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I had an old laptop, from which I moved the drive to an external enclosure. (Lets call this drive X) I have a new laptop on which I have installed Windows on the internal drive (Lets call is drive C). I recently got a new bigger external drive (Lets call it drive Y). I moved all the folders from external drive X to external drive Y. Nothing was moved to/from drive C. Since then my profile is FUBAR. My quick-launch icons are gone. My Wifi & VPN network settings are lost. My login-screen picture is gone. I can recover all of this, my question is just if anyone could explain to me why/how this happened so that I can avoid it happening again.

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First things first - have you removed the old external drive (X, in your example)? Does the new external drive (Y, in your example) have the same drive letter as X used to have? If not, this may cause issue with hard-coded paths that Windows likes to use (especially in the registry). –  Rilgon Arcsinh Jul 31 '12 at 6:52
    
At what point in the process did the damage happen? –  David Schwartz Jul 31 '12 at 7:01
    
Both drives have been moved around a lot since the installation. they have come up with all sorts of drive letters as and when they were plugged in separately and in combination. At some point long ago I assigned them fixed drive letters to get consistency when looking for stuff. They now both have drive letters from the end of the alphabet S: and T:, so nothing they would have gotten from Windows by default (F: G: H: I:) just be being plugged in. –  myotherme Jul 31 '12 at 7:02
    
@David: After moving all the data from drive X to drive Y. –  myotherme Jul 31 '12 at 7:14

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