I have the same issue, with a couple of minor wrinkles that should not be germane:
- I'm coming from the quicklaunch folder (but same thing happens in startup, or from dos prompt)
- I can launch chrome just fine, but if I copy/paste the shortcut and add the --data-user-dir parameter to the target, it does not start.
- I can do the equivalent for notepad and it works fine.
- I DON'T want to run as Administrator. (right-click run as administrator does work) - it is ludicrous to run a sandboxing java app as administrator.

All suggestions / hints most welcome - this is driving me nuts.