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I'm on Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit with SP1. I have auto-update turned on and have all the latest Windows updates AFAIK.

Every now and then, my system reverts itself to a previous state, including:

  • wallpaper
  • taskbar items
  • start menu items
  • programs listed in the "Programs and Features" control panel (e.g. successfully uninstalled programs reappear)
  • default browser (reverts from Chrome to Firefox)
  • contents of long-standing directories (the contents of recently created directories are correct)

I don't care about the cosmetic stuff like wallpaper, but obviously the changes to the file system are a worry.

I've Googled for possible causes, but found nothing useful. There are a number of restore points listed in the System control panel, but I haven't chosen to go back to any of them.

I'm on the verge of reinstalling Windows unless anyone has an idea why this is happening?

Also, I have admin rights on this machine; the other family members do not. AFAIK, I'm the only user affected.

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This does sound a lot like system restore, are you 100% certain you are the only user with the power to revert changes? Do you ever leave the machine unlocked for other people to use? –  Mokubai Mar 23 '13 at 12:11
    
Have you looked through the Event Logs for signs yet? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 23 '13 at 16:34
    
I would suspect (and this is only a guess) that, during an update or similar, something goes wrong and so the OS restores itself to a last known working set up... which is without your changes etc. You could see if there is any indication of failing updates to rule this out easily enough. –  Dave Aug 15 '13 at 8:29

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