Solved: Missing desktop photo

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pcguy9441

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Apr 16, 2007
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I've been helping a friend with some PC issues (Dell running XP SP3). He had a particular photo as the desktop background but after a few abortive Partition Magic runs that failed because C was locked by the OS and subsequent reboots, his picture disappeared and was replaced by the generic blue windows background. BUT, during boot-up, his photo still appears for a few seconds midway thru the process only to be replaced by the blue screen when the reboot is finished. He does not remember the name of the jpg and I could not find it in the C root directory or in the Windows folder.

Any ideas where this photo is still hiding and how Windows finds it if it's not with the other standard desktop pics?

Thanks in advance.
 

aka Brett

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Nov 25, 2008
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Try this
Using search...all files and folders including hidden files
enter bmp in the shown field.
When finished...sort by size with the largest first.
See if any names make sense to the old back ground...if they dont then start opening..starting from the largest one......the smaller files can be disregarded as they are to small to be practical
 

Attachments

Joined
Jul 6, 2010
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If he created it by right-clicking some photo on the internet, it's generally stored at:

%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\

Other than that, you can try the search method as has been offered already and look for all .jpg files on the drive.

Good luck, you may have several to sort through.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
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An interesting aspect of the Windows operating system is that when you choose a picture from a local disk to use for your Wallpaper, Windows renames it (and converts it) and places it in an onscure folder.

That makes it possible to delete the version from the HD and not have the Wallpaper disappear.

That folder is located at %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft and the file will be a bitmap type (actually wallpaper1.bmp) even though you may have used a jpeg originally. Go figure???

Curious, what? It seems that we have a .jpg to .bmp converter that we didn't even know about!
 

pcguy9441

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
591
That's interesting info and clears up something that's puzzled me forever. It always seemed like a bit of black magic how Windows managed wallpaper photos. Sometimes it seems MS goes out of their way to make things as opaque and convoluted as possible. Here's another one: WMP playlist management has been a dark mystry for me. At times after a C drive image restore or fresh OS reinstall(XP), my playlists were history, yet other times they remained intact. Music is always on a separate physical drive from C with C reserved for the OS and apps only . Recently on an upgrade to Win7 I was astonished to find all playlists still intact.

My friend was successful with your earlier instructions and is jazzed that he was able to pull it off given his level of computer expertise.

Thanks for the info!
 
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