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I've just been given a new machine at work with Windows 7 Professional installed on it.

I login to our domain and proceed to setup things up the way I like them --- setup my desktop, visual studio, outlook etc.

A few days pass and I come in one morning and my computer appears to be "locked up". To resolve the issue I turned the computer off and back on again, and then I realize I just had a loose monitor cable. Anyway, after I logged in, it appeared as if I had never logged in before. I had to re-setup everything I'd setup a few days before.

I was a little frustrated but I just proceeded on and kept working. During the weekend I came in to install windows 7 (64-bit) because someone thought it wasn't necessary. After some protesting they finally caved.

While installing (I didn't get very far) I realized I needed to re-burn the ISO I had. I logged back into the machine to retrieve the ISO but it was gone. It didn't take me very long to realize though that I was operating under the previously setup profile. (Files I'd downloaded before the shift we're there, a few scratch files I'd saved.)

After doing some searching on the computer I can not find any references of the other profiles but permissions seem to be locked down pretty tight and I wonder if I just can't see the other profile.

This is why I say I have a "quantum rift" in my profile. It's as if my profile has split into two but neither of them are aware of each other's existence. I was able to see files that I'd copied to other locations of the harddrive, one such file/folder I'd created was in a c:\Users\\archive folder. However, files that appear to have been lost were in my c:\Users\

If anyone could provide some insight as to why this happened it would be appreciated. I am getting ready to zap this computer though so I will not be doing any further investigation on it. If it does happen again though, I'd like to know how to resolve it.

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I've had the same situation on Windows XP here at work - my profile was corrupted, so it was like being brand new to the computer. Once I was logged in, I was able to copy the old profile (I'm pretty sure it was username.old) information to my "new" profile. –  Jared Harley Jan 11 '10 at 15:16
    
don't have a .old profile –  Dave Jan 11 '10 at 15:43
    
You're not using a product like Faronics Deep Freeze or Windows Steady State, are you? –  prestomation Jan 11 '10 at 20:35
    
@prestomation sorry no, i've never heard of those applications –  Dave Jan 21 '10 at 17:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have had this happen, where I logged into a fresh profile on Windows Vista. Whenever that happens, I immediately shutdown/reboot; the problem has usually gone away.

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something tells me that this is what i should have done when it happened to me. –  Dave Jan 21 '10 at 17:38

This happened to me at home actually. In my case, it was a problem with the domain (I run a win serv2k3 domain at home). Win7 appeared to be logging on to the domain, but it wasn't. When I finally corrected the issue on the DC, I logged in and found what you found. Fortunately, my account was an admin account and I was able to navigate to the Users folder and get the data from the other User folder. I also don't use roaming profiles or redirection at home, so everything was stored on the disk.

If your company uses roaming profiles and/or folder redirection, then your ISO might be on the domain controller. If not, then there's a likelihood that it's on the disk, in a different User folder (with the same/similar name).

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hmmm this is good stuff, unfortunately we do not use roaming profiles. My account wasn't an admin account and I was having difficulty accessing folders like "My Documents" and such. I'm thinking I should have done what GWLlosa said to do. –  Dave Jan 21 '10 at 17:40

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