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Suddenly all files, folders and icons that were on my desktop have disappeared.

  1. tried making "show hidden files", no luck.

  2. tried using recovery software, but it did not find any of this files, so I assume they were not deletes.

  3. c:/user/.../desktop does look empty from the explorer, as well as from cmd.

  4. installed malwarebytes, it did find and remove some malware, but it didn't seem to help.

  5. used RogueKiller and it did find some suspicious registry called "HideDesktopIcons".

    ¤¤¤ Registry Entries : 4 ¤¤¤ [HJ DESK] HKCU[...]\ClassicStartMenu : {59031A47-3F72-44A7-89C5-5595FE6B30EE} (1) -> REPLACED (0) [HJ DESK] HKCU[...]\NewStartPanel : {59031A47-3F72-44A7-89C5-5595FE6B30EE} (1) -> REPLACED (0) [HJ DESK] HKCU[...]\ClassicStartMenu : {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} (1) -> REPLACED (0) [HJ DESK] HKCU[...]\NewStartPanel : {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} (1) -> REPLACED (0)

I deleted this registry, rebooted, it only unhide "my comuter" and "user" icons, but my desktop stuff is still missing... any ideas what should I do next?


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migrated from Dec 3 '12 at 1:46

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

restore from your backup! – Paul C Nov 8 '12 at 10:51
You may get a answer more quickly on superuser, so I've voted to migrate this question there. – Ed Guiness Nov 8 '12 at 10:51
reposted on supersuser. unfortunately didn't have everything backedup. :( – Roger Travis Nov 8 '12 at 10:54

I think there might be three possibilities.

1) The files are just hidden and your OS settings do not allow to display hidden files

2) The files have been moved to another location

3) The files have been deleted

The first is the easiest one, since you only have to allow windows to show hidden files (open explorer -> tools -> view -> Show hidden files, folders, and drives). The second possibility can be solved by just doing a search including all system drives. For the last one the best way would be to use recovery software. Since i do not know which one you used, i would suggest trying "pc inspector smart recovery" , since it is free, and i have good experience with it.

Beside this what you could also try is to restore sytem settings with the windows system recovery. If you haven't disabled it and you are sure you didn't delete the files, this might give you your folders back.

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Go to and download a file called "Unhide" to restore your icons. It will also restore all of your start menu entries.

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No, he was able to restore the standard icons (so he no longer needs the app you pointed to), but the contents of his Desktop folder is gone. – vladr Nov 24 '12 at 19:48

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