When trying to boot up Windows 7 she received the following error message:

The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded

I walked her through Method 3: Delete the error SID and create a new profile described by Microsoft Support here. Upon reboot, she was prompted she was able to login with her profile. She did not have to create a new profile.

However she can not find any of the files she saved directly to the desktop. Also her My Pictures folder is empty but My Documents and My Videos have all the appropriate content. Also iTunes does not recognize her

Any ideas on how to recover documents saved to the desktop or the photos?

  • I am trying to fix my girlfriend's computer when she is seven hours away, so I apologize in advance for hazy information. – Elpezmuerto Oct 20 '11 at 19:51
  • No new profile was created...she was able to login with her exising profile – Elpezmuerto Oct 20 '11 at 20:18

Hopefully you backed up the old profile or at least did not delete it when creating the new one.

The contents of the desktop, my docs, my pictures, etc, are all stored inside the profile directory and so creating a new profile resulted in new and empty folders for all these.

You should still be able to access the old profile folders by going to C:\Users(old profile name)\ and looking through the folders there. Then simply copy the files to the same directories in the new profile folders (don't copy the whole folders, just the files and folders inside them).

UPDATE for OP updates:

If you've looked through all the folders inside C:\Users and found no files corresponding to the ones you've lost, I'd run a search of your entire computer (including hidden and system files) for .doc or a filename you know would exist. If you find nothing, then it is likely all the files were deleted when the profile was recreated.

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  • She tried that but all the folders, My Documents, My Pictures, etc. are all empty. She didn't have to create a new profile, she was able to login with her existing one apparently. – Elpezmuerto Oct 20 '11 at 20:20
  • So she looked in the old profile directory and all the folders were empty? She may need to change permissions and take ownership of the folders and files of the old profile directory. – music2myear Oct 20 '11 at 20:46
  • that is correct, all the folders are empty. I agree that it can be a permissions issue. Any recommendations on websites that can help me, help her walk through this? – Elpezmuerto Oct 20 '11 at 21:11
  • Ok, so it looks like we successful set her profile as the admin account, how do we take ownership of the folders? – Elpezmuerto Oct 20 '11 at 21:19

I am not certain you followed it exactly (unless there was a hard drive fault or similar) as I had issues a while ago and the guide worked for me.

Anyway, take a look at c:\users\<name>\ then especially the My Videos and My Documents folders.

As long as the hard drive didn't fail, the files you want should be under one folder, possibly <name>.<computername>, or <name>.<computername>.<number>

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  • If the new profile has a new name it should not have changed the name of the old profile. Old profile folders are usually only renamed when you login with the temporary profile Windows uses for recovery. – music2myear Oct 20 '11 at 20:01
  • so tired, maybe I didn't say it correctly... I meant to say check the name first, then one of the two others. – William Hilsum Oct 21 '11 at 0:21

Restoring to a previous restore point can fix this issue.

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  • Can you explain how? This answer is very low quality as it stands – Canadian Luke Oct 3 '15 at 23:48

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