Since Saturday last week (7 Apr 2018), I am experiencing strange problems with a lot Windows 7 installations.

The problem is that user profiles get replaced with temporary profiles. In the registry, under key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList, the profiles get renamed to .bak and a new profile with directory C:\Windows\Temp gets created.

Most of the time, the profile MSSQL$... gets damaged, which renders SQL Server 2012 unuseable. But I also noticed this issue on several non-SQL-Server profiles, including the user profile on my private computer.

After renaming the ".bak" key back to its original name, the profile actually works fine again.

Since last Saturday, 8 independent customers* had this problem, and also my own profile got corrupted. The weird thing is that I could not see any recently installed Windows Updates (except MSSE updates) which could have caused the issue. I also didn't find any Malware that could cause the issue.

I didn't find any blog or forum post which reports that people have this problem recently; I cannot find any news article which mentions this problem. My question is, if you have any experiences with this issue. I am becoming very concerned and am wondering if there is a new Windows Update or maybe a new virus which breaks profiles, but I cannot see any news on this subject.

(* each customer has their own private Windows environment; they do not share same configurations, software or system properties)

  • Maybe they share antivirus? Any clues from eventlog? Apr 12 '18 at 7:49
  • Yes, all clients use MSSE as anti virus software. But if there would be a problem in this program, there would be a severe global damage. In the eventlog, I only see that Windows reports that a temporary profile was created. Apr 12 '18 at 7:53
  • Have all of the machine been shutdown clean Apr 12 '18 at 8:06

One MSE update did that lately. I saw a dozen PCs with this problem already. It locks ntuser.dat during boot, which results in temporary profile being loaded instead. Get another AV, or delay the boot somehow (setting a password seemed to work for some), so the ntuser.dat has time to unlock again.


I have found the similar discussion here. This was related to Microsoft accounts: https://www.tenforums.com/user-accounts-family-safety/107637-we-cant-sign-you-problem-creates-temp-profile.html

They have suggested this solution: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/48012-fix-youve-been-signed-temporary-profile-windows-10-a.html

  • On superuser, we only use links as reference. May 9 '18 at 14:29

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