Restore Windows settings

I have windows 2k pro, and it has been working find, but when I started it up this morning, it had a "welcome to windows" message, and it appeared that all my settings are gone, as well as some of my installed programs. When I started it back up, hit f8, selected "restore last best configuration" (or whatever it says) it came up with the same thing. So my question would be is there any way to get back to where I once belonged (jojo) ? I mean, is there a way to manually restore the registry on win 2k.
visartsAsked:
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sr75Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Can you rename it?

Or just do it the old fashioned way.  Open the old profile C:\docs and sets\old profile  Cntrl-A (to select all) copy, then open the NEW profile and paste it.
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sqwasiCommented:
Visarts,

The first thing I would check is that windows is not using a new profile now instead of your current profile.  If you log into windows 2000 with a NEW profile it will give you that welcome to windows information.  When windows started up did you have to log in or did it just start automatically?  If you had to log in then I would make sure that you are using the correct account information.  Also, you can check in c:\documents and settings\ and look under the profile names for your username.  Make sure that it is still there.  I don't believe that windows 2000 keeps snapshots of the registry like windows XP does.
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visartsAuthor Commented:
here's the thing - if I log in to administrator on windows (there's no pwd set) it takes me to this new setting - the existing admin folder that has my original profile always says "access denied" when I try to open it. I'm really at a loss as to how to fix this, because I'm used to just going into "scanreg \ restore" on windows 98 - 2k is a whole different bird to me.
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visartsAuthor Commented:
Ok, I changed the security settings on the original Administrator folder, and can now access it within the new admin folder (the one that windows now defaults to) but I still don't know how to make the original Admin folder the default.
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sr75Commented:
They are in the Registry

HKCU>Software>Microsoft>Windows>Current Version>Explorer>User's Shell Folders (and then set them to the old profile folders)

That is one way.  The other is to right click "My Computer">Properties>User Profile's tab.

You should see the old and the new profiles.  Copy the old profile into the new one using the "Copy To" button with the old profile selected.  Then just select the new profile and you should be fine.
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visartsAuthor Commented:
hmm, the old profile is listed as "account unknown" and the copy to button is disabled when I select it
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sqwasiCommented:
Sr75 renaming the profile folder would be easy as well.  First I would make sure which folder your current profile is using.  To check that I usually will just right click the start button and select explorer.  That will open the start menu in explorer and put you right in the directory for the proper profile.  Once you know which profile you are currently using remember the name of that folder.  You will need to log out of this current profile to work on the folder.  Otherwise it will say that it is in use.  You might have to create a temporary user to log in as just to work on these profiles so that you are not in them when you are working on them.  Once you are logged in as a user besides the current profile you can navigate to the c:\documents & settings folder again.  Then rename the folder of the current profile that is logging in to something besides that name.  I usually will do profile.old.  Then find the old profile that you were using.  Rename that profile to the original name of the other folder that you just renamed.  I know that sounds confusing.  Basiclly we want the good profile to be named what the current profile is that windows is using to log on.  THen you can log off that user and you should be able to log in correctly.  I hope that helped more then confused.  
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visartsAuthor Commented:
ok, well, I tried the renaming thing, only to discover that windows would always create a new profile, so I just copied and pasted the contents of the old profile into the new, and now it works. The only problem I have now is some buggy stuff that dosen't make sense - for instance, if I try to open an mp3 from the "My Music" folder (directly on C ) it will crash windows! but if I open the RealOne Player, I can open the files just fine - or things like halo, which will open and then minimize, and then minimize again if I try to maximize it.
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