Local Profile Not Found...Wha???
July 23, 2009 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I recently logged onto my computer (Windows XP), and it said "profile not found". Help, please!

Today I started my laptop, and at the welcome screen it said that my local profile was not found, so I was logged onto a temporary profile. All my personalized settings were gone (i.e. desktop picture, menu settings, default internet browser, etc).

I tried to google the problem, but haven't been able to find anything super helpful, and the only AskMe question seemed to be about a work computer that was connected to a server. Mine is a home laptop not connected to a server.

I'm fairly certain all my files on the hard drive are still there, but is this indicative of a problem with the hard drive?

Has anyone had this happen? Why did it happen? Basically any info would be great! Computer savvy people...come to my rescue! :)
posted by too bad you're not me to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
i think you logged in w/ an incorrect password (pretty sure..)

shut down and log back in again.
posted by The_Auditor at 4:18 PM on July 23, 2009

When you're logged into that temporary profile, take a look at the Documents folders...Usually they're named things like C:\Documents and Settings\toobadyourenotme\ or C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator. Does one of these exist for the local profile you normally use? If so, poke around and see if the contents of C:\Documents and Settings\localprofileyounormallyuse\Desktop match what you remember being on your desktop. That's pretty much how you'd know your things are still there. How to get it back to normal...I'm not sure. But if you need to rescue files, lots of things get dumped into Documents by default.

(apologies if any of the filepaths there are way off - I'm on my iMac at present with no way to do a sanity test!)
posted by lizzicide at 4:26 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

This happened with my Win2k install recently. I did what lizziecide advises to confirm the old profile was there and then I went here and did what it says to restore the profile.

One assumes the process is not much different for XP.
posted by notyou at 4:37 PM on July 23, 2009

Best answer: Yes.. profiles do go corrupt sometimes... could be any number of reasons why.

First thing I would try to do is run CHKDSK (checkdisk) on the hard drive and see if that fixes the problem. Easiest way to do this by doing the following:

1.) Double-click (open) the MY COMPUTER icon
2.) Right-click on your C:\ local drive..... and choose "Properties"
3.) Go to the TOOLS tab
4.) under the very top portion "Error Checking".. click the "CHECK NOW" Button
5.) Select both option boxes.. and click "START NOW"...

You'll probably get an error saying: "CHKDSK cannot start now,.. would you like it to run on the next reboot?".... say YES to that....

Now reboot your computer.. and let CHKDSK run...

Once CHKDSK finishes (it might take an hour or 2)...try your profile again and see what happens.
posted by jmnugent at 4:44 PM on July 23, 2009

You know, I've had this happen twice on one of my XP installs, and both times all I had to do was restart to get the profile back.
posted by limeonaire at 8:02 PM on July 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. JMNUGENT, you were right on. Yay!

posted by too bad you're not me at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2009

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