Could not connect to the User Profile Service service.

I've got a bit of a disconcerting problem.  Every day or two, I can not log into Windows properly.  When I boot up and select my account (which is also the sole administrator account) and enter my password, it spends an abnormally long time in the "Windows is Starting" screen, then I get the following message pop up from the notification area:

   "Failed to connect to a windows service
   Windows could not connect to the User Profile Service service.
   This problem prevents limited users from logging on to the system.
   As an administrative user, you can review..."

Shortly after that message pops up, I get a windowed error message saying:

   "Location is not available
   C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is not accessible.
   Access is denied."

This all appears on just a black desktop with only the Recycle bin icon on it, and the old Windows start button in the task bar.

While trying to figure out what is going on, I looked in the "Problem Reports and Solutions" application in the Control Panel, and found that every time this problem happens, I also have a corresponding "Routing and Remote Access" "Stopped Working" event.

I then restart, using F8 at boot-up and choose the one that says something to the effect of "using last known good configuration".

I'm not sure what this all means, but I hope one of you folks can help.


Question Info

Last updated May 25, 2019 Views 37,276 Applies to:
Hello Imported Leafs Fan,

Thank you for posting to the Microsoft Answers Forum.

It sounds like you are up and running only because of using a system restore to go back to when your system is working. Now you want to know what caused it.

Usually, when the above error occurs, it is because of a corrupt user profile.
The best way to correct this issue is to delete the user profile.  
  • Go to Start Button
  • Right click on Computer
  • Go to Properties
  • Go to Advanced System Properties on the left pane
  • Select the Advanced Tab
  • Go to the User Profile Section and click on Settings button
  • Find the profile for the <USER NAME> you want to delete and select the delete button.  (This is the preferred way of deleting the local profile in Windows Vista).
  • Login again and you will get a new profile.
  • To get your favorites back, go to the old profile under C:\users and copy over the data manually.
The only way to pinpoint what caused the error with user profile is to try and reproduce it.

If you haven't installed the Windows Update, then you can go to Windows Updates and see what updates are to be installed and download them manually and install them one at a time. In between the installs, make sure you have a restore point that you can go back to if needed. Once an update is installed, then log off and log back (or reboot if needed by the update) and see if you get the user profile error. If the error occurs, then go to Services and see if the User Profile service is running and set to Automatic.

If you are not able to do anything when the problem occurs, then try to boot in safe mode by using the F8 key and see if the problem happens in safe mode.

You can also look in the event viewer to see if there is any events dealing with User Profile or Windows Update errors.
To get to event viewer, you can type in eventvwr.msc from the Start Search box. This will bring up the Event Viewer and you can review the summary logs and see what types of errors you are experiencing.

Please post again with your results and if you need further assistance.

Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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