Windows 8 Temporary Profile Issue

When I booted Windows today, I was presented with a message that says that I’ve been given a temporary profile.

Most of the instructions I found revolved around running sfc /scannow, but when I tried that I was told that the system was already locked by another process.

I checked when Windows Update last ran, and it looks like there was an update last night, which seems like it might be something to do with it. A bit more googling took me to this page which I’m going to summarise here for myself in future / in case that page disappears.

  • Run regedit as administrator
  • Find the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  • Look at the keys in this path. Two of them (they’re quite long names) will be named the same, but one will have a .bak suffix.
  • Rename the one without the suffix to have .new at the end
  • Remove the .bak suffix from the other one
  • Reboot your machine. It should start applying a Windows Update
  • Log in, everything should be fixed

Michael is a polyglot software engineer, committed to reducing complexity in systems and making them more predictable. Working with a variety of languages and tools, he shares his technical expertise to audiences all around the world at user groups and conferences. You can follow @mheap on Twitter

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