I shall post all that I can, however, it is far from the
reason. It isn't really very solid at all, but it may be all you can get.
How sure are you that it is exactly at the point after first boot? What I mean by this is this (slightly below (restructured post subtly, read to end before attempting to answer
Today a normal boot produced this:
That should only ever be caused by a Windows Update. Any chance that a Windows Update installed in the background last time before you shut down?
There is a bug which you might just be experiencing. Experts the world over argue about whether this is even possible. I have seen it with my own eyes; it happened on one of my own computers once. And I am not the only one. Many people have experienced and reported it, but to many experts it seems impossible. It is not impossible, it happened to me.
What happens is that the "Setting up account for first time use Window appears" when it shouldn't do. And it creates a whole new user profile of sorts.
Say my account name is Richard. My old folders were like this:
The re-running of the configuring window creates new copies of these folders in the same directory:
C:\Users\Richard\Documents\~My original documents, still intact
C:\Users\Richard\Desktop\~My original documents, still intact
C:\Users\Richard\Downloads\~My original documents, still intact
Both have the correct icon, and the correct name. Start menu points to the new one. Windows evidently is using the new set. Logging off and back on again helps not at all.
Delete all of the new duplicate templates, Start menu now points to my original folders, refresh Desktop, all appears better. Just to be sure, log off and back on again. Problem resolved. And it never reappears.
But the experts say that it is impossible. You cannot have two folders of the same name in the same directory. NTFS does not support this ambiguity.
I promise you now that it happens. I have seen it with my own eyes (I personally believe that there must be SOME difference in the extended name somewhere - surely, unless explorer.exe is involved as well - I should have dug around, I was just concerned about my unbacked up files at the time!)
However, I have never seen the same thing happen to Program Files - but maybe it does. Have a check.
I don't actually believe that this is your problem though.
If your computer really has been reset, I wonder if the log files have been reset?
Please create a folder on your Desktop called LOGS.BT, and copy into it all of the following, if they exist (you will need to turn on Hidden Files to make sure that they exist)
If necessary, use RUN to try to find C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\. It may well be very hidden. Otherwise it actually may not exist. C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\setupact.log
Now create a new folder called LOGS: C:\WINDOWS\PANTHER\setupact.log
Now please right click on your two folders, Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder and upload them either to here or to any file sharing website if too large.
Really sorry about so many. As of anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, the whole suite of new Windows Update automation tools which are currently under development by me will be finished, and this process is one of very many which will be automated.
Thanks a lot!
P.S. I don't see any way of fixing this unless you find that C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\
and similar. To avoid any lost time, you can now jump back in time, however, I would recommend that you allow me to inspect your Windows Update state before restarting your computer after reinstalling an update (ie don't install any updates yet)