HELP - PC has lost all it's settings

  LeedsLass 14:36 17 Dec 2006

Hi. I left my laptop on overnight as I always do (rarely switch it off). When I came back to it the next day, all my icons had disappeared (well not all but most) and had rearranged themselves on my desktop. The wallpaper and also my personal desktop colour settings including the keyboard going back to English, etc. had also disappeared and defaulted back to the laptop's setting like it was a brand new laptop, and the favorites in my Mozilla Firefox browser have all disappeared. And when I started Firefox up, it was as though I'd only just installed and asked me about importing all the settings from IE - stuff like that.

The other thing that is wierd is that even though, after discovering all of this, I put the wallpaper back and re-set the background colours to my preferences, etc. when I logged off and logged back on again it had defaulted back to the laptop's default again - like it can't remember what I'm telling it/changing.

Finally, the other thing I noticed in Windows Explorer is that there is a new "user folder" (don't know what the proper name is). Usually there is a folder called my partner's name, one called my name and one called administrator. We only ever log on as the one that is "my name" so it had admin rights and that it what I am logged on as at the moment and having the problems with. But there is now also a folder called "my name.LAPTOP" with all the usual folders beneath it (cookies, desktop, my docs, etc).

I have tried deleting the "my name.LAPTOP" folder but it won't let me and says something about ntuser.dat not being able to be removed.

Also my firewall has lost all it's settings as though that's only just been installed and I'm having to reset what is and isn't allowed.

Anyone got any ideas as to what's gone on overnight? Have I been hacked? I'm scared. Please help....

Oh sorry, the only other thing I can think of that rings any bells is that ages ago, like a couple of months, I tried creating a home network with my desktop & laptop. I called the laptop "my name laptop" but I didn't succeed in creating the network and haven't tried since (it's still on my to do list though :o). And the desktop was not switched on (that I know of) from the time that the laptop was ok to it not being ok. So I dunno if that's just a strange coincidence.

Sorry for such a long thread

  €dstowe 14:39 17 Dec 2006

Assuming you don't have a backup of your system, are you able to do a System Restore to a time before this happened?

  LeedsLass 14:41 17 Dec 2006

Well it's Win2000 so I did the "last known good logon" thing that you can do but it hasn't made any difference.

No backup <kicks self>

  I am Spartacus 14:53 17 Dec 2006

Possibly a corrupt user account?

Articles from MS:

click here & click here

Although this is for XP there might be something to help:

click here

  LeedsLass 14:57 17 Dec 2006

Thanx for these links - I'll have a read but after having a quick scan, I've not had ANY error messages at all.

Why would a profile become corrupt overnight - is this a known thing that just happens?

  whitefort 10:53 27 Dec 2006

I've just discovered this thread via a web search, as my PC has started giving me the same problem. Once every few days, I turn it on and I've lost some desktop icons, all my windows settings, and it wants me to take the XP tour, just like a new install.

I'm also finding a new user folder (two, in my case. One is called TEMP, and the other is the name of my PC.

It's easy to fix each time by going to the previous day's system restore point, but it's really annoying, and I'd love to find a permanent fix.

  rawprawn 11:28 27 Dec 2006

A Windows repair may do the trick
click here
Scroll down for your Win 2000

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