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Windows 7: Lost User Profile/directory

11 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Lost User Profile/directory

I have just realised that I have lost my original directory structure under my user name. Hence I cannot access my data through explorer.
I can still access some of it from applications or the Start Menu using recent files.
So the structure is there but does not show in Explorer.
If I type the structure in; such as C:\Users\Dave\Documents\Long Sutton Seniors Fixtures I can see the files in this folder but not the sub-folders.
I do have a structure of C:\Users\Dave\Documents with two default folders that are empty.
I tried to create a new folders called 'Long Sutton Seniors Fixtures'. I was told the folder already existed and did I want too merge the folders. On replying Yes the notice closed and the folder was not displayed in explorer.
Anybody got any idea how I can recover the data?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Do the following in an Elevated Command Prompt
cd C:\Users\Dave\Documents
dir /a
If the directory you are looking for shows up, then do the following for each directory you want "restored":
attrib /s /d -h -s "<directory>"
For instance:
attrib /s /d -h -s "Long Sutton Seniors Fixtures"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for that suggestion. I have recovered the Long Sutton Seniors Fixtures Directory and now I have to recover another 43 directories before I start on the numerous sub-directories. Looks like it is going to be a boring weekend.
Thanks again
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jun 2012   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Of concern to me is: How did this happen?

If you have no explanation, then I suspect malware, in which case, I very strongly recommend the following:

Windows Defender Offline
• is a free standalone, bootable malware and virus remover from Microsoft.
• performs an offline scan of an infected PC to remove viruses, rootkits and other advanced malware.

Download Windows Defender Offline (about 764 kB)

You will have the choice of downloading the 32bit version (x86) or the 64 bit version (x64).
The link will help you determine whether you are running a 32 bit version or 64 bit version of Windows

NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 32 bit version using a 64 bit version of Windows
NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 64 bit version using a 32bit version of Windows.

You run the 32 bit version on a 32 bit version of Windows.
You run the 64 bit version on a 64 bit version of Windows.

The 32 bit download file name is: mssstool32.exe
The 64 bit download file name is: mssstool64.exe

For the curious, this program was originally name Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper.

You will need an Internet Connection.
Insert 512 mB (Microsoft’s 256 mB is no longer accurate) or larger USB stick into a usb port.
Run the downloaded program--mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe
NEXT button
Choose the option On a USB flash drive that is not password protected
NEXT button
NEXT button
The install program will format the usb stick using the NTFS format.
The install program will download about 210 mB.
The install program will name the USB stick WDO_Media32 or WDO_Media64
The WDO_Media32 usb stick will have used space of 255 mB (268,140,544 bytes)
The WDO_Media64 usb stick will have used space of 282 mB (296,165,376 bytes)
You can expect the number of mB to increase as more malware appears.

UPDATE Windows Defender Offline USB stick:
• reinsert the usb stick
• run the installation program, mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe, again.
• the update will download about 66 mB (mssstool32.exe) and 68 mB (mssstool64.exe).

Since the malware database is sometimes updated several times in a day, always update before running.

Bootup your computer from the USB stick
Windows Defender Offline will automatically perform a quick scan.
After the quick scan finishes, Choose Full Scan
Select all of your drives

The initial, full scan can easily take several hours, but
Remember, your computer is being very thoroughly checked for all types of malware.

The results will be in 4 log files on your computer's disk in:
\Windows\Microsoft Antimalware\Support

Upload the four log files please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

If they are all within your Documents folder:
cd C:\Users\Dave
attrib /s /d -h -s Documents
That should recover all directories inside the Documents folder.

Also, Karl is right. You really should find out why this is happening or it will continue to happen and you may have other issues crop up beyond this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

I just noticed that I've lost some formatting.

Am trying out Chrome, although I suspect other problems.

Consequently, the link for Windows Defender Offline, WDO, is in my signature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64


I typed in attrib /s /d -h -s Dave because I could not see my directory under Users.
Dave now appears in the Users directory but I can only see the Documents and Long Sutton Seniors Fixtures directories as I also reset their attributes.
This does not seem to be resetting the attributes of the files and sub-directories.
I will follow Karls advice. I have McAfee security so I am a bit surprised if I have malware.
My thoughts were that a recent windows update had malfunctioned and was planning to undertake a restore.
However I have noticed that the Accessories folder in the START menu has also disappeared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64


Thanks for the advice which I shall look into.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Definitely immediately check for malware using Windows Defender Offline, WDO, link in my signature.

McAffee (also known as muckaffe) doesn't enjoy a good reputation.

After running WDO, then uninstall McAfee and install MSE, Microsoft Security Esssentials, link in my signature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64

Downloading WDO now. As it is 23.35 hours here I will most probably run this tomorrow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lost User Profile/directory

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