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Losing User Account Settings

Posted on 2014-01-05
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Last Modified: 2014-03-10
I have a notebook that has lost the user settings, three times. Unable to login. What can cause this? The user says he has done nothing unusual.

Of course he thinks the notebook is a "Lemon"

My remedy the first time was to restore the notebook to factory. I then created two user accounts. The second time, I created a new account from my login, and copied his "My Document" files to this new user account.

I am looking to do the same, again, but wonder if a bad hard drive or memory could be the cause of this problem.
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Question by:fdipiazza
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 100 total points
ID: 39757303
Bad drives or RAM can always be the cause. So why don't you just diagnose the 2? You'll fine memtest86+ and the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Expert Comment

by:ktaczala
ID: 39757355
Odds that hardware would cause such a specific problem are pretty rare.  This looks more like some kind of malware / virus. run malwarebytes, tdsskiller.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39760547
Hi.

To judge this, we need details that go beyond "Unable to login". What is the error message?
"lost the user settings" - what makes you think it has lost (which) settings?
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39762811
Unknown why, this is the third time. No way to recover. The first time, only one user account, so had to reload factory... Second time I had added another user account, and was able to create a new account using that, moved the data from the "bad" account, and deleted the account.  That was nearly 8 months ago. It has happened again.
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by:McKnife
ID: 39762822
I tried to ask two questions. Please answer both.
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by:rindi
ID: 39762961
And have you run the diagnostics I suggested?
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39765890
No diags run yet, but here is the message.

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

There are two logons with the same problem on this notebook.

I logged on with a third Administrator account, and was successful logging in.
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39766091
memtest86+ v4.20 running...first pass no errors, running for a few hours.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39766103
If after 3 passes there aren't any errors, you can assume that the RAM is fine. After that run the disk diagnostics.
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39775225
Memtest ok, Need a hard drive test routine for this notebook's hard drive.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39775227
It's included on the UBCD.
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39775256
I don't trust Conduit when trying to create the ISO. It Conduit installs into the O/S. I've found viruses embedded in the past.
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by:rindi
ID: 39775331
What do you mean with "Conduit"? The UBCD is a collection of free/OpenSource tools that come on a bootable CD. There is nothing you would have to install. Just download the iso and burn it. If you go to their download link you'll also find checksums, so you can verify that your iso is good.
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39780931
memtest found no errors, HDD quick test found no errors, no virus found. I wonder if the user is turning off the computer during an update? This seems to be a common problem to Vista and his Windows 7. Although I've never seen it anywhere but in his ASUS notebook.

CONDUIT wants to be installed when downloading the UBCD, and another app if you refuse CONDUIT. I refused the second app, and was told refusing both would cancel the download. It didn't, and the ISO burned, but failed a verify pass. I booted it and ran the tests anyway.

Now I'm going to fiddle with the Registery to "Repair" the user login for two login User Ids, and see if I can get them working.  I am still trying to find out WHY this has happened, since it most likely will happen again if all I can do is correct the symptom.
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Accepted Solution

by:
fdipiazza earned 0 total points
ID: 39781042
Following this procedure, I was able to "fix" the login problem for two accounts on this laptop.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947215

The reason for the problem still eludes me, which of course makes in uncomfortable to deliver this to my client without an explanation. This is the second time it has happened in less that 12 months.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39781594
Nothing needs to be installed when you download the UBCD. At least not if you use a normal download mirror. The UBCD is hosted by several sites, some of them may have require some extras. If you hover over the download link of the mirror site, you should see the link with the iso file, for example: pharry.org/data/ubcd528.iso. Those mirrors that show the iso like that (the first 4 mirror sites on the site do), don't require you to install anything or download anything else.
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Author Closing Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39802530
No one knows how this happens. I can fix the symptom, but the problem will occur again.
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Author Comment

by:fdipiazza
ID: 39919576
I now have another client that is experiencing this same problem.
What is causing this?  AVG running an update before logon?
I just don't know why Windows 7 Pro has this problem.
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