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#1 Technique

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 19:44

So on the family PC which is WinXP, the HDD is split into 3 user accounts.

 

My brothers was working fine, then he turned it on one day & all his files (mp3s, photos etc) had disappeared. EVERYTHING. The desktop had reset itself, the start menu had reset. It was as though it was a fresh install. The other 2 user accounts weren't affected.

 

Short of it is, when you go into My Computer & see the list of user accounts, there's mine, there's my sisters & then there's 2 of his. One has nothing in it much, the other has all his files etc.

 

So you have a folder: Dave

Then you have a folder: Dave.PACKARD (the computers name is PACKARD as it's a PB).

 

Why has this happened & how do you fix it?

 

He's just bought a new iPhone & wants to restore it with a previous backup, which is on there SOMEWHERE, i just can't find it. I know it was backed up as i did it myself, but even googling where it should be located i can't find it.




#2 Dot Matrix

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 19:49

Wait... You made a backup, on the same drive? O_o

 

Can't you access the folder with all his stuff on it?



#3 OP Technique

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 18:52

No No, i didn't make a backup.

 

1 day everything was working fine, the next day my brother tells me none of his files are there. I go to go see what he's talking about & that's what's happened. Nothing was 'done', it just happened for some reason.

 

Yeah i can access the folder, but that's not getting away from the fact that everything has changed for some reason. It's as though there's been a fresh install - all settings are as a fresh install would be. Desktop as a fresh install would be. No files in his documents folders etc. They're all in the other folder i mentioned.

 

They CAN be accessed, but they're not in his default folder. There is no iTunes by default etc etc.



#4 Praetor

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:06

No No, i didn't make a backup.

 

1 day everything was working fine, the next day my brother tells me none of his files are there. I go to go see what he's talking about & that's what's happened. Nothing was 'done', it just happened for some reason.

 

Yeah i can access the folder, but that's not getting away from the fact that everything has changed for some reason. It's as though there's been a fresh install - all settings are as a fresh install would be. Desktop as a fresh install would be. No files in his documents folders etc. They're all in the other folder i mentioned.

 

They CAN be accessed, but they're not in his default folder. There is no iTunes by default etc etc.

 

First thing is... does the system drive has enough space? That's a major reason for that to happen (temp profiles are used if low disk space condition is true).



#5 Dot Matrix

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:11

Can he log into the other account?



#6 T3X4S

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:14

run "unhide" just to make sure it isnt an infection.

or you can click to view hidden system files to see if they were hidden (by an infection or otherwise)

If this doesnt help - get a new HDD & start fresh ... it cant be that important otherwise you would have a backup....

Or it could be that windows created a temp identical user profile because the original was corrupted.

This happens a lot in XP - that might be why he has 2 user accounts - such as c:\users and settings\dave & c:\users and settings\dave.PACKARD



#7 jordanspringer

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:21

It appears you are trying to login to a user account and it appears to be a brand new profile. This seems like Windows is using a temporary profile instead of your users profile. All your files (documents/music/pictures etc) are still available inside the User's folder (C:/Documents and Settings/User folder).
 

To fix this, follow these steps: http://www.theonline...le-problem.html (You can ignore step 2)

 

 

This happens to a lot of my users still on Windows XP. If it continues to happen every so often after you do the registry fix above, run a chkdsk on your hard drive to fix corruptions. Instructions: http://www.bleepingc...-in-windows-xp/



#8 _dandy_

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:23

Praetor is on the right track.  I've seen XP lose the ability to use an existing profile, so it creates a brand new one.  Nothing's lost, all the data is still intact in the 'other' profile, but it doesn't appears under the new one.

 

I don't recall ever finding a solution to have Windows go back to the older profile.  Since the files are all still accessible, whenever this happened, I just moved the content of the My Documents/My Pictures/etc back into the more recently created profile.

 

Of course that means he's "lost" his personalized settings, but it's better than having lost everything.

 

I've had a relative have this happen at least 3 times within a month or two.  At that point it seemed that the OS was about ready to give up at any moment, so I told her to move her files elsewhere and start thinking about either reinstalling the OS to clean it up, or (better yet) move away from XP altogether.

 

[Edit]  The registry fix that jordanspringer linked to above would work quite nicely, but that's assuming there's nothing permanently corrupted in the older profile that prevents it from being usable.



#9 notuptome2004

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 19:47

I think this is a sign you should move on to a newer OS or well Windows 8.1 as ms keeps updating it making it better and better and at the same time it is far more unlikely to have this issue

#10 OP Technique

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 20:30

I think this is a sign you should move on to a newer OS or well Windows 8.1 as ms keeps updating it making it better and better and at the same time it is far more unlikely to have this issue

 

Not a solution really. The PC doesn't get used enough & isn't powerful enough to warrant splashing out the money on a new OS.

 

 

First thing is... does the system drive has enough space? That's a major reason for that to happen (temp profiles are used if low disk space condition is true).

 

Ah - the HDD only had approx 2GB left i think. Maybe 1GB. It is a 70GB drive i think.

 

Can he log into the other account?

 

No. It doesn't seem to be another account as such, just another folder now with all his files in it.



#11 notuptome2004

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 21:10

What are the specs of the PC

#12 Ambroos

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 21:24

http://www.theonline...le-problem.html

 

As it's been said, follow those steps and you will have your profile back with everything intact. Save your files and make a backup, as damaged profiles tend to get kicked again soon.



#13 +Jack Unterweger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:42

please, what notuptome2004 said. i am usually against giving such half-useful advices, but in the case of win xp its a must. using win xp now still is a high security risk not only for yourself but also for anything you have email convos with, chat convos with, etc.  its really a time-bomb waiting to explode. if you say you cant leave windows, ok, switch to win 7 or 8. if you are more open to change, have a look at lubuntu/xubuntu, these are two very stable and fast windows xp replacements. and you will never have to worry about viruses again. you can boot them as live-system from usb or dvd and try them out before installing.



#14 sinetheo

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:06

Have you tried creating a new profile?

 

Hit control alt delete and open task manager. Then hit file run and type explorer.exe and your taskbar and start button will appear.

 

An even better solution would be to buy a copy of Windows 7. XP is no longer supported and is obsolete and frankly dangerous to go on the internet with in 2014.