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Desktop files disappear

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by TONGSyaBASS, Jan 27, 2008.

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    TONGSyaBASS Thread Starter

    Jan 27, 2008
    Firstly, this is not a problem of "Show desktop icons".
    The files themselves have disappeared from the desktop and from C:\Documents and Settings\etc.
    For a week now my girlfriend's desktop has been empty apart from 3 shortcuts (a game, firefox and aim) and the recycle bin. One day she turned on her computer to find that all the other dozens of shortcuts and files had vanished from her desktop. Why these 4 items in particular survived I have no idea.
    She put some new shortcuts on the desktop and following a reboot these disappeared (leaving the same 4).
    Yesterday when I looked in C:\Documents and Settings\etc\Desktop it seemed that all the files and folders were still there (as far as she can remember). I told her just to back everything up and then I'd have a proper look at it. Unfortunately she copied everything she wanted to backup to the desktop and then turned the computer off. GAH!
    So now those files have disappeared from the desktop. However this time they are also missing from C:\Documents and Settings too.
    Does anyone have any idea how I can recover these files?
    I have not yet attempted to restore the system to an earlier point. I thought I should wait until I get some input.
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    OS: XP Professional Version 2002
    CPU/Ram: Pentium 4 2.4GHz / 1GB
  2. JonathanAnon

    JonathanAnon Banned

    Dec 17, 2004

    just a few prelim things to check:

    1. Are you sure that she is logging in as the same user?
    2. Are you sure that the disk is not full?
    3. Have you gone to windows explorer and checked to see if the C:\Documents and Settings\Username\desktop folder exists?
    4. Did you try going to DOS prompt and search for the files. (logged in as an Admin equivalent)
  3. Tufenuf


    Jul 28, 2007

    TONGSyaBASS Thread Starter

    Jan 27, 2008
    1. There is only 1 user on the computer but please see additional information below.
    2. Over 100GB free (only 1 partition).
    3. Yes. It contains numerous files and folders which are not shown on the desktop. However the files which I mentioned that were cut from C:\Documents and Settings\Chelsie\Desktop and then pasted onto the desktop for backing up are no longer displayed on the desktop and are not in C:\Documents and Settings\Chelsie\Desktop.
    4. I've used DOS to look at both C:\Documents and Settings\Chelsie\Desktop and C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop and neither contain the missing files and folders. However this was the DOS shell running within XP so if XP is blind to these files I assume the DOS window would be too.

    Additional information:
    I just restarted the computer myself (probably should have done this earlier but I was informed by the user that there weren't any unusual messages...):rolleyes:
    This is the message on start up:
    "Windows cannot load the locally stored profile. Possible causes of this error include insufficient security rights or a corrupt local profile. If this problem persists, contact your network administrator.

    DETAIL - An I/O operation initiated by the registry failed unrecoverably. The registry could not read in, or write out, or flush, one of the files that contain the system's image of the registry. "

    Any suggestions or should I just attempt a system restore?
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