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Desktop gone in Windows 8. Location not available

Posted on 2015-01-11
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Last Modified: 2015-01-15
I booted up my Windows 8 computer and my desktop was gone and I had lost access to all my programs. The error message read C\WINDOWS\sytem32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is not available. I googled this problem, and was told to copy the Desktop folder from my User account into the systemprofile folder, but now the error message is that \systemprofile\Desktop is not accessible. Access is denied. What do I do?
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Question by:abbierich2330
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by:Leo
Leo earned 166 total points
ID: 40543490
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40543499
What happens if you shut the machine all the way off (not suspend or restart). Once off, start up again and see if your profile comes back.

@Striker007 - What specific fix were you referring to (in your own words)?
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by:abbierich2330
ID: 40543560
I have tried that several times. It comes back as the changed desktop. Not mine. The fix in which people said that somehow my user account had been corrupted, that I was to delete a duplicate desktop folder...which did not exist..and that if I did not have a desktop folder in the system32\config\systemprofile folder, that I was to copy the desktop folder from my user folder (I am using folder for directory) and paste it into the systemprofile folder. That didn't work.
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by:abbierich2330
ID: 40543565
Striker 007,  I guess I was following Method 1. I have been having trouble with Method 2, but I will try it again.
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by:Leo
ID: 40543568
ok thanks....
Have you tried cleaning up your registry with CCleaner?
Also do you have an option to take a backup of your data on C drive, bootup again, and choose the option to start from last known good configuration?
if that doesn't work, try restoring it?
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 167 total points
ID: 40543570
If your Windows User Account (profile) is damaged, the normal practice is to copy it to a safe place.  To do this, set up an account which is a member of the admin group. Log into this account and copy any data you need from the damaged profile to c:\temp.  Give "Everyone" permission to c:\temp.

Now from the same admin account, make a new Windows User Account. If you are the computer admin, make this new account a member of the administrator group.

Now log in and recover your data from c:\temp
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40543572
The error message read C\WINDOWS\sytem32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is not available.
The C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile is the path Windows uses when it can't load your regular user profile found in C:\Users\username. It sounds like the profile issue may have resolved itself so your Desktop folder is now pointing to C:\Users\username\Desktop which is where it should be pointing to.

As for regaining access to your old Desktop folder found in C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile, try to set yourself as the Owner of the folder. You can follow the steps in this article to do this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753659.aspx

Once you've set yourself as the Owner of the folder, you should be able to get in and retrieve the contents.
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by:abbierich2330
ID: 40543598
No, the desktop folder is still pointing to the systemprofile folder, only now th desktop folder, which I pasted into the system folder tells me I don't have access rights. If it is supposed to be pointing to my user folder, how do I get it to go back there?
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VB ITS earned 167 total points
ID: 40543651
If this is your personal machine then you can just create a new user account on the computer and copy your files over to the new profile from the old, corrupt profile.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40543870
you can try if a system restore helps
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Author Comment

by:abbierich2330
ID: 40551943
It took a while, and I tried everything suggested, but saved creating a new user for last, worried that if I just created a new user that I would lose access to my programs and such. In fact, that did sort of happen. I had all the links to the apps, but had to restablish my right to use them :-)

However, I did not lose my docs or pics or videos, as I deleted the corrupt user account, and ASUS saved the associated files in a folder that gave me access to them.

Thank you everyone for your help.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40551981
@abbierich2330  - There was more than one solution above that said "create a new Windows profile"
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Author Comment

by:abbierich2330
ID: 40552005
You are right. If I can change my acceptance to multiple answers I will change it, but I am not sure how to do that.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40552072
@abbierich2330  - Thank you for following up and I was happy to help.
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