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Recently, my friend's computer had a strange phenomenon. She has only one user for the whole system, named User. Recently, she saw different content on her desktop, and the different style of start menu (normally, she uses classic style, but she saw a Vista style).

When I checked out her computer, I saw a TEMP folder located right under C:/Users and the desktop content inside C:/Users/TEMP/Desktop was exactly like what had been on the desktop at that time (meanwhile she was logged in using User account)

In another folder, C:/Users/User/Desktop, were her files She managed to move file from her old Desktop to the current Desktop.

Later, after a reboot, the desktop was restored to the original, and all files she moved to the new Desktop is long gone. I checked out her computer again: the C:/Users/TEMP folder no longer existed.

When I tried Windows Vista Search, I can still see the the name of files of C:/Users/TEMP/Desktop in the index, but these files are inaccessible since they are deleted.

What kind of funny stuff is that? How should people avoid such a thing?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Seems like your friend was looged into a temporary profile which explains the path \Users\TEMP.

Something could have happened that corrupted her profile files/settings. Since she is now able to log back into her actual profile, I guess the system fixed the problem itself.

Search for 'Vista Temporary Profile" and see if any of the search results described similar symptoms, e.g. displaying error messages.

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