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Desktop files missing and major change


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#1
MAA58

MAA58

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Afew weeks ago my son sat down to do his homework and the screen was black. My other son said that the night before the computer had asked to be restarted for updates. He thought it was Norton but I suspect it was windows. Anyway, when the compter restarted, the screen looked completely different and most of the desktop files were missing. He found them eventually in another folder and copied and pasted them back to the desktop. Then, two days later, the computer rebooted again after either an update or an error (not sure which) and all the copied files were gone and we can't seem to find them. Most were photos and videos that we had taken. Can you help me find or recover them? Is there anyway to find out what happened and why?
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#2
Facedown98

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Hi MAA58, and welcome to Geeks to Go!

Your computer updates continuously between AntiVirus, Windows, etc. None of these programs should be moving your desktop icons and files however. What throws me for a loop is that the same issue appeared twice. While I understand you have Norton installed, I don't think this is normal behavior for a PC, and would like to refer you to the Malware Specialists. The specialists will evaluate your computer and help you remove any possible threats. When you receive a clean bill of health, please return to this topic so we can further troubleshoot with you. Below are a quick set of instructions to get you in touch with a Malware Specialist. Best of luck!

I suggest you go to the Malware Forum and run all the steps located in the START HERE. These self-help tools will help you clean up 70% of problems on your own. If you are still having problems after doing the steps, then please post a HiJackThis Log in THAT forum. If you are unable to run and/or post a HJT log, then post that in your initial post in the topic you create in that forum.

If you are still having problems after being given a clean bill of health from the malware expert, then please return to THIS thread and we will pursue other options to help you solve your current problem(s).
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#3
MAA58

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the strange thing is that the computer is acting perfectly normal now except that all desktop files are gone and cannot be found in any search and the desktop background is gone and the windows background is there instead.

The search on my start button was not responding either but today I tried a different way by opening my computer and then searching. when i searched for jpg files it showed shortcuts for all of my photos but not the photos. when i clicked on the shortcut it said the file was no longer there. i don't know why shortcuts would exist at all.

when i follow you directions, will it help me see what happened originally and do I have any chance of recovering any of those files? I've tried system restore and desktop fix.
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#4
Facedown98

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My thought is that Malware (viruses, etc) caused the issue. Files don't move themselves. If your computer is infected with something, the Malware Specialists will help clean it up, which should fix your search issue for good. No guarantee that the files can be recovered, sadly --- I can't promise you that, however, we can try.

When the Malware Specialists give you a clean bill of health, give me a shout.

Good luck!
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#5
MAA58

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okay, i'll give it a try. thanks for help and i'll let you know what happens.
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#6
Facedown98

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Sure thing. Keep me updated.
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