Windows XP Profile Won't Load
September 23, 2010 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP "cannot load user's profile"....."insufficient system resources". - HELP!

On multiple Dell machines running XP Home SP3 I'm running across the same error.


"Windows cannot load user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system."

It is then followed by the message:

"Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service."

I'm not able to log on normally, nor will Safe Mode work. System Restore either fails or succeeds but the same problem persists.

All systems have at least 512Mb RAM, 10Gb hard drive space left. Page file size is system managed. Windows is NOT set to clear pagefile on shutdown. All systems running Symantec AV 9.0. Some user accounts are Limited, some are Admin.

Chkdsk does not fix the problem. Repair reinstall fixes the problem momentarily, but it's usually back after a couple reboots. Clear reinstall fixes the problem, but I've had it come back on the same machine.

Has anyone ever encountered this? I've googled to the end of the internet, and can't find any consistent answers.

posted by sonicbloom to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Safe mode, back up your files, wipe and load. Sorry... Windows is like that sometimes.
posted by Biru at 4:13 PM on September 23, 2010

Weird, I am having this exact problem with my laptop at work. My trouble started last Friday morning. It happened to a few other computers before mine and the IT guy is stumped.

I have no patience and when it happened to me (that 'cannot load profile' screen), I did a forced manual shutdown (holding down the power button until it went off) and then turned it on again. I logged in and it loaded my usual profile just fine, no more warning. It happened again on Monday and took two manual restarts to get my profile up and it hasn't happened since.

My laptop runs fine the rest of the day- no problems at all. I'm curious to see what answers you get so I can send them to the IT guy where I work.
posted by NoraCharles at 4:32 PM on September 23, 2010

Oh and they're all Dells on XP.
posted by NoraCharles at 4:34 PM on September 23, 2010

Oh, and when I can occasionally log onto Windows, I check the event viewer an see a ton of Errors, all related to services that are unable to start due to insufficient resources.
posted by sonicbloom at 5:45 PM on September 23, 2010

The environment I work at is also Dell's with XP Pro..and I ran into errors similar to this recently (having never seen it before). Fortunately in my case CHKDSK fixed it.

In my situation.. the errors came up immediately after upgrading from SP2 to SP3. I'm not sure why that is, but it happened on 4 different machines all in the same department (however this specific department is the only place I've seen these errors, which leads me to believe they have some proprietary software or plugin that is causing it.)

The other commonality I noticed was all 4 machines that showed this error were really really far behind on updates/patches... (XP sp 2, old versions of Adobe Reader, old versions of Java,etc) ... so its also entirely possible that some random sequence of doing certain updates in a certain order is causing this... but I wasn't able to ascertain what pattern that might be.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.
posted by jmnugent at 5:50 PM on September 23, 2010

Had a similar problem (I think). XP wouldn't let me load up Office 2007 saying it didn't have enough memory / resources etc. After a bit of research it turned out that somehow my user profile had got corrupted so what I did was simply create a new user profile and then copy any information / settings etc. across from the old profile.

I have no idea howe the profile got corrupted (Windows is indeed like that), but the above worked for me.

Good luck.
posted by mukade at 10:16 PM on September 23, 2010

The oldschool techie in me cringes when I hear someone is Symantec AV products. I still generally avoid them, although I'm not sure if they're still using "questionable" tactics with their AV engines. (they used to employ rootkits...much like the ones you see in recent malware...with some of the same consequences of system instability).

I'm not saying Symantec is your issue here of course, but just had to preface this with a sense of suspicion and my obvious bias against them. Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast!, or AVG would be a good free alternative to Symantec (and don't get me started on Mcafee...a whole different list of things wrong with their products).

Ok with that out of the way, back up your valuable documents and data to a thumbdrive, and get a bootable CD such as your windows installation CD or a BartPE CD if you're able to create one on a working PC. From there, get to a recovery console or CMD prompt and run "chkdsk /f c:" as recommended above.

Download a very handy (though slowly becoming outdated sadly) tool called Dial-A-Fix. Run all of the fixes on the first screen. But also, just for good measure, go under the additional tools (hammer icon) and run a full permissions the errors you've described could be caused by faulty permissions as well.

Your next recourse, if dial-a-fix is unsuccessful would be to attempt a system state restore. If you can get to a desktop, see if you can restore your system to a previous date where it was working.

To rule out your profile (which probably isn't the case since you noted lots of services failing). you could try creating a new local account to see if the issue persists there.

Lastly if all else fails, go back to the Windows installation CD and perform a repair. You can get to the repair dialog by skipping past the Recovery Console prompt and continue as you are about to install a new OS. After pressing F8 to agree to the license terms, you'll be able to initiate a repair process on a discovered installation. The repair will replace and re-register all your system components with the factory CD ones. So you'll likely need to run a mountain's worth of automatic updates afterwards...but your installed programs and settings should mostly stay intact.

(well the real lastly would be a system wipe and clean slate...but I think it would be good to figure out where the issue is originating since its affecting multiple pcs)
posted by samsara at 5:18 AM on September 24, 2010

er. is *using* Symantec
posted by samsara at 5:19 AM on September 24, 2010

Long story short, it was Symantec.
posted by sonicbloom at 3:52 PM on December 13, 2010

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