I got a call the other day from a frantic client. He was an experienced artist and he could not logon to his Windows account. His user account was not accepting his password. Had he lost all of his files?
I went over to his house with my favorite password crackers thinking that it was a password issue. As soon as I saw the dreaded error message “The User Profile Service failed the logon”, I knew that it was not a password problem. This was a bug that required a registry fix.
Here is what I did to fix the issue:
- Boot into safe mode
- Click on the start button, and type “regedit” into the search bar.
- Hit enter to open regedit.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
- You’ll see two “S-1-5….” folders with long names. One of them will end in “.bak”
- Rename the one that does not end in “.bak” to (long string of numbers) “.bad” or “.old”
- Remove the “.bak” from the other one.
- With this folder selected, double click RefCount and type 0 and then click OK.
- With this folder selected, double click State and type 0 and then click OK.
- Reboot the machine, and it should be fixed.
After the machine rebooted, the client typed in his original password and the logon was successful. He looked at me with an expression of relief and gratitude, shook my hand profusely, and paid me a nice fee. I think I’ve just made a customer for life!
Randy The Tech Professor