I recently had a user receive an error message; “Windows cannot load the user’s profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system” when logging on t o a Windows 7 desktop.  In the Event logs there was a matching Event ID 1505 with a Source “Userenv”. This is not O/S specific error, can be caused by numerous issues, and there are variations of  the same error due to other problems.  In this particular instance it appears it may have been caused by an interrupted backup during which the profile was locked to allow backup. To verify if a similar problem and resolve, follow the steps below.

Note: the following steps involve making changes to the registry. It is possible when editing the registry to damage your system. Only follow these steps if comfortable doing so and as always, create a restore point and/or backup the registry first, as per Microsoft’s instructions http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/Back-up-the-registry

Open the registry editor and locate the following key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\

Locate the
problematic profile. Two methods to do so are:

  1. click on each profile and view the “ProfileImagePath” key for the appropriate profile name
  2. download PSGetSid from the Microsoft link below and from a command line run:  PSGetSid username


The problematic profile key will likely end with .bak such as; S-1-5-21-2037612603-1103315024-2874594402-1003.bak  and there will be a matching profile key without the .bak extension, which is the temporary/default profile.

Assuming a .bak profile exists, rename the temporary profile something like S-1-5-21-2037612603-1103315024-2874594402-1003.tmp, and remove the .bak extension from the other.

Within the user’s profile key also check the sub-key “State”.  If this is set to something other than 0
change it to 0.

Reboot the system.
Upon reboot Windows should select and use the proper user profile

Other potential solutions for Event ID 1505 and Source  UserEnv:



Comments on: "Windows cannot load the user’s profile" (3)

  1. In AD Users & Computers, where would we pull the SBS server from. Currently the SBSServers OU has nothing in it and the existing SBS server is listed under Domain Controllers. I am hesitant to just drag & drop that server from DC’s to SBSServers Am I just being too cautious?

    • The SBS itself should be in the Domain Controllers OU, please do not move this as it will affect all of your SBS server related group policies. The SBSServers OU is intended for member servers such as a terminal server, additional file server, or SQL server.

  2. Nice post, thanks for sharing. it helped me. 🙂

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