User Profile Problem?

Windows 2000 Professional SP2:
User had been having problems with system hanging up while trying to logout.  This morning the user logged in fine but all files in her my documents folder, .pst file, etc. were all gone.  All programs and files that are available for all users were still present.  Only files/apps for her profile were missing.

Everything related to her login is simply gone.  Nothing unusual in Event Viewer.  Unfortunately there is no backup of files or registry.

Any suggestions on getting her user profile back?  PS.  It was a plain old ntuser.dat file, not roaming, not mandatory.

Thanks in advance.

Who is Participating?
CrazyOneConnect With a Mentor Commented:
With out a backup of the actuall profile both what resides on the disk and the registry info then I don't think you can get the profile back. If the files have been removed from the disk one of the following utilities may help recover them.

Take look at these.

easy recovery
Free Version Personal Edition shows you all the files you could recover with a purchased copy of the Personal Edition.

Personal Edition recovers files from DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, 98 and Me, IDE/ATA/EIDE hard drives, SCSI hard drives, systems, floppy diskettes, Zip and Jaz removable media.

Free Version Professional Edition shows you all the files you could recover with a purchased copy of the Professional Edition.

Professional Edition recovers files from DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, 98, Me, XP, 2000 and NT systems, IDE/ATA/EIDE hard drives, SCSI hard drives, floppy diskettes, Zip and Jaz removable media, and provides advanced data recovery options.

File Rescue 2.5



Fast File Undelete


File Recover 2000


Lost and Found
Lost and Found recovers data from drives that have been formatted, lost partitions through accidental deletion, etc. This applies to FAT or FAT32 partitions only. If the disk is still capable of spinning, there is a chance of recovery.
Lost and Found only performs read operations on the affected hard disk. Many utilities attempt to repair the hard disk and corrupt data in the process. Since Lost and Found only performs read operations, it does not risk the integrity of the data on the disk.

File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
FileRestore is a simple, easy-to-use tool for recovering files that have been lost or deleted from your Windows system.
Designed for Windows XP, 2000, NT, Me, and 9x

Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.

Drive Rescue
Supported file systems: FAT 12/16/32
Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP

Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
- FAT12 FAT16 FAT32
- Linux
- Linux SWAP (version 1 and 2)
- NTFS (Windows NT)
- BeFS (BeOS)
- Netware
- RaiserFS



Emergency Undelete


With data recovery labs around the world complete with clean rooms, we'll have you up and running as quickly as possible. The total cost of your recovery depends on the nature and severity of the data loss situation.

In addition to the standard level of service, we also offer emergency services designed to get your data back as fast as possible:
Remote Data Recovery technology lets us perform lab-quality data recovery right on your server, desktop, or laptop through a modem or Internet connection. There is no need to remove the drive or dismantle your system. We're the only company in the world offering this type of service.

The Crazy One
icarus004Author Commented:
Wow, never knew there were som many recovery options.

Tried running Undelete earlier today.  Nothing of interest there.  If you ask me those programs are worthless unless the software was originally running when the file was lost or deleted.  Trying to recover files without having the software before the actual failure only recovers garbage.

  Various utilities give the system a clean bill of health.  I think that this particular user profile may have gotten corrupt and somehow was overwritten by the OS.  Any other thoughts?  Anyone...
>>> If you ask me those programs are worthless unless the software was originally running when the file was lost or deleted

Actually that is the way some work but most of the utilities on the list don't work that way and are for recovering files after they have been deleted or even if the disk has been formatted. These utilities DO NOT need to be running prior to the loss of files. They actually scour the disk looking for anything that appears to be a signature of a file. If the file is not fully intact, in others word partially overwritten then what it can recover will probably be useless. However if the file is intact then these utilities can a do recover the file. I would suggest trying several of them out before condemning them completely. You may be surprised there not what you think they are and plenty of folks here at EE have used them to successfully recover files once thought lost.

Now if the section of the disk the profile was on did get completely or partially overwritten then chances are very slim of recovering anything else previously being on that portion of the disk.
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Before turning to those recovery utils, I guess trying to get to the c:\documents and settings wouldn't be a bad idea, just to check that the system did not simply create a new profile, backing up the old one to something like    %Username%.old  or something.
But this is probably too basic, I'm afraid.
also, in the
If you've done a search on te drive for any and all of the user's files, and found nothing, then it's time to gethelp from those utils mentioned.  Also, from now on, you might want to consider roaming profiles? oh, and of course: BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!
If this is a corporate environment and the user had sensitive and expensive documents in her profile that weren't backed up to a personal share or during the backup procees then I suggest you tell the user to turn her machine off and bring it to a data recovery specialist in order to avoid further financial loss.

If not, then see below:

Check your recycle bin in case of accidental deletion. Has this user had any proifile problems recently? If so, and her profgile was deleted then that would explain the missing files: See below for the steps that lead to this situation, while identifying the profile is actually damaged. If this happened the user and/or admin would have to back up files first in order to avoid losing them.:
To resolve the issue if the profile is damaged, delete the profile, and then create a new profile for that user, follow these steps:
Using an administrator account, log on to the computer where the damaged profile resides.

In My Computer , locate the Documents and Settings\ user profile folder, where user profile is the name of the damaged user profile.

Delete the folder.

Log off the computer.

Log back on to the computer by using the account that had the damaged profile. Windows 2000 creates a new user profile for the user.

This document describes how to recover a user profile but, un-fortuneately, you do have to copy the users files back into the appropriate profile.;en-us;Q314045

I really think you need a data recovery specialist and you MUST have the user shut down the machine as soon as is possible to avoid further data loss..the more she uses it the more is lost.
So, are you going to tell us what happened?
icarus004Author Commented:
Sorry, been busy here.  It appears that the profile was somehow overwriten.  Registry showed two SIDs wth the users name.  username and username1.  Username was the original profile.  Deleting the username profile path kicked everything back to normal.  
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