Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently had a profile problem with my Windows 7 PC. My original profile in the registry had ".bak" appended to it and a new profile was created. I was unable to login with the new profile. I fixed this immediate problem by logging on in safe mode. This enabled me to restore my original profile.

However, since that moment the login screen now operates differently. Instead of showing icons for all the users with accounts on the PC, it now only shows two icons. The first icon is the last user who logged on and the second icon always shows "Other User". I have tried several different solutions recommended by other people with similar problems, but none of them have fixed the problem. I think the person who started this thread has the same problem, but none of the proposed solutions helped him either.

Any help much appreciated.

share|improve this question
    
A quick question: You can now access your account through "Other User" though right? –  Vervious Apr 14 '10 at 3:18
    
I'd be interested to hear what you figure out, because this is something that I would actually prefer. Did you intend to have it set to have you type the username and password, or click an icon? Right now it sounds like it's stuck somewhere inbetween. –  nhinkle Apr 14 '10 at 3:52
    
When I click "Other User" I can can login in as any valid user. There are settings in the local security policy editor that control this functionality properly, but I appear to in no man's land where none of the known registry settings seem to correct the problem. –  Mike Thompson Apr 14 '10 at 12:19
    
What if you create another new (temporary) account? Does the icon for the new account get displayed in the welcome screen? –  Vervious Apr 15 '10 at 2:08
    
New accounts will not be displayed either. –  Mike Thompson Apr 17 '10 at 2:58
show 2 more comments

4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+150

I'm on a domain here, so I can't verify my ideas, but concerning the newest post in the thread you linked to, here is my thinking:

To display the user accounts and their profile images windows must scan the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\ subkeys of the registry. If there are some some half-broken entries left after your repair of the user account, Windows cannot reliably read that profile. Instead of just skipping the profile and displaying the rest, which would practically disable the half-broken profile, it goes into the alternate logon mode. That mode doesn't need to display all the icons and names, and allows you to enter any profile's username. One could say it's somewhat more "robust" in this respect.

So my suggestion is to go to the ProfileList\ in the Registry and look for broken, double or superflous entries and export-then-delete them. Don't try renaming them, because ALL the subkeys of this entry are scanned, regardless of the names.

This is also in line with Ibrahim77's solution oveer there which basically is: except for your Administrator account, delete all profiles, delete all ProfileList\ Subkeys, delete all Profile Folders and start anew.

share|improve this answer
    
It worked! So Simple! Windows left a corrupted profile in the registry when it hiccupped. May this question & solution help others. Hopefully MS will fix it in a future version of Windows. Thanks Oliver. –  Mike Thompson Apr 20 '10 at 13:13
    
That worked for me as well, except for one modification: I exported the whole ProfileList key. The exported reg file then contains all the original info for later restore in case of fsckup. Saves a few mouse clicks :) –  oligofren May 8 at 7:14
add comment

AN IDEA: go into control panel, then system properties, then change settings for "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings". Next to "to rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup, click Change" click Change. Is there a "Member of " domain set there, by chance? Since your screen sounds like the one people have when they are a member of a domain.

Also check the rest of my comments. Did you try all the solutions in the similar thread you noted in your question? Some sound pretty decent. Also check the registry keys...

If you just can't bear it and nothing solves it, do a backup and reinstall. :)

ALSO: try looking through all the policies one last time though you might have already done so.

Search for local security policy, run it...

Then expand local policies then Security Options...

For every policy that begins with "Interactive logon", make sure everything is right. e.g. for Display user info when session locked, it should be display name only or something like that. The rest are mostly disabled, not defined, or a couple enabled.

Other than that... scan for malware... I wouldn't know.

share|improve this answer
    
It seems unlikely that he would become accidentally attached to a domain, since becoming a member of a domain requires entering the domain admin password. That usually doesn't happen without the user realizing it. –  nhinkle Apr 19 '10 at 5:18
    
true. Probably some detail in the registry then. –  Vervious Apr 19 '10 at 5:38
    
Interestingly, the workgroup reverted to "WORKGROUP" instead of the name I gave it. I renamed the workgroup back, but this has made no difference to the login problem! –  Mike Thompson Apr 19 '10 at 10:57
    
You did try the "dontdisplaylastusername" trick right? (in the windows answers thread). I'm still trying to find a solution for you. :) –  Vervious Apr 19 '10 at 23:01
    
And check all the policies one last time :) (updated answer( –  Vervious Apr 19 '10 at 23:15
show 1 more comment

Here's how to do it through a graphical interface:

  • Press Win+R to open the "Run" dialog
  • Type control userpasswords2 and press Enter
  • Toggle the checkbox labelled "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer"
  • If a password box appears I would recommend setting it to the same as the one you currently use for your account
  • Restart

You should now see the users listed, not the "SomeUserName" and "Other User" configuration.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Someone mentioned deleting the key

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\Default

Though if this is correct or works, I don't know.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.