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Lost files from a User Profile?


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#1
Akimb0

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Hi all,

My Uncle recently turned on his PC; which has several user profiles on it so his family has one each, and his computed started up with the windows Chkdsk. It ran through and I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it said it found any problems. So then he clicked on his profile to log in as normal and when he got to the desktop, he'd lost his wallpaper, all his photos had gone along with everything else as far as it seems. The other profiles seem to work fine, they have their own wallpapers and files as normal.

He thinks that he's lost his Admin rights to the profile and that the "missing" files could just be hidden from him due to him not having the Admin access rights.

So, I hope someone can suggest anything to remedy this problem, I was thinking a system restore perhaps? (Assuming he's got the option switched on.) Apologies if my description of the problem isn't too helpful, but while I've always used windows XP, I've not had experience with (multiple) user profiles before. If you need any more information just ask and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for your time,

Akimb0.

edit: I found this topic in the "similar topics" list:

http://www.geekstogo...XP-t225374.html

Would it be worth asking my Uncle to try that?

Edited by Akimb0, 01 May 2010 - 08:33 AM.

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#2
Akimb0

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bring up my post.
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#3
LoMaX327

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If you or your uncle know the Adminstrator password for the system (its a default account that comes with windows, usually the password is blank unless someone manually changed it) you could start up in safe mode by pressing f8 before the windows XP screen comes up. log in as administrator and check the control panel for user accounts. You can examine the access of each account, and restore any settings that were lost.

That will most likely not bring the files in question back, however.

I would also investigate further. Right click my computer and go to Properties. Then select the advanced tab, and click on the Settings button in the user profiles section. This should display the different profiles on the computer, and how much data they contain. Have a look for names that seem similar to your Uncles profile name, but dont match it exactly. Compare the sizes if you find one.

If somehow his profile got renamed or somesuch, it should show as having much more data than the "new" empty profile.

What you can then do, is try and log out, and then log back on to any profiles with names similar to your uncles. Check to see if his data is there.

Until you find out where his data went, its risky to go mucking about changing things.
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#4
wannabe1

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Hello Akimb0...

Usually Windows XP will put all a user's files in the Documents and Settings folder...under the User Account name. (C:/Documents and Settings/username

That said, some malware infections can cause symptoms similar to what you describe. I've also seen corrupt user account profiles cause the issue.

Are you able to log in to the Safe Mode Administrator account?

wannabe1
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#5
Akimb0

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Hi, apologies first of all, my replies are going to be quite slow for the next few days.

I'll have to direct my Uncle either to this thread or over the phone as well, but I'll try and update this thread as often and as soon as I can. Thanks for the replies so far, I'll get him to check the basic stuff first then will post back as soon as I'm able to.

Thanks again,

Akimb0.
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#6
Akimb0

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Update:

Internet on two profiles works, the internet on his 2 kids profiles doesn't work anymore, though it used to before.

He's using a speedtouch (Alcatel I think) connection. So he has to "dial" up to connect. As I said above, this worked previously, but since then has stopped working.

Again, apologies for slow replies/updates.

I still need him to check some of the stuff above, also I'll ask again, would it be worth him trying a system restore, assuming he has one that goes back far enough?>
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#7
LoMaX327

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I dont think it could hurt to try system restore, but it also may not help.

The internet issue is making it seem less like a corruption issue and more like wannabe1 mentioned, a possible malware. I am not a malware expert however, so take my opinion with a grain of salt there.

What we want to do is find his files. They cant all just be completely gone unless they got deleted. If the profile did get corrupted, I would imagine there would be issues even just trying to log into it, but thats not always the case.

Wannabe1 did ask an important question about safe mode. I think that is the 1st thing to try, in all honesty. If Safe mode doesnt work at all, then its probably going to need malware investigation (in which case, system restore isnt much help).

I would say try safe mode, first. Let us know if it works or not. Try to go into safe mode and log into Administrator profile. If you get in, have a look in the C:\documents and settings\<uncle's username> folder. If his data isnt there, poke around in the other user's folders. You may need your uncle's help to look for something that would be specific to only his profile.

Hope that helps.
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#8
LoMaX327

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Oh, just another suggestion:

If you can log in to safemode, try checking the drive for errors with checkdisk.

(Even if you cant get to safe mode, you can try it in normal mode, too).

Using CHKDSK to scan for and correct errors:

Double click My Computer.

Right click on the C: drive, select Properties.

Click on the Tools tab at the top of the new window.

Under the Error Checking section, click the Check Now button.

In the new window, select both checkboxes, and click Start.

You will be promted that the check cannot begin, and asked if you would like
windows to run the scan on the next reboot. Select Yes.

Then reboot the machine, and let the scan run. There will be 5 phases
to the scan, and it can seem like it has 'started itself over', but that
is normal. Just let it run. Depending on the speed of the computer it can
take 30 minutes to several hours to complete.

When its done, windows should start automatically. At that point, try
logging into your uncle's profile and seeing if his files are back.

Edited by LoMaX327, 08 May 2010 - 01:48 PM.

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