Windows 7 programs quit responding? You have a corrupt user profile. Here’s how to fix it.

Windows 7 can suffer from old-age disease, where it thrashes hard drives, programs quit responding, and it generally becomes unusable. I’m beginning to wonder if my main PC might be suffering from this. Microsoft prescribes this cure.

If you’re comfortable with a command line, I can make the solution faster and easier.

Log on to your corrupt user profile one last time. Don’t open any programs other than in the instructions below.

Create a temporary directory, either on the hard drive or on a plugged-in USB drive, to use to hold your profile temporarily.

Open a command prompt and issue the following command to copy your salvagable data out:

robocopy /e /z %userprofile% v:\profile *.* /xf ntuser.dat ntuser.dat.log ntuser.ini

Substitute your temporary location for v:\.

Now create your new user account and log in. Open a command prompt and issue the following command to copy your data back into your new profile:

robocopy /e /z v:\profile %userprofile% *.*

This is likely to be faster than copying the data using Windows Explorer, and if it runs into any problems, it’ll do a much better job of recovering from them. If either copy gets interrupted for any reason, just enter the line again. It will figure out where it left off and continue.

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