Yesterday I was setting up a fresh install of Windows 8 during which I downloaded some files into the default (File Explorer > Favorites) "Downloads" folder, setup Google Chrome with extensions like Xmarks & Adblock and set new browsing options, and tweaked the taskbar and system tray notification area. However, when I booted up today the files in the "Downloads" folder are missing, Chrome loaded to a fresh install state, the taskbar reverted back to large icons, and the notification area icons are back to their default settings.
I used the search bar to find a file I downloaded and it located this folder:
which houses all the files I downloaded yesterday while setting up the fresh OS. The default (File Explorer > Favorites) "Downloads" folder points to:
which is empty.
Action Center settings also reverted back partially; User Account Control kept the settings I applied as well as Windows Update settings, however, the "Turn off messages about Windows SmartScreen/Update/etc" link is present whereas yesterday I had turned the messages off.
Yesterday I never restarted the system and only relied upon sleep mode for times I wasn't using it. I shutdown the system the once before going to bed so this morning is the only time it has rebooted since applying all those settings mentioned above.
Any clue as to what happened and way I might be able to retain all the tweaks from the day previous?