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Corrupted user profile... My Documents deleted...

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by therealmatt, Jul 20, 2010.

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  1. therealmatt

    therealmatt Thread Starter

    Jul 19, 2010
    Hello! Sorry, this got a little long...

    I have a Win7 x64 / WinXP x64 dual-boot set up on my laptop. I use XP for work and Win7 for play. (No Win7 drivers for my USB audio interface is the primary reason for this.) Anyway, I think that these two OS's got to fighting and Win7 won.

    I was working on a project the other day... all day... (in XP) and that night when I had gotten to a satisfactory stopping point, I saved and closed. I then restarted into Win7 to do the facebook/email/news thing and then went and hung out with my roommates for a bit. Later, when I wanted to show off the progress on my project - a carefully crafted MIDI drum track in Cakewalk SONAR - I came back and restarted my computer into XP.

    Well, I'm greeted at the log-on screen with an error along the lines of "windows cannot load your user profile..." and then spit into this brand new account that has assumed my name but has none of my settings. I immediately went for my project (which was in the My Documents folder, with everything else) but it was gone.

    Not believing that Windows would stoop so low, I went into /Documents and Settings/Matt!/ and found that all the old stuff from my Desktop and the My Documents folders was there in its own folder. I don't know why the back up now! alarm in my head didn't go off, but I simply humphed (stupid Windows) and just dragged the old My Documents contents to the new My Documents folder. I also dragged all the old Desktop contents to my new Desktop. Good as new. (Not good as new!)

    Having lost interest a few minutes into this, my roommates had walked away so at this point I just turned my computer off. Later, before bed, I wanted to listen to my project again to pat myself on the back before sleep. Windows XP would not indulge my ego, however. Upon boot-up, my Desktop contents were there... but everything in the My Documents folder was gone. Vanished. I looked everywhere I could on that hard drive. No dice.

    Now, I'd just learned a bit about data recovery from when an external HDD of mine recently fell from my desk. I know that files aren't really deleted until they're overwritten. So I broke out my EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to go save my data from despair.

    I found the majority of my stuff. They were marked as deleted files. Unfortunately, most of the Cakewalk project files (.CWP) won't open. SONAR tells me they're corrupted. I checked the raw audio files that are referenced within the projects (only for the audio portions; not MIDI) and all that stuff is fine. I had some other stuff too: a few pictures, some portable programs, a movie... all fine. Just most of the SONAR project files are corrupted. Just to be safe, I tried using a different data recovery program, GetDataBack, but got the same results.

    I don't understand why the files just disappeared in the first place. What happened? It was as if the 2nd-generation My Documents folder (into which I dragged all my stuff from the rudely displaced original) was replaced AGAIN with another, 3rd-generation My Documents folder. What sense does that make?? I also don't understand how the files became corrupted so quickly. I've successfully undeleted and dd_rescue'd MUCH older stuff than this in the past. And what about all the other stuff that survived the current ordeal so easily?

    Perhaps only the project files' headers are corrupted and SONAR is just really sensitive to that kind of thing. Well, before I consider trying to repair those somehow, I wanted to see if I could get System Restore to trick the computer into giving me valid copies of my project files. I tried several restore points from before and after the catastrophe but all of the restores failed. (I think I've read in the past that a Win7/XP dual-boot config wreaks havoc on XP's restore points.)

    Thankfully, I found backups of all of the important projects but this newest one. There are a few others I'd like to save, but this newest one is really all I need need.

    I've asked about corrupted project files in the Cakewalk forums. After detailing my problem, someone suggested going through the registry:

    "...if your user profile got messed up, there are some ways to correct that, but you have to be comfortable editing the registry.

    I don't have time to go into much detail at the moment, but each user has a profile within the registry (I think it's a key called "Profile list"?). In there are the default/basic home directories (folders) such as where my documents resides, etc.

    SO you could always create a new admin type user, then go edit the entries to point to the folders they originally did before the problem happened...

    ...the problem with a dual -boot is that the user entries WILL be different. So that, intself, would be a problem..."

    Someone else added:

    "That is a Win 7 permissions problem I beleive since you have both OS's on the same machine... the user profile-security profile-permissions for XP are different than those for Win 7. When I transferred my projects-files from XP to Win 7 I had to go into properties- security-permissions- etc. and take ownership-grant full permissions to-etc. my projects made in XP before I could access-edit-record-etc. It sounds like you are experiencing the problem."

    Does this ring any bells for anybody? Any other thoughts? I don't understand why it would be a file permissions problem. Will sifting through the registry reveal a valid copy of this file? How would I do this? Will trying to save the restore points do any good? Ultimately, is the ONLY version of this file still in existence the corrupted one that I undeleted?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. therealmatt

    therealmatt Thread Starter

    Jul 19, 2010
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