Troubleshooting: Windows Easy Transfer and temporary profiles

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 16 May 2012 / Last Updated on 16 May 2012]

How to resolve an issue where Windows Easy Transfer fails because of temporary profiles stored in the registry.

Problem:  You are trying to run Windows Easy Transfer before you migrate your computer to a new version of Windows.  When you try to run Easy Transfer, you get an error message saying “You’re currently logged on using a temporary profile.  Restart your computer and try again.”  However, you verify that you are NOT logged on using a temporary profile—you are logged on using your domain (or local) user account.  Restarting your computer doesn’t resolve the issue.

Resolution:  The error message is incorrect here.  What is happening is that sometime in the past Windows must have logged you on using a temporary profile, and when this happened a registry key was created and this key is blocking Easy Transfer from working.  To resolve the problem, open Registry Editor and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and look any profiles that end with .bak and delete these.  Then restart your computer and run Easy Transfer again and it should work.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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