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lost all my files....self inflicted

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I was poking around and thought I could open some hidden files to see what is there and I really screwed something up. I was in "App Data" somewhere but I am not sure what I did. anyway when I got back to my desktop, I lost all my quickstart, lost a bunch of my desktop icons and my picture and document files are now empty. I am pretty sure my files are there however, because I opened a program I use to sort and verify files and receipts and I can open my file and read my receipts through the program, yet my document files show empty.I also tried to restore and it keeps coming up with a restore error. (Vista service pack 2) What did I do and how can I fix this???
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