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We have a system with Windows 7 Embedded. It's got Microsoft Security Essentials 4.10.209.0 installed. Automatic Windows Updates are disabled, and the last updates were installed last year in April. Suddenly systems have started to load with temporary profiles. They recover on the next power cycle, but after a few more they load back into temporary profiles.

At one point we got a message that c:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable . it could be on hard drive on this computer or network....... When I went to this location there was no desktop folder.

Also one of the solutions were to change the ownership of the c:\users\admin user from system to admin, but still no luck.

It's randomly loading and there is no set of steps to follow. Any ideas what can be the reason, how to fix it, root cause, any advice? We have been using this OS since last year for our application and this problem suddenly started to show up now.

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  • Loading a temporary profile means Windows couldn't load the correct one. There are many reasons why this could be, such as storage-related errors, corrupt registry settings, misbehaving startup programs, security issues, etc. Start by reviewing errors in the Event Logs. Apr 17 '18 at 19:04
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We had this problem and found that any machine whose profile is set to automatically in (e.g. autoadminlogon or some such) -AND- has Security Essentials / Windows Defender was doing this due to an update in Windows Defender this week or last. The cure is to either require user interaction, password, mouse click when booting in order to log in, or uninstall Security Essentials.

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