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Windows 7 user profile corrupted

Posted on 2015-02-12
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Last Modified: 2015-02-12
A few weeks ago a PC running Windows 7 got a corrupted user profile and we couldn't log-on ("User profile cannot be loaded").  I logged-on as admin, created a new user, and copied all files from the old corrupted user to the new user account.

The new user account can now log-on and run all the programs, but if he tries to go to Control Panel, Windows Explorer, Computer, or Devices and printers all we see is an error message - "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item".

Any ideas please?
Geoff
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Question by:lybreeze
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Steve Whitcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40605900
Is there a reason you had to create a new user, rather than just a new profile for the existing user?

I would try this:
1) Reboot the computer
2) Log on as a user with administrative privilages
3) Backup the user's profile by copying the folder C:\Users\%Username% (Substitue the actual affected username)  to another location.
4) Delete the user's profile folder.
5) Log off as the admin account
6) Have the user log on.  At this point, windows should copy the default profile to create a new profile for this user.
7) Log the user off
8) Log on as the admin account again
9) Open the backup copy of the old profile you created earlier
10) Copy the contents of the Desktop, Documents, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders into the same locations in the new profile folder (again at c:\users\%username%)  

The other files and folders in the profile could cause issues if you copy them over, so I would stick with just those for now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lybreeze
ID: 40606615
Thank you for your reply Steve.

That sounds like a good solution.  The reason why I created a new user account was because I was following the recommended fix provided on another forum for the "User profile cannot be loaded" problem.  I guess to be fair the outcome is similar in both scenarios, because I effectively made a backup of the original c:\users\%username%\ folder when I copied it over to the new account name.

However, after posting my question I found another fix for the current problem.  It takes a leap of faith, but it does work :-
1. log on as the Administrator
2. computer
3. show hidden files and folders
4. go to c:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\
5. select everything with Ctrl + A
6. delete all files and folders (probably safer to put them in the recycle bin)
7. restart with the required user name
8. when you restart, any files or folders that are required in \AppData\Local will be recreated

Thanks again
Geoff
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