View Full Version : Resurrecting profile in Windows XP Professional

04-01-2003, 07:50 AM
A far-reaching "accident" happened to my Windows XP system yesterday.

It was responding slowly to the task in hand (forwarding a number of emails). I surmised this was because an automatic virus check had started up.

I attempted to terminate the check, first closing down open email and browser windows, so I could see the NAV window, and was assaulted by a swarm of popup browser windows, some of which refused to close. Buttons on the taskbar were unresponsive.

[should stop surfing the "wilder" reaches of the internet where the websites are designed by amateurs or the deliberately malicious, I suppose]

Naturally, I panicked/gave up and just hit the "off" button.

When the system came back up, and I clicked the button with my user-name, XP notified me that it had lost my profile. Did I want a "temporary profile" to be set up?

I said yes, and was presented with a minimal set of applications (some curious choices: Mailwasher, for example, was on the desktop, but my two instances of the email client (Eudora) had vanished.)

Everything, however, was there in the file structure (except for one application, Webroot's Privacy Master, which had to be re-set up - even there the setup clearly grabbed pre-existing information from somewhere)

I placed all the usual icons on my desktop and in the start menu, did the mail-forward job and a few others and left the machine for the night. This morning, I experimentally rebooted (this time the "proper" way with "Start" "close down computer"). XP encouragingly said "saving settings", but when it booted up again...same minimal set of apps, Privacy Master disappeared again, menu in the over-elaborate XP form (I prefer the "classic" layout of earlier versions of the OS and had re-set this)

MSIE browser insists on trying to find a dialup connection: it can't see my cable. (Mozilla has no such problem).

All the settings for my old profile seem to be there in C:\Documents and Settings\(user-name).(largely meaningless character string)\

Clicking on "(user name)'s Documents" within this folder finds my original My Documents folder with all its contents intact, but of course the My Documents folder on the desktop belongs to the "temporary" profile, and is empty apart from the standard subfolders.

How do I link my apparently intact profile to the button with my user-name on the startup screen, or, alternatively, save the current state of the machine as a new profile attached to that button?

MS "Help" is, as ever, no help.

And WHAT could have caused this dramatic misplacing of information? I've done a crude cold reboot many times before, and previously my profile has always come back intact. Why the snarl-up on this occasion?



09-01-2003, 12:56 PM
"You're about to reply to a post which is more than a month old", says the warning. Odd, as I posted it on January 4, and it is only January 9.

It has attracted zero replies, so this suggests having a user profile corrupted like this is a rare problem.

However, I had an only-partly-helpful chat with an MS helpdesker, who suggested manually transferring certain files from the "All Users" folder to the folder pertaining to that profile.

This at least made some of my mislaid apps more readily available, and ONCE the account started up from its icon on the introductory screen without problems. However, on subsequent reboot it displayed the "cannot find profile" message again.

I created a new profile and picked up all the apps I could from the old one, but hit problems of the "cannot find (obscure filename)" type when trying to hook into my two copies of Eudora - I prefer to keep my two mailboxes entirely separate.

So I now have FOUR copies, Eudora, Eudora2 (the original two), Eudora 1a and Eudora 2a (new, set to the same mail accounts as 1 and 2).

I am maintaining these four as I need to refer to some messages in the old in- and out- boxes. However, Eudora is becoming confused between old and new boxes. If I click the 1 account icon, I never know if I will get the box for 1 or 1a, and ditto for 2.

On latest attempt, the inbox for account 1 was mysteriously empty (but I expect to see it back again).

How do you transfer mail messages from one box to another (other than by forwarding them and creating a new deck of headers)?

I am still interested in the possible cause(s) of the original profile-corruption problem. Any ideas?

It occurred, as I said, following a jam-up of the machine and a desperation hit-the-off-button reboot (which I've done many times before with no problem). Yes, I realise now I should have done a Ctrl-Alt-Del and brought the errant apps down in good order. Having one's partner yelling "don't tell me you've lost those (emailed air-) tickets! (which I was about to forward to the intending travellers) doesn't help the panic state.

The air tickets weren't lost and did arrive in time. But my Eudorae are still flaky.

Susan B
09-01-2003, 01:52 PM
Argus I don't use Eudora so I can't offer any advice in that respect but if I were you I would be backing up your emails to a CD or something promptly. To get advice regarding your Eudora questions I would advise you to start another thread with Eudora in the header to attract those who use and know the program.

As far as your profile problem is concerned it is obviously a rare problem or you would have received advice. Unfortunately the people with extensive Win XP knowledge haven't been able to spend much time on the forum and probably haven't seen this post.

Do make sure you have your important data backed up as well as those emails just in case. If you can't do a system restore or Windows repair you might be looking at a reformat and you will need all your data backed up in any case.

09-01-2003, 02:05 PM
The emails are stored in the Qualcom directory (c:/program files/Qualcom) as .mbx files, with a toc file (table of contents).

You can copy and paste the .mbx .toc files, to transfer them. Eudora is quite passive about that. That will not Merge them, but replace them.

You can also just double click any .mbx file and Eudora will open it and allow you access to the emails. VERY handy for backing up, just copy the file.