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  1. #1
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    Curious loss of programs and settings

    Can't work out what happened to this Win 7 SP1 laptop. I was using it Dublin (Ireland), used it on the flight to SFO yesterday, there was WiFi on board which I didn't use. Everything was normal when I shut the laptop down.

    Today, when I started Word for Windows (2002) there was a pop-up saying the "feature you want to use in on a CD ROM. Please insert the CD", or words to that effect. I was puzzled, but put the disk in the drive, when it fired up there was a window asking for User name and initials, then the program started. But, it was an all new installation, none of the customizations, no macros, no Auto correct, all default settings.

    Then I clicked on a Web link in an e-mail. Instead of Firefox starting I was invited to install IE 11, which is, was, installed already. And almost immediately Roboform wanted to be installed. I use xplorer2 instead of File Explorer, but it too had lost all its settings, all the customizing, layout etc. And it is looking for the license file.

    Adobe Bridge, which always opens at the last folder used, now wanted to know where the folder was located, but I had been using it to tweak images on C drive just 2 days ago. Photoshop CS 6, in the same "Program Files > Adobe" folder has not lost any customization, thank Gawd because I have a lot of tweaks.

    I don't know how many other programs will have been reset to default, or simply not run. I have Malwarebytes Premium installed, and running. Did a scan today, no threats found.

    And I just found an icon, "Flicks", on the hidden part of the Toolbar. I have no idea what that's for. I may have some bad habits, but I don't do flicks whatever they may be.

    Any ideas as to what could trash such an eclectic selection of programs?

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2016-05-14 at 17:58. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2
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    Another clue???? The Time and Date have been re-set to the US mm-dd-yy and the absurd am/pm format. I have always had the 24 hour format. I have used Control Panel > Clock... to re-set it, however, as soon as I try to Apply the change it reverts to the US format. How do I get this change to stick? I am using an Administrator account, do I have to log-in as a Top Secret Uber Administrator?

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    And I just found an icon, "Flicks", on the hidden part of the Toolbar
    You don't happen to have a touchscreen do you? http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...hat-are-flicks

    Sounds like your laptop reset somehow, I wonder if W10 tried to install?

  4. #4
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    I do have a touch-screen laptop, not that I've ever used it that way, I'd break the wrist of anyone who poked at with a grubby finger. So that "feature" has been disabled since new. I do use a Wacom tablet and have found that all its settings have been set to default so I think that caused the Flicks icon to appear..

    Also the Date was set to month/day/year, and Time set to the ridiculous AM/PM instead of 24 hour. I tried to re-set those in Control Panel, I could change the selected settings, but as soon as I clicked on Apply the boxes all reverted to the US system. So I shut down and re-booted into the Uber Admin mode, then I could change them. Re-booted into "normal" Admin and the US settings were back, and the Desktop icons were all pushed over to the left of the screen. However, I could now re-re-set Time and Date, and they stayed the way I want them. So far!

    Can't open Devices and Printers to change the Wacom settings.

    GWX is still installed, no sign of the Win 10 infection. I'm sure there will be other programs that have been messed up. Each time I boot-up the icons that are visible in the Toolbar are different, a sort of lottery I do have a recent image to restore, but I'd really like to know what screwed up the machine.

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2016-05-15 at 00:51. Reason: More info

  5. #5
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    It sounds as though something has changed your profile and you may have to restore with that image, but check your restore points using the Scan for affected programs for each.

    In C:\Windows\Users are there any additional user accounts that you don't recognise ?

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    As Sudo15 say's, it sounds like you are on a new user account since everything want's to be re-installed after your trip to Ireland.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. There are no new profiles, created in the past year. I tried System Restore, have never once managed to make it work, and so was unsurprised when it failed yet again:-

    "System restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings have not been changed.
    "An unspecified error occurred during system restore (0xc0000022)."

    However, some system file must have been changed because I can now open Devices and Printers.

    So still no idea as to what got screwed up. Back to the image I suppose.

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2016-05-15 at 16:29. Reason: More info

  8. #8
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    Although probably obvious, be sure to save any new data (to a flash drive or whatever) before restoring your image.

  9. #9
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    When a restore point reports as failed, it's usually because of a 3rd party AV program interfering.

    The workaround to that is to try the restore point again in Safe Mode where the 3rd party AV and any other 3rd party programs are isolated.

  10. #10
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    Ah yes! Avast seems to be well adapted to getting in the way. Will try Safe Mode.

    Thanks Sudo15

  11. #11
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    And the plot thickens.... Can't get it to start in Safe Mode, F8, which I've used in the past does nothing, just continues to boot up to Windows log-in.

    And RockE, I did remember to backup all data since the image was created, but thanks for the reminder.

  12. #12
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    There are a couple of other ways to boot to Safe Mode - 1. is via msconfig where you go Start - type msconfig and press enter, then under the Boot tab check the box for Safe boot then add Network if you wanted Safe Mode with Networking - but not in this case.

    For it to boot normally after, you would need to go back into msconfig and uncheck the boxes in the reverse order.

    Another method is to boot up with a System Repair disk - there is also an elevated cmd you can use, but at this stage I think you should use the system image as some corruption would still appear to exist.

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sudo15 For This Useful Post:

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  14. #13
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    I am inclined to agree with you, restoring the image is the easiest way out of the hole "When you're in a hole...stop digging!" comes to mind.

    I might even go the whole hog and re-install Win 7 because there were a few niggles with this machine even before this last debacle. Am presently struggling to get the hang of WSUS Offline. It's about as clear as mud at the moment, but hope springs eternal.

    David

  15. #14
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    You never know your luck - you may not need WSUS Offline

    Depending upon what the niggles were, you could boot up with the install disk provided it includes SP1 and perform an offboot sfc /scannow.

    When you boot up with it and you press any key to boot up from CD/DVD when prompted, it may present you with an inverse window with Windows Setup (EMS Enabled) highlighted - just press enter then when you get the splash screen select Repair your Computer and navigate to the Recovery Environment, noting on the way which partition it locates the OS in as may not always be C:

    Should you forget that, when you select Command Prompt enter bcdedit |find "osdevice" then using whichever partition letter, enter (assuming c) -

    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=C:\ /offwindir=C:\Windows

    For clarity, that's a Pipe symbol before find and there's a space before each forward /

    This may/not negate the need to reinstall, but perform it after you have restored with the system image.

  16. #15
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    You are a mine of information...

    "Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
    And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
    That one small head could carry all he knew."

    Oliver Goldsmith never foresaw Win7, but he knew a thing or two!!! Will keep your post in mind.

    David

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