In an earlier topic, we discussed about how, on some occasions, users’ computers are working perfectly fine one day and all of a sudden, without any clear warning (which is majority of the case, when these errors occur), some issue or the other pops in front of the user and serves as a form of impediment between the users and their work. One of the most frustrating issues happens to be when users correctly punch in their credentials in the required fields of the Windows login screen only to find that they cannot proceed beyond that point. Since every coin has two sides, and there is always a yin to a yang, every problem also a solution. This tutorial will properly detail out on how you can get past your corrupt windows user profile through the Windows Registry.
Before getting started, the simplest way to bypass the corrupt windows user login is to enable the hidden administrator account (tutorial provided in the link above). However, this tutorial should only be read, if and only if, you are not able to get past the user profile through the administrator account process. Since, thousands of windows operating system users are not properly edified to work their way around a windows registry, they can erroneously alter the values or change the settings that will end up being detrimental to their operating systems rather than fixing the issue.
*Some people have lost files by using the method, so it is imperative that you create a backup of your hard disk, or simply a backup of files you cannot afford to lose before trying anything which involves editing the Windows Registry. There are various programs which will allow you to make a copy of your entire disk, but you will need a second disk with sufficient capacity, and may even need a second PC or laptop in order to copy the disk (if you can’t boot into Windows). You should also make a backup of the Registry itself from Safe Mode before you start. These instructions are provided as a last resort, so always be careful with steps, especially in something that you properly versed in.*
Getting in the registry
Step 1. In order to get past the windows user profile, you will be required to boot in to Safe Mode. Before the Windows welcome screen pops, continuously keep on tapping the F8 key until a whole list of options appear in front of you. From those options, choose Safe Mode. You will find that you will easily be able to bypass the login screen.
*Remember that you will successfully be able to bypass the login screen once you are in the Safe Mode but do not attempt to delete your existing user profile (from the control panel) and create a new one because it will not happen (as no options will appear in front of you when proceeding with such an act), negating the use of this step.*
Step 2. In order to fix the user profile, click on Start and type regedit into the search box placed directly above the Start button and press Enter. Before pressing Enter, you will be able to view a rubik’s cube like logo and clicking on it will take you to the Windows Registry.
Step 3. While you are at the Windows Registry, you will need to navigate to the following key:
From here, click each S-1-5 folder and double-click the ProfileImagePath entry in order to find out which user account it relates to (Remember, if your folder name ends with .bak or .ba).
Step 4. Once you have located the folder holding the corrupt profile (and if it doesn’t possess a .bak ending), double-click on RefCount and change the Value data to 0 and then click on Ok.
Step 5. Now, double-click on State and at this point, you have to make sure that that the Value data is again 0 and click on Ok to complete this part. You have successfully completed editing the registry. Restart your system now. You will successfully be able to login in your windows user profile the regular way (without booting in to Safe Mode).
Please make sure to keep a backup of your hard drive or at the bare minimum, the important files you must need for your day to day work activities. The small things always help in reducing the bigger issues.