Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to look at my thread, any help would be very much appreciated.

Story in brief
My system is ruining Windows 8 Pro x64 (NOT 8.1). On initial install I followed this tutorial to relocate the user profiles to 2nd drive(2). Recently this 2nd drive(2) has failed, I do however have the important contents backup in 2 forms (windows backup and FileHistory) on a 3rd drive(3). I can still boot into windows, but cannot login for obvious reasons (error given is: 'user profile service failed to load user profile')

Summary of system drives
Drive(1) -
Letter/Label: C / Local Disk
Contents: Windows operating system and install programs (excluding user profiles)

Drive(2) -
Letter/Label: D / UserStore
Contents: User Profiles
Notes: The HDD has failed

Drive(3) -
Letter/Label: E / Backup
Contents: System image (C drive only), Windows backup (entire system), FileHistory (My user profile only)
Drive(4) -
Letter / Label: D / UserStore2
Contents: None
Notes: New, formatted NTFS, single partition.

Current operating state of system.

  • Only one user account was created on this system, I will refer to this as "MyUser". Using regedit (via cmd from "advanced startup options") I have activated the inbuilt admin account but it is not accessible on logon screen after both standard and safe mode boots
  • Can boot logon screen, but logon produces error 'user profile service failed to load user profile'.
  • Can boot into safe mode and successfully login using MyUser account, doing with displays the welcome messages (as if first logon) and once the desktop is reach a message box from the system tray informs that the "Default Profile" has been loaded.
  • I have bootable usb stick with a Linux distro,

Where I'm looking for help
Going forward I no longer wish to have my user profile located on a 2nd drive primarily so I upgrade to Windows 10 in future and secondly because all the trouble it has caused in this instance. (In future I just use symbolic links to relocate content)

Basically I just need be able to access the windows desktop from non-safe mode. So I can build a recovery disk/media to do a clean install or restore from my backup. Not really sure what the best way to go about this would be, but I imagine 3 options would be:
  1. Recreate user profile from backup on the new drive(4)
  2. Force windows to recreate the "User" folder on the D: drive(4)
  3. Force windows to recreate the "User" folder after reverting the user profile path back to it's default on C:

I don't know how possible/feasible any of the above are. advice on this would be appreciated.

I guess another option would be to create a recover disk/media from safe mode and then do a clean install from there, is this possible?