Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I installed a number of applications on a new laptop running Windows 7, selecting "run as administrator" wherever necessary. But after rebooting, all executable files (.exe, .bat) were missing from the program folders, and all the new desktop shortcuts were gone as well, without a trace! I can't even open any pdf's now, because the reader application I installed seemingly no longer exists.

My hunch is that this has something to do with UAC virtualization, but I don't really understand how, since I was logged on as an administrator the whole time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

share|improve this question

You said, you selected "run as administrator" wherever necessary. is it possible that you selected the option to only install them for the user logged in? if so it may be possible that you just installed the programms for the administrator account. Try to remove one of the applications as admin, reinstall it with the option "for all user" and look if the executables and the shortcuts are there when you log in.

share|improve this answer
I don't understand - if I always log on with the same account that has administrator privileges, why shouldn't my applications and shortcuts persist after rebooting? – Dave Dec 20 '10 at 22:40
Do you mean that installing programs as administrator puts them in the hidden Administrator account only?! – Dave Dec 20 '10 at 22:48
@kurkevan - that's not what @diskilla is saying at all. The suggestion is that, as many installers give you the option to install 'For this user' or 'For all users' you may have selected the former. – Shinrai Dec 21 '10 at 0:03
@Shinrai - As far as I can remember, there was no such option on any of those installers. And in any case, I was always using the same user account! – Dave Dec 21 '10 at 1:28
Shinrai was right. I suggested the possibility of a misunderstanding of the installation option. But since you used only one account that isn´t as possible as I thought ;-) – Diskilla Dec 21 '10 at 11:38

It sounds like someone installed DeepFreeze or other 'revert drive on rebooting' apps. Try changing the wallpaper, if after rebooting the wallpaper also revert, you need to remove those program first.

share|improve this answer
No, that couldn't be it. Only shortcuts and executables are gone; the rest of my files remained intact. – Dave Dec 21 '10 at 6:23
Did you put your other files on another partition? DeepFreeze and the like sometimes only configured to revert the system partition. Try putting a file in the desktop. If it stays, you probably got a virus :( If it gone, you got DeepFreeze – Martheen Cahya Paulo Dec 21 '10 at 6:40
The files that stayed were on the desktop. It was a fresh install, so I doubt there would be any virus. – Dave Dec 21 '10 at 6:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.