Help! Can't boot up my computer!

30 replies
When I boot up my other (main) computer, and get to the logon icon (which is my name, "Terry"), and click the icon, it says,

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

I've done the same thing a thousand times before and this is the first time this has happened.

Any ideas?
#boot #computer
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelParsons
    Assuming this is Windows Vista,Terry, try this link . This is pretty Geeky stuff though.

    It seems your user profile may have been deleted or corrupted.
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by MichaelParsons View Post

      Assuming this is Windows Vista,Terry, try this link . This is pretty Geeky stuff though.

      It seems your user profile may have been deleted or corrupted.
      Wow, Michael.

      While it was very geeky (and I'm not), it led me in a few circles to do a "system restore" (which I've never done before), and I'm back in business!

      I'm still a little spooked, though, since I don't know what caused it.

      In doing the "system restore", I saw that an automatic Windows update was executed today, and I fear that may have caused it (and may cause it again when Windows sees that it needs to do that update over again).

      Anyway, thanks a million. For now, I'm good!
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelParsons
        Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post

        Wow, Michael.

        While it was very geeky (and I'm not), it led me in a few circles to do a "system restore" (which I've never done before), and I'm back in business!

        I'm still a little spooked, though, since I don't know what caused it.

        In doing the "system restore", I saw that an automatic Windows update was executed today, and I fear that may have caused it (and may cause it again when Windows sees that it needs to do that update over again).

        Anyway, thanks a million. For now, I'm good!
        You are more than welcome. Happy to be of service!
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      • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
        Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post

        Wow, Michael.

        While it was very geeky (and I'm not), it led me in a few circles to do a "system restore" (which I've never done before), and I'm back in business!

        I'm still a little spooked, though, since I don't know what caused it.

        In doing the "system restore", I saw that an automatic Windows update was executed today, and I fear that may have caused it (and may cause it again when Windows sees that it needs to do that update over again).

        Anyway, thanks a million. For now, I'm good!
        After having several problems (after automatic updates), it was recommended to me that I turn off automatic updates and review them periodically to see if there are major security patches. Might want to check with any IT guys you know for opinions on that.
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  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    Hey Terry,
    Glad the restore works, is a lot more reliable than in years past. Regarding updates: I had one that needed time during shut-down AND startup to complete (very recent update as well. ). I was halfway tempted to shutdown because the post-startup seemed "stalled". It took about five minutes? Maybe if your situation was similar, I don't know, but interrupting the patch might cause? Look out for it if that might be the case. Hopefully the update isn't a PC-killer. Good luck and glad it worked
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    Glad to hear you got it restored.

    If it hadn't worked do you have a current and complete system backup? A lot of people neglect this super important step, and with so many inexpensive backup choices these days (online, USB drives, Network Storage Devices etc) there is no excuse not to have one.

    My main computer died last month and had to be shipped away for repairs. As I had a complete backup it was an inconvenience. Had I not had one it would have been a disaster.

    Food for thought...

    Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by mywebwork View Post

      Glad to hear you got it restored.

      If it hadn't worked do you have a current and complete system backup? A lot of people neglect this super important step, and with so many inexpensive backup choices these days (online, USB drives, Network Storage Devices etc) there is no excuse not to have one.

      My main computer died last month and had to be shipped away for repairs. As I had a complete backup it was an inconvenience. Had I not had one it would have been a disaster.

      Food for thought...

      Bill
      Not sure what "complete system backup" means.

      1. I use Mozy for daily offsite backup ($4.95 a month and simple enough for even me). Backs up docs, photos, etc. I have it set for every 9 a.m.

      2. I also have a couple "recovery disks" I made when I got my newest [Vista-based] computer a couple of years ago. Not really sure what they're for -- It was a suggested walk-through task when I set up my computer originally.

      Are those what you're referring to, or is there something else I should be doing?
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      • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
        Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

        Yes! Get a Mac :p
        Actually a hard disk failure, power surge or a myriad of other hardware problems can affect a Mac or Linux box as easily as a Windows machine. And OSX also makes use of user profiles, so the same type of failure Terry encountered could happen to a Mac as well.

        Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post

        Not sure what "complete system backup" means.

        1. I use Mozy for daily offsite backup ($4.95 a month and simple enough for even me). Backs up docs, photos, etc. I have it set for every 9 a.m.

        2. I also have a couple "recovery disks" I made when I got my newest [Vista-based] computer a couple of years ago. Not really sure what they're for -- It was a suggested walk-through task when I set up my computer originally.

        Are those what you're referring to, or is there something else I should be doing?
        You're certainly way ahead of many people with what you are doing. Mozy is a good service.

        The disks you made when you received your computer created an "image backup" that can be used to completely restore your system to the state it was when you first took it out of the box. The operating system and all the extras packed along with it.

        In your case all you need is the installation disks or files for the software you've added since you got your computer. Take that, the Mozy backups and those image DVD's and you have a complete restoration - after a few hours of work configuring everything the way it was before!

        There are backup utilities that will allow you to take an image of your entire disk, allowing for a virtually hands-off recovery. You can store these on an external USB drive or a Network Attached Storage Device.

        Nothing wrong with what you are doing now though. Essentially it boils down to being able to answer these questions:

        If your computer completely died (i.e. burned to a crisp) right now would you be able to get a new machine and get back to work ASAP using your current backup system? And would you know how to do it (or have someone you know who can do it for you)?

        If you can answer yes to both then you're doing fine!



        Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author skibbz
          Originally Posted by mywebwork View Post

          Actually a hard disk failure, power surge or a myriad of other hardware problems can affect a Mac or Linux box as easily as a Windows machine. And OSX also makes use of user profiles, so the same type of failure Terry encountered could happen to a Mac as well.
          Yea but you have less viruses designed for mac and linux and some of these spyware and trojans are responsible for hard drive failure on windows OS
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      • Profile picture of the author Gary King
        Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post


        2. I also have a couple "recovery disks" I made when I got my newest [Vista-based] computer a couple of years ago. Not really sure what they're for --
        First Terry, glad you're working again.

        Second, those "recovery disks" - they restore your computer to the exact way it was when you got it.

        The exact way.

        That means no files, no programs you've loaded, etc. They are intended to be used if you have to put a brand new hard drive in the computer due to a hardware failure or if you are trying to completely wipe it out and start over.

        Again, glad you're up and running!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sardent
    I have Vista, updates are iffy at best.
    I keep a Linux boot CD, Ubuntu, next to my computer. That way if Windows fails I can still get to my files, run rescue programs, etc., because sometimes restore doesn't work either.
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    • Profile picture of the author TelZilla
      Originally Posted by Sardent View Post

      I have Vista, updates are iffy at best.
      I keep a Linux boot CD, Ubuntu, next to my computer. That way if Windows fails I can still get to my files, run rescue programs, etc., because sometimes restore doesn't work either.
      Now that's geeky.

      Of course, ahem, I do the exact same thing. I've got an ubuntu disk right next to me, plus it's running on one of my other pc's. So I guess that makes me a geek too.

      I'm shocked I tell ya.

      ...my wife is laughing at me right now...I don't know why.
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by Sardent View Post

      I have Vista, updates are iffy at best.
      I keep a Linux boot CD, Ubuntu, next to my computer. That way if Windows fails I can still get to my files, run rescue programs, etc., because sometimes restore doesn't work either.
      Probably dumb question:

      Does that mean that if Windows doesn't work, you can pop in the CD and Ubuntu will install without conflicting with Windows, and just start working?

      If so, what happens to Windows? (This is at the far fringes of my knowledge, you understand).
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      • Profile picture of the author Sardent
        Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post

        Probably dumb question:

        Does that mean that if Windows doesn't work, you can pop in the CD and Ubuntu will install without conflicting with Windows, and just start working?

        If so, what happens to Windows? (This is at the far fringes of my knowledge, you understand).
        The boot CD is just that.
        You pop the CD into the drive, turn on your computer, press the button to access the BIOS before it switches to loading the operating system, usually F1 or F2 check your manual for sure.
        When the BIOS comes up choose the CD-ROM as the first Boot device. This means the computer will check the CD for booting instructions before looking anywhere else.

        The disk won't install anything on your computer, it's simply an alternate operating system that is loading from the CD rather than Windows loading from the hard drive.

        Once Linux is running you'll have access to your drives in case you want to move your files to an external hard drive. Or if you have a rescue program that will also run in Linux you can start it from here.

        When you're done, remove the CD, and the next time you start the computer you will load windows like normal.


        I had to do this after an update once because for some reason the update moved the location of the bootmanager. Booting from a Linux CD allowed me to go in, and move it back where it was supposed to be in order to work.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sardent View Post

      I have Vista, updates are iffy at best.
      I keep a Linux boot CD, Ubuntu, next to my computer. That way if Windows fails I can still get to my files, run rescue programs, etc., because sometimes restore doesn't work either.
      I hadn't used my laptop for about 2 years. Recently I hooked it up and it automatically downloaded a bunch of updates without me even thinking about it. Once I shut down, it began installing all of them.

      It corrupted the hard drive and the drive is gone. Won't restore from the original restore disk. Thanks Windows for the update ... appreciate that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darunner14
    I will update my computer manually. I also have heard that if you boot the computer in safe mode, that it will bypass this login. Never tried it tho. I am curious to know if it works?? The once you in, reset your login.
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by Darunner14 View Post

      I will update my computer manually. I also have heard that if you boot the computer in safe mode, that it will bypass this login. Never tried it tho. I am curious to know if it works?? The once you in, reset your login.
      Yes, booting in safe mode bypasses the login (technically, it defaults to the Administrator login and lets you in). That's how I stumbled on the "system restore" fix that worked for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post


    Any ideas?
    Yes! Get a Mac :p
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

      Yes! Get a Mac :p
      I hear that type of thing often enough that I believe it, but it just seems like such a whole new learning curve for an old PC user with an already ultra-busy life

      By the way, a friend of mine recently had his Mac seriously hacked. He spent over 8 hours on the phone with Apple, Inc., which normally doesn't involve themselves in hacking situations, but helped him sort through file segments, while he watched files and icons disappearing before his eyes.

      Apple concluded that his hard drive was ready to "melt down", whatever that means, and told him to rush it into a recommended expert's shop to try to halt it. Haven't heard the outcome yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author paparts
    system restore is a last resort option. Most computers disables this feature because it can cause trouble with your current files.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
    Sorry to hear that, Symantec Ghost or Acronis Snap Deploy should be your next best friend. Get your machine error and virus free and then 'clone' an image of the pc using one of the tools above. Ghost Home version may be the most affordable but worth it in the case of a restore.


    Originally Posted by terryrayburn View Post

    When I boot up my other (main) computer, and get to the logon icon (which is my name, "Terry"), and click the icon, it says,

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

    I've done the same thing a thousand times before and this is the first time this has happened.

    Any ideas?
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Sounds to me like a virus: windows logon/user account control doesn't just stop working.
    Updates from windows can at times cause conflicts i.e. windows vista service pack 1 updates to service pack 2 as an example.

    A lot of viruses "activate" when windows is restarted because everything is reset memory is cleared etc...allowing them to take over certain registry components and user files some will even befriend an antivirus program so the program does not recognize it is a virus no matter how many scans are done

    Best thing to do even if you do have it back on is to boot in safe mode for vista it is f8 I believe at start up just after your "boot screen" loads hold it down and it will give you the boot menu where you can select safe mode safe mode with networking etc...
    boot up in safe mode run your antivirus which will run on the shell command and scan right from the command prompt if it is a virus hopefully it will find it but it is best to do so to make sure or else it could happen again.

    Then you may want to invest in an external hard drive 500gb to a terrabyte and back your full system up it should give you that option once you plug it in with windows booted already then it is best to do a fresh install using either your recovery partition or disk.

    Cheers
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
      I think its more of a profile issue. especially in Vista. I helped a user sort this same type of issue on their computer a few weeks back. Something to do with how windows syncs up the profile on start up, something becomes out of sync or causes the profile to load incorrectly. A full virus scan wouldn't hurt thought
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    • Profile picture of the author teaball
      Terry,
      I'm with Mino on the probability of virus/trojan/worm. you can get them from email, websites or just sitting idle with the internet connection "always on".

      Everybody thinks anti-virus is the "secret sauce" to prevent this malware affliction. Getting the proper tools is critical and I haven't seen any single piece of software that does a decent job of "everything".

      The first line of defense is the most critical. That critical defense is the firewall. Most firewalls like AVG, Symantec, etc. are easily beaten by hackers.

      Not getting techy on you, but most firewalls say they protect against stuff getting into your PC, right? But what is most important, is WHEN and IF something does get through, is that the script or malware usually HAS to "call home" to execute or retrieve data, etc. Most firewalls do little or nothing to stop this "call home". Two firewalls do prevent this, and even more important, they ask you if you want to permit something trying to get in !!!

      They are Jetico (inexpensive) and Comodo, and, they have been doing this for years. Jetico is so good I don't even have an antivirus active on my PC. It asks me to allow this in or that out, which is a bit tedious at first. But it saves those permissions when you shut down. So it's front loaded with a bit of effort but peace of mind is a long tail benefit. Nothing gets in or out without my permission. Nothing!

      I use the free, fast and extremely effective malware scanner, Malwarebytes, and I scan once a day or maybe every 2 days. It takes about 15 minutes to scan 700 gigabytes. I haven't had a virus/trojan for several years now! But then, when I'm on the PC, I'm doing business, not surfing.

      Another 2 great free tools are Process Explorer and Hijackthis. Process Exp. tells you whats running and the CPU load, and, you can shut down a program thats hung, an internet window, or the entire OS if you need to. Hijackthis tells you what is loading at startup. Its a techie favorite. I use it shut down junk that some programmer 'knew' was necessary to run every single time at startup. Over time, you can get that PC so loaded at startup that there isn't any room to run programs ... like Hewlett Packard printers load so many programs (scanner, image processor, etc) at startup when all you really need is the frikkin printer.

      So, you might try those software suggestions, but if you only try one or two, then do Jetico and Malwarebytes.

      IMO, get as huge a file storage device that you can, at least a terabyte. files are huge, ridiculously huge. I remember being excited about the advent of the 256K 5 1/4" floppy disc back in the '80's. LOL

      Also before you do a system restore, be sure your restore points are virus free too. You can easily restore the virus. Like I said, PC security and peace of mind are front loaded with work, but well worth it.

      Think of your PC as akin to your brick and mortar store. Would you leave the door unlocked and open to the public when you went home?



      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      Sounds to me like a virus: windows logon/user account control doesn't just stop working.
      Updates from windows can at times cause conflicts i.e. windows vista service pack 1 updates to service pack 2 as an example.

      A lot of viruses "activate" when windows is restarted because everything is reset memory is cleared etc...allowing them to take over certain registry components and user files some will even befriend an antivirus program so the program does not recognize it is a virus no matter how many scans are done

      Best thing to do even if you do have it back on is to boot in safe mode for vista it is f8 I believe at start up just after your "boot screen" loads hold it down and it will give you the boot menu where you can select safe mode safe mode with networking etc...
      boot up in safe mode run your antivirus which will run on the shell command and scan right from the command prompt if it is a virus hopefully it will find it but it is best to do so to make sure or else it could happen again.

      Then you may want to invest in an external hard drive 500gb to a terrabyte and back your full system up it should give you that option once you plug it in with windows booted already then it is best to do a fresh install using either your recovery partition or disk.

      Cheers
      -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I'd leave the Windows System Restore option active on your computer, so that you at least have the option of rolling back to the last known good configuration in case some glitch like what you experienced happens again.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterhu
    If it's Vista, a start up repair through Repair option may help. One good thing about this platform is you can backup your files through Repair Console by opening notepad then explore your files from there. You can open this up even at Command Prompt.

    But since this can be a bit technical, I only suggest this if your computer doesn't have any restore point (which I experienced in the past) and don't want to spend too much in back them up through service providers.
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    I just bought another computer... had XP put on it. Almost went with 95. Lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author terryrayburn
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      I just bought another computer... had XP put on it. Almost went with 95. Lol.
      I'm with you. My other (older) desktop is XP. Always problem-free.

      I also use the computers at our Public Library when I'm away from the house. All 38 of them are XP, and they were upgraded long after Vista came out, by a very sharp computer guy that keeps the library running smoothly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randy Daugherty
    I suggest you bring your PC to a Computer shop and have it check by a computer tech.I experience the same thing and the tech figure out that it has something to do with the software and windows application.
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