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The Disappearing User Problem RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've had this happen three times this past month, making it an intermittent puzzler.

    My wife and I each have our own user accounts on the W7 RC and we flip back and forth all the time.  I'm logged in and we click to switch users, which displays the Logon page.  We click my wife's icon and it takes a long time while it displays, "Preparing desktop" (ut oh).  Once it loads, it's a new user desktop and experience with the beta fish wallpaper, the default icons and her e-mail (Windows Live Mail) doesn't know her.  Wait, what?!

    The only fix is to reboot the computer.  The next time you click on her icon, it all loads up normally for her just like you expect it should.

    Background: fresh install on brand-new awesome PC: Asus P6T, Quad-core Intel, 6G RAM, 2x1T RAID 1 drives, etc.

    Mods: None of the forums seemed to be the right one for what appears to be an intermittent bug in the OS itself.  Please move if needed-- and thanks for any wisdom on what may be going wrong.
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 4:43 PM

All replies

  • betona,

    Are there any errors in the event log about this?
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 7:20 PM
    Answerer
  • I had a similar issue three months ago, as follows: Installed Windows 7 Beta, after install it let me to install drivers, etc. Then rebooted. After that it weren't login to the profile, after clicking the profile icon at logon and typing a password (or even biometrics - I have a fingerprint reader), it wrote: "The User Profile Service service failed to log you on", and the profile not loaded. Rebooted, went to advanced boot options and selected "Safe Mode with networking". Boot ok. There (in safe mode) it let me to log on (and wrote "preparing your desktop"), but the environment was as if it at a fresh install/first boot (betta fish, only Recycle Bin on the desktop, default settings, etc.). And a message popped in the notification area stating that my profile was corrupt and I were logged on with a Default temporary system profile. Went to the Event Viewer, found there an Event ID 1505, that reads as follows:


    Windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system. 
    
    DETAIL - Access is denied.

    So I backed up the files, selective program settings from %USERPROFILE%\AppData\ folders, created a new user account, logged on there successfully, moved the settings data to the new account and deleted the problematic account. When I started the programs, they are run with all the settings on their place, as if they were run in an original account, all went fine afterwards.
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:27 AM
  • {slapping forehead} Didn't dawn on me to look at the logs, dwolters.

    Yep - there it is from the same error happening again minutes ago - a whole slew of errors, edited to keep the chaff down, in reverse order the way Windows provides it.  It looks like exits bad, can't find the next user and it all goes downhill from there.

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Level:         Error
    Description:
    Windows cannot find the local profile and is logging you on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off.


    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Event ID:      1515
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Error
    Keywords:     
    Description:
    Windows has backed up this user profile. Windows will automatically try to use the backup profile the next time this user logs on.

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Event ID:      1502
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Error
    Description:
    Windows cannot load the locally stored profile. Possible causes of this error include insufficient security rights or a corrupt local profile.

     DETAIL - The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Event ID:      1508
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Error
    Description:
    Windows was unable to load the registry. This problem is often caused by insufficient memory or insufficient security rights.

     DETAIL - The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.
     for C:\Users\{"my user was here-betona"}\ntuser.dat

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Desktop Window Manager
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:11 AM
    Event ID:      9003
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    The Desktop Window Manager was unable to start because a composited theme is not in use

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Winlogon
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:11 AM
    Event ID:      6000
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    The winlogon notification subscriber <SessionEnv> was unavailable to handle a notification event.

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Winlogon
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:11 AM
    Event ID:      4101
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    Windows license validated.

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:08 AM
    Event ID:      1530
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Warning
    Keywords:     
    User:          SYSTEM
    Computer:      Tom-PC
    Description:
    Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The applications or services that hold your registry file may not function properly afterwards. 

     DETAIL -
     1 user registry handles leaked from \Registry\User\S-1-5-21-2612963183-2782025728-920984310-1001_Classes:
    Process 3356 (\Device\HarddiskVolume2\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2612963183-2782025728-920984310-1001_CLASSES

    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:07 AM
    Event ID:      1530
    Level:         Warning
    Description:
    Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The applications or services that hold your registry file may not function properly afterwards. 

     DETAIL -
     1 user registry handles leaked from \Registry\User\S-1-5-21-2612963183-2782025728-920984310-1001:
    Process 3356 (\Device\HarddiskVolume2\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2612963183-2782025728-920984310-1001


    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Winlogon
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:07 AM
    Event ID:      6000
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    The winlogon notification subscriber <SessionEnv> was unavailable to handle a notification event.


    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Desktop Window Manager
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:01:07 AM
    Event ID:      9009
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    The Desktop Window Manager has exited with code (0x40010004)


    Log Name:      Application
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Winlogon
    Date:          6/28/2009 9:00:53 AM
    Event ID:      6000
    Level:         Information
    Description:
    The winlogon notification subscriber <SessionEnv> was unavailable to handle a notification event.



    Sunday, June 28, 2009 1:25 PM
  • It seems like security settings of that profile are messed up. As I said above, backup the files and settings, and move them to a new profile.
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 4:07 PM
  • Whoa! I am having this EXACT same problem. Solves after a reboot, but after some time the ntuser.dat files on the profiles on my machine become locked by the System process (PID: 4). The only difference, though, is that I am on Windows Vista Ultimate x86 (and I've found this topic through search).

    Could it be an update by Microsoft? I am on a very fresh install (I completely formatted my PC 3 days ago). I have already checked the permissions, they are all OK. The profiles are not corrupted since they load OK after a reboot (so it couldn't be permissions either). A simple search on Process Explorer and handler.exe (both from SysInternals) shows that the ntuser.dat files are really locked by System PID: 4.

    Does anyone have any clue? Could it be our anti-virus? I'm using NOD32 3.0.684.0. Simply disabling the AV won't make System close the handles to the ntuser.dat files. My Vista has SP2 installed plus all other important and recommended updates on Windows Update. Thank you!
    Sunday, July 12, 2009 5:09 AM
  • I've got the same problem with essentially the same specs on a Vista Ultimate X86 machine with OneCare as my AV. Any word on how to fix this?

    Friday, September 25, 2009 2:55 AM
  • I am Vista Ultimate X86 machine and have been experiencing this problem intermittently since i got vista at launch.  It had gone away for the better part of 6 months, but in the past 2 week has re-appeared (windows update??) very frequently.

    It seems, at least for me, it occurs much more frequently if i try to log in the second that windows has started enough to display the users to log in as.  If, as soon as my users appear, i attempt to log in (i'm guessing the system is still setting up security, and accessing ntuser.dat ) then this error will occur.   however, if i let it sit at the pre-login screen for a little while (30 seconds+), then try to log in, i never see this error.
    Sunday, November 15, 2009 6:15 PM
  • I'm having the exact problem as well on Vista Ultimate.  I particularly notice the case when another user is logged onto the system first and Switch Users to my account.

    It seems like we have a lot of people reporting a Vista bug.  Is there a way to escalate the issues this issue to MS - get it official status?
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:29 PM
  • I can confirm the same problem. It only happens when someone is logged on and you switch users. Once I get the error, the only solution is to reboot. Vista Ultimate. Some MS docs explain how to repair user profiles, but I haven't found anything that fixes the problem so that it doesn't happen again.
    Ed
    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 7:18 PM
  • I too, am experiencing the same exact problem. However on my Vista Ultimate (x86) (running as 32-bit) Ihave found this link helpful:

    http://cherrybyte.blogspot.com/2007/07/fixing-user-profiles-in-vista.html

    I went into the regedit, found the files, saw the semi-exact same wording, followed the clear instructions, and went immediately back to switch to one of the 2 profiles that were corrupted, I have 4 profiles on my machine and only 2 aren't responding [unfortunately its my 2 small boys...:(   no games for them.] After I applied the "fix" it worked. Yet after 2 days of "working" the problem re-surfaced; so in my mind something keeps re-writing to those specific files and corrupting them. In my case the file extensions were modified to include ".bak"-whereas no other files had/have this file extension. I will post more results from different "solutions" and the Final definative Solution when I "find" it.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 5:50 PM
  • I ran into this problem with Windiws Vista and thought I could resolve it by upgrading to Windows 7, but I get the same result when I try to switch users or log off and on to a different user. 

    When I attempt to switch users I get the message "Preparing Desktop" and then discover the Winodows is unable to laod my settings. It only seems to happen if Windows is signed on to one user for an extended time.

    This sounds like a bug in Windows that has been migrated to Windows 7.

    Saturday, July 10, 2010 2:14 PM
  • It seems that the Anti-virus software locked the ntuser.dat file (at some rare cases, the video card drivers might lock this ntuser.dat file too) during the login process, which caused the 1502 and 1508 event errors.

    Can anyone of you try to uninstall the anti-virus software or video card driver to see whether or not this ntuser.dat file lock issue can be resolved?

    If so, the solution is to uninstall and reinstall anti-virus s/w or video driver. Let me know if you still face this issue. :)

    BTW, regarding the issue "windows failed to log in one user unless waiting for extended time", you can try this:

    • Go to gp (gpedit.msc or gpmc.msc), then Computer configuration ->Administrative Templates -> System -> User Profile -> "Set maximum wait time for the network if a user has a romaing user profile or remote home" , change the timeout duration to 60 seconds or larger value.

    Wish these solutions help.


    JunShi
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 1:23 AM