Today, I rebooted, and suddenly couldn’t log in, the message: “The User Profile Service Failed, the user profile cannot be loaded.” came up.

This was the SECOND time this has happened. The first time, I did a system restore and fixed the issue. This time, system restore wouldn’t work. So, I was forced into a very complex fix… all because Windows did an update. Go figure. Thank Heavens I have a laptop and that the network still worked – but I could have logged in using my cell phone as the modem so that’s not a huge issue, I was able to search for the best solutions for me.

I’m uploading my fix, so in case you have the same issue, you can fix your system. Please note, its complicated, and intimidating. But it can be done!

Special thanks for Ken – former support engineer, for his posts at socials.answers.microsoft.com, as well as vistax64.com and tomstricks.com.

The User Profile Service service failed the login, user profile cannot be loaded error

First, try system restore. I logged in using the safe mode, and since my profile didn’t load, I was routed to the ‘default profile’. There, I tried a system restore to the most logical point, before the latest update for windows.

When/if that doesn’t work you’ll need to go deeper so to speak. See below:

Did you know there is an administrator profile that is in the background of Vista? It may be disabled, this is how to enable and disable it.

1. Go to your Start menu and in “Accessories” list, open “Command Prompt” by right-clicking on its icon and choosing “Run as Administrator”
2. When the Command Prompt window appears, enter the command net user administrator /active:yes
3. When done, log out from your current account.
4. The Administrator account should now be present on your log in screen.

To turn the build in administrator account off, do the same except the command will be
net user administrator /active:no (Be sure and do this only after you have restore your user access!!!)

Then:
Log on to Windows Vista computer with another administrator profile. (Use the one you just enabled using the steps above.)

Start Windows Vista registry editor (regedit)

Go to to the registry key: Local MachineSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTProfile List

Go through the profiles to find yours. You can use the ProfileImagePath to identify your profile

The key to your profile may have a “.bak” appended to it. There will be another identical key except for the bak.

Rename this key and rename yours removing the “.bak”

Change the State property to 0.

Log off and log back in using your profile. It should now work.

Now, if you aren’t sure, this is how to get to the UPPER Level command prompt (I did this in SAFE mode):

1. Open the Start Menu.
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type cmd
3. Right click on cmd (at top), and click on Run as administrator.
NOTE: To open a regular non-elevated command prompt window, just click on cmd instead.

I hope this helps anyone who has this issue.

Best wishes!

Kathy Ritchie

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