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What happened to my computer settings; Explorer drastically changed

Posted on 2013-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
I can deal with the problems, but I am curious as to just what happened last night.  I have Win 7.  

When I got to my computer (home) this morning, the backgrounds were back at default, my taskbar icons are all gone, my Chrome settings are back to default, and, most of all, the Libraries are all emptied!  

The files are available under Network, This Computer's name, Users, My Name, but they are no longer listed in the libraries section.  

The Explorer shows Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos, but all are empty folders!  

What has happened?  

I use Avira Internet Security and have the firewall, Realtime Protection, Mail Protection, and Web protection, with the updates made daily or multiple times per day.  

Another question, should I pull everything back into the My Documents in the Libraries section?  Will this duplicate them?  

It was quite a shock when I looked this morning and there was nothing in the "My Documents" folder!
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Question by:skennedy10
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39649738
skennedy10--
Run a System Restore to a time before the problem occurred.

However I would also scan with MalwareBytes.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
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Expert Comment

by:Dontmilkthis
ID: 39649755
It also sounds like you might have logged into a different profile than your normal one.

this can happen if the profile is corrupted or your hard drive is full...

I can see you've browsed through to the my documents folder for your user name, but is there another user profile folder?

did you receive a warning about being logged into a temporary profile?
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Author Comment

by:skennedy10
ID: 39649815
I only have one profile on my computer -- The listed users are Administrator, Public, Susan, Temp and UpdatusUser.  I used my usual password to log on this morning.  It is just missing the background and all my taskbar icons except for IE, Explorer, and Chrome, but Chrome's settings were all gone.  

I just went to User Accounts in control panel and there is just my Susan - Administrator-Password Protected account showing.  

I don't remember seeing Temp before today, but it only has in it the things I saved today in My Documents in the libraries section (2 items).  

Public just has a bunch of empty folders, Administrator just says ntuser.  

I am the only one using this computer.  It shut down during the night, possibly from the update of Avira, which installed a new engine.  

All my files are there, just not in the libraries.  I also have my 1.5 Tb drive partitioned into C and F drives.  F is intact.  I has 123 Bg free (of 700Gb)    C: has 409 Gb Free of 600Gb.  

I will reinstall my Malwarebytes--I own a copy but my Avira does not like it.
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Accepted Solution

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Dontmilkthis earned 2000 total points
ID: 39649837
It definitely sounds like you're using the temp profile at the moment.

Since all the things you mentioned are stored per profile, if you can no longer see your background, icons, my documents (in the right spot) and all your chrome settings aren't in place, it's a very good chance you're in the temp profile.

the IE and chrome icons will be visible because they're installed for all users.

It'll be a bit difficult to walk you through the steps necessary to get you back to your main profile.

might be worth having a read of this article if you're confident enough with computers to give the steps a go - http://www.sysprobs.com/fix-temporary-profile-windows-7

as they point out in step 1, make sure you restart your computer a few times to see if windows will log you into the right profile.
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Author Comment

by:skennedy10
ID: 39649883
Thanks.  I will try this.  I am pretty confident with computers.  I will read that article first.  

Susan
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39651704
skennedy10--
A System Restore would be a whole lot easier.  http:#a39649738   And you can always undo it.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/System-Restore-frequently-asked-questions
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Author Closing Comment

by:skennedy10
ID: 39664058
Sorry this took so long.  I went out of town.  

I guess I was just shocked at coming up in a different profile, but all it took was restarting the computer!  

Thanks, Dontmilkthis!
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