Windows 8.1 Restoring at each boot

Hello all,

I have a Windows 8.1 machine that doesn't retain any of the previous sessions changes, which include:

- Login as different user, next boot login with same user goes through the Let's Get Started process as if first login
- Create file on the c: drive, gets removed at next boot
- if I remove any programs, they get restored at next boot

There is no message to indicate that this process is happening and is the only machine on the domain with this issue (same GP for all).

I've had a look through the advanced startup options in recovery there doesn't seem to be a setting that would cause this behaviour. Has anyone seen this before?

Many thanks in advance.
Gareth LAsked:
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Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
First, run sfc /scannow and DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.

What happens when you boot to Safe mode (minimal requirements)?

Did you try to run System restore to the state the computer was fine?
Are you sure no freeze hardware device is in use?
Gareth LAuthor Commented:
Bit more background, the reason why I'm looking at this machine in the first place is that it blue screens with a kernal_data_inpage_error without generating a .dmp file. I've had the same blue screen twice now running the DISM process.

If I select safe mode from the recovery it just boots as normal to windows, and another groundhog day.

No freeze device is in place, laptop had been fine for months up until tuesday.
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Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Thanks for that info.

Use Diagnostic startup and then Selective startup with no option selected when booting.
Come back with feedback.

General solution for your error with kernel:
If your computer is not generating .DMP files, please do the following:

1. Start > type %systemroot% which should show the Windows folder, click on it. Once inside that folder, ensure there is a Minidump folder created. If not, CTRL-SHIFT-N to make a New Folder and name it Minidump.

2. Windows key + Pause key. This should bring up System. Click Advanced System Settings on the left > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Ensure there's a check-mark for 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives'.

3. Windows key + Pause key. This should bring up System. Click Advanced System Settings on the left > Advanced > Startup and Recovery > Settings > System Failure > ensure there is a check mark next to 'Write an event to the system log'.

Ensure Small Memory Dump is selected and ensure the path is %systemroot%\Minidump.

4. Double check that the WERS is ENABLED:

Start > Search > type services.msc > Under the name tab, find Windows Error Reporting Service > If the status of the service is not Started then right click it and select Start. Also ensure that under Startup Type it is set to Automatic rather than Manual. You can do this by right clicking it, selecting properties, and under General selecting startup type to 'Automatic', and then click Apply.
Really double-check the (should-be-) obvious, first. Look at the list of installed software (in appwiz.cpL) and verify that you know all software and no software with such a functionality is in place.

There is no windows internal mechanism that can possibly do this (roll back like you describe).
Gareth LAuthor Commented:
So the minidump folder was missing so I created it. It gets erased the next time the machine is rebooted. The diagnostic/selective feedback yield no results and the error reporting service reverts to the original state after reboot.

Have since tried the various recovery options - boot to command prompt, restore settings losing your files, restore settings keeping your files and they have no affect, the laptop simply boots as normal into windows showing the original user name and not the account I've been logging into the laptop with since tuesday. Very strange problem. System restore seems broken, gives VSS errors when trying to create a restore point -

Update - ran a third party disk check overnight - looks like it's a disk hardware issue although no related events were logged.

Thanks for everyone's help, some good suggestions helping to narrow down the cause.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
You can try CHKDSK but I am affraid that if you see at least one disk error, you should consider replacing it.
If there is no error over your HDD, you can try to format your disk, run clean installation and run some HDD scans for sure and see if there is any difference. But have a spare disk prepared.

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You did not find the cause. Hardware errors (of whatever kind) don't match a symptom like "- if I remove any programs, they get restored at next boot".
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
What exactly helped you? Thanks.
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