Lost data after deleting 'unknown' profiles. Need to retrieve it from System Restore

Posted on 2006-07-10
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I have Windows-XP Professional.
To cleanup my PC, I removed few user profiles from my PC (using 'My Computer' --> Properties --> Advanced --> User Profiles - Settings (i.e. Desktop settings related to your logon) option.
There were few profiles with name 'unknown'. I deleted them using the 'Delete' button on the 'User Profiles' screen.

Eventhough, I did not delete my currently logged-on profile, it deleted the data from desktop of my currently logged-on profile.
Unfortunately, I had stored important data on my Desktop. It got vanished somehow.

Can anybody help me to retrive it?

I had System Restore enabled all the time in past.
When I try to restore my last month's restore point, it gives an error "it can not restore to that restore point"
Then, I have very old restore point that I do not want to restore because there were few change made by our system administrator regarding Domain change etc..

Is there anyway I can view/extract my lost data from System Restore (i.e. "System Volume Information" folder)?
Any utility or something will greatly help..

Thanks in advance.

Also, would my Desktop content go to System Restore when I deleted user Profile?
Question by:chinawal
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Assisted Solution

jasonduncan76 earned 75 total points
ID: 17073554
Ontrack software can recover your missing data or check this link for a bunch of other software.

Accepted Solution

DaMaestro earned 75 total points
ID: 17074889
Usually the "unknown" profiles reference an account no longer available, it is most common in a domain environment when a user has been removed from the domain, or the domain the login was from is no longer trusted, I'm not sure if the data would still be accessible depending on the permissions of the account trying to access it.

Desktop files are not normally included in the system restore. System Restore usually caches registry and system files/settings. There may be a chance that it is still in the Recycle bin. Check the recycle bin or the recycler folder on the system drive (unhide system/hidden folders).


Assisted Solution

dognamedmoses earned 50 total points
ID: 17075507
Is there a possiblity that you deleted the "all users" profile from "documents and settings"?  that profile contains some items that may be on your desktop.  If that's the case there's a possiblity that you could recover files still using cheap undelete software such as that found at (29.99, works well if you haven't written over the hard drive track)

but you may be out of luck because if you deleted that folder windows would make a new one.

Also, you have a sysadmin, you might ask him if he performs backups at any point.

As mentioned before, System Restore doesn't back up files so that won't be of help.

Remember, back up always, back up often.

Author Comment

ID: 17076797
Thanks for all these responses.
1) Recycle bin does not have any of those lost files.
2) Since my profile userid had an administrator access on my PC, I can go in any other profiles.
3) I had not deleted 'All Users' profile. It's present. Also, I can see old shortcuts still present in that profile.
4) None of files in 'my documents' got deleted from my current profile. Even Shortcuts created exclusive to my current profile are still there. Only desktop items got deleted from current profile!!!

I think, I have backup of my profile taken few months back on CDs. I can use that. But the recent updates won't be there.

Author Comment

ID: 17076874
Also, I tried few undelete utilities- winundelete, getdataback, Mindsoft undelete, R-studio etc..  I remember, all the lost items were within 2/3 folders. Those folders were lying on the desktop.  In these recovery utilities, I could see few other items. But, not the lost folders.


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