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New user accounts can't be opened: profile problem

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Pavilion 500-386nam
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

My PC came (in late 2014) with W8.1 installed, and I have always used just the one account that appeared on setting up, with admin rights. Now I am taking notice of advice to run the account at "standard" level instead, because of the extra protection from external attempts to take over the PC. But the rule is (of course) that there has to be an admin account. So I want to create a second account, give it admin rights, and then demote my working account to standard.

BUT the problem is that if I create a second account (whether admin or standard), I find it can't be opened: on logging in, I always get the message "User profile failed the sign-in, user profile cannot be loaded". The same happens if I activate the existing Guest account and try to open it.

I've seen a possible reason for this: a corrupted C/Users/Default profile (because new profiles are based on this) -- but can it really have been corrupted from new?? And if so, where can I obtain a replacement default profile (not having another W8.1 machine)?


In the folder, I have tried replacing the set of three NTUSER.DAT{.... files with (a) the identically named set I found in my own C/Users folder, and (b) with the differently named set that was also there. But each time when I tried creating a new account and signed in to it, I still faced the profile problem as above.


I have also tried creating & opening the new account in Safe Mode: no difference.

Are there other possible causes? And possible solutions that won't make me nervous about losing access to everything?

I also notice that although, first of all, I modified the name of my working account, the name listed in File Explorer under C/Users has not changed -- should it have done?

Thanks for any help with this.

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Hi! @pbs1, Thanks for stopping by HP forums!


I understand you are getting an error: User profile failed the sign-in, user profile cannot be loaded on your PC.


Don't worry I'll try to help you out.


Did you make any software or hardware changes on your PC?


Please try the steps recommended below.


It looks like user account settings on your PC has got corrupted try the steps recommended below to solve the problem.


1. Press Windows Key + R and type C:\Users and click OK. Switch to View tab in the folder so opened, and check Hidden items option in the ribbon. You’ll see a new folder now located inside this folder, named as Default. Rename this folder to Default.old.


2. Now create a new folder named Default under C:\Users. Inside it, create following empty folders such that their location became:










C:\Users\Default\Save Games



3. Next, open administrative Command Prompt and copy NTUSER.DAT file of issued account to C:\Users\Default using following command (replace <USERNAME>):

xcopy C:\Users\<USERNAME>\NTUSER.DAT C:\Users\Default


4. You can now create another user account and reboot, then log-in to that account. You’ll find that you could easily login there and the issue doesn’t occur now.



Let me know if this works!

Have a great day ahead! 🙂






I am an HP Employee

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MrRobot: thank you.


I have no idea if hardware/software changes might be the cause, because I have not tried to open a new account before.


Here's what happened, following your instructions:

   1) Done

   2) Done

   3) No file copied.

I then made system files visible, and tried all the other ways of copying NTUSER.DAT across.  Each time: "file can't be copied because it is open in System."  Which is of course because I am logged on as the user (and I can't open a different account, which is the whole problem).


But anyway, doesn't this file contain registry information for my working account?  So if I found a way of copying it into Default, and was then able to open new accounts, might these not corrupt my working account?

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