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View Full Version : Icons/Favourites etc - disappeared



Myth
07-03-2013, 06:46 AM
Got an interesting one...

I have a computer here running XP. Client has said that most of the desktop icons have disappeared which is true, only about 4 have survived.
Favourites in the start menu have also disappeared. I also note in msconfig startup menu that a few items that should be there are not. No icons/anything in My Documents - however, properties menu for My Documents shows 20GB in there - apparently hundreds of family photos. Also, in Explorer; the desktop icons are all there. Also noted: "run" is not saving last entries.

What I have done so far:
Installed Malwarebytes and run that. Nothing
Right click on desktop to ensure that "Show desktop items" is enabled - which it is
Right click on desktop > Properties > Desktop > Customise Desktop and attempted to add My Computer, My Documents etc folder to desktop... they do not appear. When I recheck this, all items are unchecked.
Right click on Start > Properties > Start Menu > Customise > Attempted to check Internet, and E mail to Show on start menu. Ok > etc. They do not show on the start menu, and when I recheck this setting, they are unchecked again.
Right click on Start > Properties > Start Menu > Customise > Advanced tab > Attempted to check "Favourites Menu" > Ok > etc. Have a look on the start menu, no favourites. When I recheck the setting, it is unchecked again
Installed Unhide.exe and run that. Log says "No smtmp directory" and also fails to find any changes in registry which may be causing this.
Attempted to use System Restore - less than 15% free space. Also System Restore won't allow me to check for restore points in any month prior to this month. There are no restore points this month

Proposed course of action:
As I suspect there is something major wrong with registry, I am thinking of installing old 80GB HD (currrently has 40GB), install XP to it, and slave the other drive. I am hoping running the other drive as slave using a good install will allow me to view files etc and copy. They can keep both drives.

Is there anything else I can do or try before I proceed with the proposed course of action?

zqwerty
07-03-2013, 07:27 AM
Try showing hidden files, if they are there and this works then computer is affected by a Trojan which makes normally shown files, hidden.

Speedy Gonzales
07-03-2013, 07:34 AM
This sound like the prob?? (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330170). Or maybe this? (http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-23085-restore-missing-icons-start-menu)

Disable system restore / reboot, turn it back on. See what happens. Get this install it run it select the options you want it to fix.. See if this fixes it (http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/windows_repair_all_in_one.html)

wainuitech
07-03-2013, 07:39 AM
Could be a corrupted user profile, or could also be a failed Sector(s) on the HDD

One thing to check for the data is log into the Admin account Via safe mode, then navigate through the users profile, C:\Documents and Settings\Users Name etc and see if that shows the files.

If the actual drive is showing used space then all the data should be there, you may have to recover it with some sort of recovery software, or linux. If the Drive is failing then you'll need to replace the drive as well.

kingdragonfly
07-03-2013, 07:41 AM
How to check user profiles on a Windows XP-based computer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294887

Once you sort that, I believe a Microsoft freebie called "TweakUI" has a feature to rebuild desktop icons.

It's also as a lot of handy features, like removing the "arrow badge" and "shortcut to" from shortcuts.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-NZ/windows/xp-downloads#2TC=featured

Myth
07-03-2013, 09:06 PM
Try showing hidden files, if they are there and this works then computer is affected by a Trojan which makes normally shown files, hidden.Tried this, still nothing


Could be a corrupted user profile, or could also be a failed Sector(s) on the HDD

One thing to check for the data is log into the Admin account Via safe mode, then navigate through the users profile, C:\Documents and Settings\Users Name etc and see if that shows the files.

If the actual drive is showing used space then all the data should be there, you may have to recover it with some sort of recovery software, or linux. If the Drive is failing then you'll need to replace the drive as well.Even the Administrator account in safe mode is affected, although the one difference being that it has favourites in the Start menu. Nothing shows in the Documents except when I look in Shared folder. Looks like all photos are there.. still can't find music

Am using spare drive to install fresh OS onto. Will transfer photos before I attempt anything else

wainuitech
07-03-2013, 10:01 PM
Sometimes this works -- If you cloned the whole drive, "Sometimes" when you boot it chkdsk auto runs and fixes some problems. Other times the clone is just as bad or worse.