If you tried to log on to Windows and received an error message telling you that your user profile might be corrupted, you can try to repair it. You will need to create a new profile, and then copy the files from the existing profile to the new one.

Before you create a new profile

Occasionally, Windows might not read your user profile correctly—for example, if your antivirus software is scanning your computer while you try to log on. Before you create a new user profile, try restarting your computer and logging on with your user account again.

To create a new user profile

To create a new profile, you must first create a new user account. When the account is created, a profile will also be created.

  1. Open User Accounts by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking User Accounts and Family Safety (or clicking User Accounts, if you are connected to a network domain), and then clicking User Accounts.

  2. Click Manage another account. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click Create a new account.

  4. Type the name you want to give the user account, click an account type, and then click Create Account.

To copy files to the new user profile

After you create the profile, you can copy the files from the existing profile. You must have at least three user accounts on the computer to complete these steps, including the new account you just created.

  1. Log on as a user other than the new user you just created or the user that you want to copy files from.

  2. Open Documents by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Documents.

  3. Click the Tools menu, and then click Folder Options.

    If you don't see the Tools menu, press ALT.

  4. Click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, and then click OK.

  5. Locate the C:\Users\Old_Username folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to copy files from.

  6. Select all of the files and folders in this folder, except the following files:

    • Ntuser.dat

    • Ntuser.dat.log

    • Ntuser.ini

  7. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.

    If you don't see the Edit menu, press ALT.

  8. Locate the C:\Users\New_Username folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed, and New_Username is the name of the new user profile you created.

  9. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

    If you don't see the Edit menu, press ALT.

  10. Log off, and then log back on as the new user.

    If you have e-mail messages in an e-mail program, such as Windows Mail, you must import your e-mail messages and addresses to the new user profile before you delete the old profile. If everything is working properly, you can delete the old profile.

If the steps above do not fix the problem, you should contact your customer support provider for assistance. To find additional information about customer support options that apply to this computer, click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click Help and Support, and then click the Ask someone or expand your search link at the bottom of the Help window.