Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

XP forgot my custom settings


  • Please log in to reply

#1
BernadineAD

BernadineAD

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
Hi,

I was in the middle of computer time and all of a sudden everything seemed to stop momentarily and then everything reverted back to the XP default settings - everything. :) After resetting all of my settings manually (and over a couple days, I've found more needing to be changed back), I still couldn't get a couple of .wav sounds to play when they were supposed to. I don't know what happened but after many tries to reset them and then trying one last time, it allowed those last settings to finally be saved.

Can you tell what triggered the problem???

It didn't forget just my folder settings, it was ALL of my settings, fonts, sounds, folders, desktop and display properties.... It was a mess, and took a long time for me to reset everything.

I wondered if there is a way to back up my custom settings so if XP forgets them and reverts back to its default settings that I don't have to reset everything manually. And if there is, how would I reactivate them?

I get confused easily :):) Please explain in plain English and simple to follow instructions on how to save my settings. Not just folder settings, but for desktop, display, sounds, anything that I can custom set.

XP, actually, I'm not sure what else, if anything you need to know. It's a put together from some new and some stray parts computer. AVG anti-virus, Comodo firewall, Spybot S&D, AdAware, WiFi, all kept up-to-date.

Thank you,
Bernadine
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
kimsland

kimsland

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

Hi,

I was in the middle of computer time and all of a sudden everything seemed to stop momentarily and then everything reverted back to the XP default settings - everything. ...

Can you tell what triggered the problem???

...
I wondered if there is a way to back up my custom settings so if XP forgets them and reverts back to its default settings that I don't have to reset everything manually. And if there is, how would I reactivate them?

Hi BernadineAD

Before we look at ways of saving all your system settings, it may be best to find out what happened, and what to do to protect your data.

I will say straight up that most strange things that happen on Windows are caused by Malware infection.
So you might want to go straight to the Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide and have specialized support check your system for any possible infection.

Generally the best practice is to always have external backup of your User data (Documents; Pictures etc) before doing anything else.
This may help especially in situations where you may have a corrupted hard drive, that could be about to fail.
You should also have a current System Restore point made.

The first diagnostic area to check what happened, would be to open your Event Viewer (Start > Run > eventvwr ) and check for any errors or even programs that may have caused this issue to begin with.
  • 0

#3
BernadineAD

BernadineAD

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
Thank you for your answer.

I understand and appreciate your concern about the security of my computer. However, I have just finished updating, securing and backing up my computer with guidance from a geeky friend. It was quite a job but it's done and everything OK with security. I have asked him the questions I pose here, and for once he is stumped.

When XP forgot my settings, I looked on the web and found a couple other people with questions which detailed the exact problem I had with XP. The answer was long and complicated, too complicated for my level of knowledge with out help. But it seems under certain (unknown to them) conditions, XP will just forget all custom settings. Near the end of their answer they said, "you did save your settings" That seemed to be the piece I was missing, so I wrote to that forum and asked "how do you save your settings?" It's been over a week now and I still haven't heard back from them. So I am hoping someone else can just answer that question for me.

How can I save all of my settings, so in case XP forgets them all again, I can reset my settings without having to spend lots of time resetting them all manually.

Thank you,

Bernadine
  • 0

#4
kimsland

kimsland

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
Oh, seems a reasonable request, and a good question :)

The BEST way to save all your settings in Windows XP is by System Restore.
When tech support members state "Save all your settings", that is exactly what they mean :)

But you can take this a step further and save your settings to external media etc.
An easy way to do this is through: Windows Easy Transfer.
Windows Easy Transfer was designed to transfer all your User settings to another computer (ie when upgrading to Vista or Windows 7) But can also be used just to back up XP User settings (and data)

Another good option is to backup your Registry, using a tool like: ERUNT
Your registry is actually where all your User settings (not user data though) are stored.
Although backing up the registry is a good idea, returning the full backup can be an issue sometimes, therefore many users just back up parts of the registry not the whole lot.

The absolute number 1 way of confirming you have everything fully backed up, would be through imaging.
Imaging backs up your entire filesystem including all data user settings and everything!
Generally most support techs (ie me :) ) say to use: True Image Home 2010 since it is the best :)
But you can also use a free one like: DriveImage XML

I'd say 99% of technical support members have an image of their drive.
And say 50% of Windows users just back up their data only. If anything goes wrong they either use System Restore, or re-install Windows clean.

Is that what you mean? :)
  • 0

#5
BernadineAD

BernadineAD

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
Hi kimsland and thank you.

I'm glad it's a good question because sometimes I'm told I can come up with some doozies, I'm not quite sure how. The next few paragraphs are me trying to clarify some things to see if "that is what I mean." I get confused easy so please be patient with me. The last paragraph is what I came up with after all of my wandering around in over my head trying to understand this computer stuff.

I followed the link to Windows Easy Transfer and found the download for XP. How do I know if this computer is 32 or 64 bit? So it would transfer all of my User Settings. It's designed to transfer them to another computer, would it transfer to a thumb drive? If so, would it allow me to transfer them back if XP ever decided to forget my User Settings again? Then the question would be how do I know what to copy and if XP forgot again, how to get them back into XP?

"Another good option is to backup your Registry, using a tool like: ERUNT Your registry is actually where all your User settings (not user data though) are stored. Although backing up the registry is a good idea, returning the full backup can be an issue sometimes, therefore many users just back up parts of the registry not the whole lot." I've heard of Registry, but even that is vague in my computer knowledge. How is this different than Windows Easy Transfer? Which would be better suited to saving My settings and restoring them back if XP "forgot"?

I have all of my documents, pictures, data backed up on a thumb drive. Done with Karen's Replicator. What prompted my original question, XP and the computer worked fine, XP just forgot all of my settings: sounds, colors, folder set up. Would Karen's Replicator do what Windows Easy Transfer or ERUNT can do?

I looked up ERUNT and read some of the information about it, but the line "nor can the exported file be used later to replace the current registry with the old one. Instead, if you re-import the file, it is merged with the current registry without deleting anything that has been added since the export, leaving you with an absolute mess of old and new entries." mostly confused me, but didn't seem like it would be what I need for a quick and easy solution to restoring my User Settings if XP "forgets" again.

"But you can also use a free one like: DriveImage XML" Since everything was fine with XP and my computer except for its one time forgetfulness of my settings, what I can understand of this, it sounds like overkill. I have saved a System Restore point, and from what I understand it's used if some real problems develop. XP forgetting was an annoying inconvenience that I'd rather not repeat, but not a lost things I can't replace type of problem.

So, after all of that, I guess the basic questions are:
1. What would be the easiest, simplest, free way to backup My Settings to a thumb drive that would also allow me to easily transfer them back into XP if XP ever decided to forget my User Settings again?
2. What files/folders would I need to backup, I guess from the Registry, that have My Settings?
3. What Settings are included in those files/folders?
4. If XP forgot My Settings again, and was running fine otherwise, how would I get My Settings back into XP?

I'm in over my head trying to understand all of this and I'm never quite sure how to say what I mean about my computer questions. So I hope my rambling around and these questions make a little sense to you.

Thanks,
Bernadine
  • 0

#6
kimsland

kimsland

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

So, after all of that, I guess the basic questions are:
1. What would be the easiest, simplest, free way to backup My Settings to a thumb drive that would also allow me to easily transfer them back into XP if XP ever decided to forget my User Settings again?
2. What files/folders would I need to backup, I guess from the Registry, that have My Settings?
3. What Settings are included in those files/folders?
4. If XP forgot My Settings again, and was running fine otherwise, how would I get My Settings back into XP?


Firstly, sorry I'm not a "Karen's Replicator" expert, nor have I ever stated to use it, or used it myself.
I suspect its all User friendly stuff, but no idea.

Next.
I think you (and possibly me) are making a mountain out of a molehill.
XP does not lose its Profile settings, unless you have another issue (Faulty hardware; Malware issues etc etc)
Therefore as long as XP is working normally, as it does more than 99% of the time, then there is no need to backup any settings. (User data is a different story)

Since you are at the beginning (well possibly a bit more than a noob (newbie) :))
Then it would be best not to tangle yourself all up in this, and review every single option in the world, then test it! That's what support are for :)

So when I say Do this... That's basically what you do. Or you take on someone elses support.
This is not arrogance, nor is it the goal of a forum and its members. But we all must conclude somewhere, and there truly is a lot of options out there.
I tend to like and support only through FREE support replies, that's why I stated an alternative to True Image.

All of your questions above are answered already > System Restore
How can I post something better than the current world leader, that is used by everyone on all Windows.

If you have concerns that your system is still not protected then we go to the next step (I really outlined all these in my previous post)
Generally you should expect that Windows will not lose all your settings.
Mine hasn't, I'm on my same XP build now for about 2 years or more!
IF mine did fault (beyond repair). I'd probably Format (meaning remove the partition really) and install Windows clean.

In saying that. Most (99%) of all Windows faults are repairable, so coming to any forum, you will get free help, and a thank-you are you're away again :)
If you have hardware issues > replace them now (if known)

Sorry for the long reply. I think I got carried away :)
  • 0

#7
BernadineAD

BernadineAD

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
Hi,

I'm sad that you didn't like my questions to clarify and understand your answers which were about half the time beyond my understanding of computer stuff.

I have been advised and use only FREE help and programs to secure my computer. Even FREE help to build my computer, FREE new printer, scanner, mouse, keyboard. Only had to pay for my monitor and that was because I didn't want another huge FREE monitor.

"So when I say Do this... That's basically what you do. Or you take on someone elses support.
This is not arrogance,"
I don't basically do what someone else tells me to do unless I understand what/why they are telling me to do it and that goes back to my first paragraph. Unless I ask questions how can I learn? It may not be arrogance but it certainly isn't the way I'm used to working/learning.
  • 0

#8
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Hello BernadineAD...

Let me ask you a couple of questions about this issue.
  • Is there more than just this one User Account on your machine?
  • If there are, are they also affected this way?
Usually, when I see personal settings for a user failing to hold-over (save), it's due to a corrupt User Account Profile. While this problem can be repaired, it's a fairly complicated affair to do so. To verify if your issue is due to profile corruption, create a new User Account for yourself and set it up the way you like it. Then reboot and log back into that account...do the settings stay in place?

wannabe1
  • 0

#9
kimsland

kimsland

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
Hi Bernadine,

Actually I had a bad day yesterday. And I read over my last post and thought I wouldn't have written that today!

You can continue asking any questions you like
Please also reply to wannabe1 reply above.

We haven't lost you I hope? :)
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP