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Thread: Lost profile

  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    Why does windows lose my profile?

    I started up my Win7 Pro machine and logged on to my account and Windows said "Preparing Desktop" and then a desktop appeared that had none of my icons and none of my folders and programs pinned to my start menu. I clicked my name at the top of the start menu to open my personal profile and all my documents were missing. Windows evidently could not find my profile and logged me on with a default profile. I looked around on my hard drive and found my folder under c:\Users, and all my stuff was there. But Windows did not find it when I logged on. I tried logging off and on and restarting the machine, but still got the same problem. It got fixed when I restored to an earlier restore point, which Windows had created before I installed critical updates. So now I have my desktop and documents back, but not the critical security updates.

    What the heck happened? How can I avoid this in the future?
    Bill Meacham
    bmeacham98 AT yahoo.com

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    The OS just "lost" or in your case sounds like they became corrupt, the critical files that point to and describe your profile. It was a known bug in Vista and apparrently still can happen in Win7. I've had it happen in XP as well but always got the profile back on a restart and it only happened in a very narrow window of time so maybe it was update related in the case of XP.
    I don't know if there's any hotfix or anything like that available (haven't heard of happening nearly as often in 7 so...) but the remedy in the past has been reboot first, and then if it still can't find the profile, system restore or create a new profile and move the corrupted profile data to the new user.
    One possible preventative solution is to leave the system running all the time.

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    This happens to me about once a month, and has done so since the Win 7 beta. Several family members and friends has also experienced his. The workaround is to log off and back in again and everything appears to be restored. I think that it has something to do with timing of things during the boot (which is probably why rebooting didn't help in your case). I have found that if I wait about a minute after getting the login screen before I log in that this problem has not occurred as frequently.

    By the way, someone else asked this same question in this forum a few months back, but I can't find the thread.

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    What's strange is that even though Windows could not find my profile data -- my documents, etc. -- it still logged me in as me, with administrator privileges. I could navigate the file structure and see all my folders and data under c:\users.

    I'll try waiting before actually logging on to see if that helps.
    Bill Meacham
    bmeacham98 AT yahoo.com

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