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Windows profile has reset - I have lost desktop icons and mapped network drives

Posted on 2014-02-02
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Last Modified: 2014-02-02
I am using Vista Home Premium

The first thing that I notice is that my icons have disappeared from my desktop.  Only 11 icons/shortcuts remain.  The other thing is that my mapped network drives have gone.  There is a folder on my desktop called "cache".  I don't recall that being there.

I can no longer find Chrome in my start menu.

The folders in my user folder are empty.  It is as if my profile has been replaced my the default Windows profile.

But...I still have my printers installed.  My network settings are still as they were.
"Recent Items" is empty.  My Start Menu has all reverted to the default.

I have tried a System Restore to two days ago.  It has not changed anything.

What's going on?
Thanks
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Question by:nowthenee
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:JurajUQU
ID: 39828450
Are you being looged into temporary profile? Have you changed the username and are logging in as a different user?
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Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828462
The username is still the same, along with accompanying photo.
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Expert Comment

by:JurajUQU
ID: 39828467
go to the c:\users and do you see your username plus another one which might be yourname+0001 or something?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828474
No, there is no derivative of my user name.  There is a TEMP directory though.  Is that normal?
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Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828476
There is also a Public folder and a hidden Default folder.
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Accepted Solution

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JurajUQU earned 2000 total points
ID: 39828485
It happens when the SIDs in the registry gets corrupted. I'd recommend you to create new profile and copy everything to it (desktop, documents, downloads and so on). Do not move the AppData and other hidden folders to it but start from scratch.

You can also attempt to fix it
http://www.sysprobs.com/temporary-profile-in-vista
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Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828488
OK, I have found something. If I go into C:\Users\<username>\Desktop, all my desktop stuff is there.  So, why is it not displaying on my actual desktop?  It really looks like a temporary profile.
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Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828490
When I create a file on my actual desktop, it does not appear in my Desktop folder.
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Expert Comment

by:JurajUQU
ID: 39828491
Because you're logged in with a temporary profile that can't see Desktop items from your other profile.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828565
OK, I followed the http://www.sysprobs.com/temporary-profile-in-vista and it clearly got my PC to look at my original profile and to stop looking at my temporary profile.  I would love to know the location of the temporary profile. Anyway, the stuff is back on my desktop but the Start Menu is still some kind of reset/default version.  Some of the software needs settings redoing.

Anyway, all in all I am very pleased.  Thank you very much for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:JurajUQU
ID: 39828572
Great to hear that it's working again. Temp profile isn't being saved so after you logged off, it gets deleted.
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Author Comment

by:nowthenee
ID: 39828595
So, this is interesting: Once I had finished playing around with things to get them back to their previous state, I decided to restart my PC.  This time when I logged in, my Start Menu was back to its original state.  My system tray is also back to its original state. So, we are now definitely back to normal.  Anyway, it seems that it took two logins (or one login and a restart) before the PC was happy again.

I'd like to know what caused the creation of my temporary profile.
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