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Randy The Tech Professor

April 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

How I Fixed: “The User Profile Service failed the logon”

user account profile service

Hello everyone,

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:

  1. Boot into safe mode
  2. Click on the start button, and type “regedit” into the search bar.
  3. Hit enter to open regedit.
  4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  5. You’ll see two “S-1-5….” folders with long names. One of them will end in “.bak”
  6. Rename the one that does not end in “.bak” to (long string of numbers) “.bad” or “.old”
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Best wishes,

Randy The Tech Professor

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  • Henry G. Salamy
    4:24 pm on June 2nd, 2014 1

    On my used W7 e-machine desktop, there are not two, but seven “S-1-5 folders w/long names.” (step 5). One does end in “bak” though. Do I rename all of the other six by adding “.old” and proceed to remove “bak” from the first
    per your fix?

    Much thanks!

  • Maria Madero
    3:15 am on June 13th, 2014 2

    Randy this worked! Thank you so much for saving me from hours of stress trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer.

  • Reuben cadribo
    2:45 am on July 7th, 2014 3

    Wow ….i just tried this fix and it was so amazing. thks

  • anne
    8:32 pm on August 18th, 2014 4

    Thank you so, so much! You are a life saver.

  • Eman
    1:19 am on September 2nd, 2014 5

    Thank you. Its magic

  • Brian
    3:35 pm on September 30th, 2014 6

    How about when you navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and there are NO “S-1-5….” folders with long names, just the three standard short named folders created by the windows install?


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