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Default desktop loaded instead of mine....

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by atryeu, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    This morning when I booted the computer up, the computer loaded the default desktop that shows up when you first install XP. All of my desktop icons were gone, my Start Menu entries were all gone, my wallpaper... everything. A restart did fix the problem, this time, but I would really like to know why it would have done this, what exactly caused it and how it can be prevented in the future.

    I have only 1 account on this computer, which is mine and it's the only admin account on the system. This hard drive has been used for 3-4+ years now. I have Windows XP up to date with security updates. No new or updated software has been installed for 2 months or longer.

    I have never had any problems like this happen before and am now worried something is going wrong on the computer and going to need replaced soon and I would prefer to figure it out ahead of time since I can't easily get to town and we really don't have much of an electronics store to buy/replace parts around here. The only problems I can think of that I do have regularly are my Folder Views. I have most set to the Thumbnail view and Windows will keep changing it to either Filmstrip or Icons without my permission. I change it back and it eventually changes itself again, sometimes seconds later after I open the folder again.

    I have up to date AV software and run a weekly quick scan and a monthly thorough scan and nothing has ever come up. I use Spybot also to check for malware but it never brings up anything other than the usual tracking cookies.

    I'm on dialup so I can't check a 2nd online AV program to make sure of things. I am updating Spybot right now and will run a thorough AV scan, malware scan as well as scan disk on the main drive to check for problems but I was hoping to post early in case somebody might have an idea about what was going on.

    Thank you. I will post back this evening with the results of my scans I will be running shortly.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Can't say what the problem(s) is/are, but Spybot would be my top suspect. Especially TeaTimer if it is still included.
     
  3. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    I don't use TeaTimer and don't have that part of it installed. I've used Spybot to scan for malware for more than 3 years and I have never once had the desktop load as the old default desktop under my account instead of my desktop setup. I believe I was using it before I switched to XP several years ago too and it never happened on Win ME either. This is the first time in my 15+ years using a computer I've ever seen Windows do that to my desktop. It acted like it had deleted half of my settings and files.

    So far I ran scandisk (which is error-checking now.... I'm used to calling it scandisk still LoL) and it came up okay with no problems. I also ran an updated malware scan with no entries other than a couple tracking cookies. I'm doing my AV scan next but the thorough scan tends to take 4+ hours so I won't have results on that for awhile, but I'm fairly certain nothing is wrong there or I would have already been alerted about it.
     
  4. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    Are there any ideas about what is going on?

    My AV scan last night came up clean as well.
     
  5. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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    I would check the Event Viewer for any errors (or warnings) that occurred around the time this happened (especially any with userenv as the source).

    Please go to Start - Run - type in eventvwr.msc to open the event viewer. Look under both "Application" and "System" for recent (the last 48 hours or so) errors (shown in red) and if found, do this for each one.

    Double-click the error to open it up and then click on the icon that looks like two pieces of paper. This will copy the full error. Then "paste" the error into Notepad. Do this for each one until you have them all listed in Notepad and then copy and paste the list in a reply here please.
     
  6. DaveA

    DaveA Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    What user name is at the top of the Start Menu?
    Is that the correct user name?
     
  7. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    Dave, I use the "classic" Start Menu so there is no username on the list, however my desktop is the only user on this computer. There is mine (the admin account) and the Guest (which is turned off). There are no other accounts for it to have switched to by accident.


    Cookiegal: I always forget about Event Viewer, thanks for the reminder. I went through it today and copied and pasted the error entries to a txt file. I went back to Feb 2nd, which is the date this problem happened. The issue with the desktop happened around 10am (I did see that in the Applications section) but I don't understand the error very well. I'm not sure why it's saying it couldn't find my profile at that time. Also that day, under System, there were a large amount of errors around 12:30-12:40pm but I'm really not sure what they are. I "think" that would have been close to the time I ran the malware scan though. I started the error checking scan closer to 1pm.
     

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  8. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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    Something prevented your profile from loading. It could be an isolated incident. I had it happen once a few years ago and it never happened again after that.

    What security software do you have installed?
     
  9. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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  10. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    So I should be okay then? I didn't want to find out something on the computer was going to fail on me until after it already failed. It's not easy to get parts to repair things in my area LoL

    Thank you for the Nvidia issue too. I am a few versions behind with their drivers. I don't know if after I upgrade it will fix that or not as well. I'm on dialup so I keep putting it off and working on other updates I'm behind with. It's a big file, if I remember right, and a good 10+ hours of downloading.

    Right now I use the basic firewall that comes with Windows XP. I've been trying to find a good free one but all of the reviews I hear about come back to that zonealarm, which I had tried in the past and it kept locking the internet down to the point where I had to restart completely before it would let me do anything anything.... I was afraid to try it again.

    I use the free Avast AV software (fully up to date) and it has some pretty high settings to monitor everything while the computer is running as well as a weekly quick scan and a monthly thorough scan.

    For malware, I've been using Spybot (not the brand new version, it's a tad out dated). I used to also use Adaware but couldn't keep paying for it.
     
  11. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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    I think the Nvidia error may have been responsible for locking up your profile as it occurred only 8 seconds before the temporary profile was loaded.

    Just be sure you have everything important from your profile like documents, photos, music, etc. backed up to external media in case your profile is corrupted. You can create a new profile and then transfer everything over but it might not be necessary.

    Did you run the Nvidia fix?

    After running that, I would run the computer a bit (reboot a few times) and see if it continues to load your profile successfully.

    After a day or two, check the Event Viewer and post back any new errors that have occurred since the last time you checked please.
     
  12. DaveA

    DaveA Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    atryeu,
    This is why one MUST have a second account and it needs to be a member of the Admin Group.
    Then you would be able to log into the second account to do the trouble shooting.
     
  13. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    I keep all of my main files on a 1TB USB drive. I also keep a backup of my browser bookmarks, address books and the database files for my email as well, although those aren't kept fully up to date.

    I figured I would have to restart after running the fix so I'm going to finish my online stuff and do it as soon as I'm done. I'm in a very bad area and it's not easy to connect correctly and stay connected long enough to get certain things done. I will do it tonight though, restart a few times and keep an eye on things over the new few days and report back.


    Dave, I would never have thought to require another account. Ever since Win 95 (or was it 98 that started the separate profile feature) I have never once had a single problem with profiles such as this. With this current computer I am the only on who uses it and I never knew there could be situations were the profile could be corrupt or fail to load. Like I said, I've never had the problem in all my years and I've never even heard of anybody who had. My search online after it happened failed to bring up a single result for the same problem which was why I had posted here trying to figure out what was going on. I will go setup a backup now, but like I said, I've never heard of a reason to have a backup, other than families where they had their Admin account separate to keep the rest of the users from fiddling with settings.
     
  14. Cookiegal

    Cookiegal Administrator Malware Specialist Coordinator

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    Sounds good. :)
     
  15. atryeu

    atryeu Banned Thread Starter

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    A little off topic, but I created a 2nd admin account. Is there a way I can get Windows to start up on a specific profile without having to go through the Welcome screen to login/click which profile? I forgot to ask earlier. I usually turn the computer on as soon as I climb out of bed and run upstairs. When I come back down the computer has finished loading everything and I can try to connect right away and get things going.
     
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