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Windows 7: Missing Administrator Folder profile Win7 Ult.

15 Jul 2015   #1
Dioradio

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
Missing Administrator Folder profile Win7 Ult.

OK, I'll try and cover everything leading up to issue to give complete idea, so bear with me here as it started with a snowflake and now this giant snow boulder is barreling out of control.

Originally Win 7 Ultimate started having issues that could NOT be repaired regardless of method. Decided to wipe a Win XP HD and load a fresh Win 7 there, as this allowed me to keep all old info which I can access from the "New Win 7" OS. For the record, I have TWO HD, both with Win 7 (New and Old) Ultimate loaded, and BOTH drives are partitioned.

While on the "New" OS today, I had to access the "Old" HD via selecting the drive from the New OS as I needed to manually copy a text file over. So I had "Users" folder open, then selected my old administrator folder. While in there, saw a bunch of files that weren't familiar (I've show hidden files active for years and not sure why I never noticed them before). I clicked the rename option on the 1st NT.LOG file and opened Chromodo, pasted it in there to do a quick search on what it was, then when I went back to the "Users" folder, my old Admin. folder was completely missing? It's supposed to be locked (folder with lock icon next to it), so NO idea how it was even able to get moved or how it was moved/deleted? Even if the LOG file was inadvertently renamed, I'm completely BAFFLED how that would erase the entire Administrator folder.

Anyways, tried reopening the drive thinking maybe it was a glitch, and nothing. Botting the Old OS would hang at the welcome screen after entering password. Dug old my old ERD disc to see if the folder would "reappear" from a non windows OS, and it was most definitely missing. Started opening the default user and saw the admin. name as a folder there? Clicked it, and amazingly it WAS there. Everything from desktop files, to the LOG and other system files were intact.

I was relieved as I could at least manually access some folders still important and quickly copied everything to fresh OS drive so I'd at least have back-ups.

I opened my new OS Users-> Default and my New OS admin. Files are NOT present there. So if I had to guess, somehow the old Admin. folder was either duplicated or moved. What's also odd is there's nearly 26gb of info there. I tried manually copying back and it took nearly 15 minutes. If it WAS moved there, it did it w/o a file copy box and basically did it instantly.


Completely stumped here. Any idea how a protected system folder's contents could instantly move to another folder altogether? Also, while trying to copy it back to the "Users" directory, go a few warnings about a couple folders not being able to be moved due to being protected, so I doubt I'll be able to load that admin. account anymore.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jul 2015   #2
Dioradio

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Also, while copying the Old Admin. folder from the Default folder BACK to the Users directory, while the copying was commencing, a popup appeared asking me to "Back up your file encryption and key"? A quick search suggests something was encrypted in the admin. folder, which caused the box to appear. BUT, since the encrypted files are presumably on the old OS folder, how in the world is the "New" OS able to decrypt them? Let alone encrypt them?

The box is still open by the way. If I click "Back up now" and save to a local media, would that corrupt anything? Meaning if it creates some kind of key for the old OS, will it get confused and NOT work with current OS?? Does that make sense?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #3
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Just for curiosity, what file did you open before the file went missing? Could it have been some type of configuration file? It is possible you have a permission problem. Even with the same user name, Windows can tell a user from another OS is opening a file he does not own. Perhaps if you set permissions in the 'OLD' user folder you want to access to everyone, you could get into it OK.

Are your 2 OS's on different hard drives or on different partitions of the same disk. If they are on different hard drives you may be able to disconnect the 'New' OS drive and run startup repair on the 'Old' OS. That way you could boot into the old OS and copy any files you need to an external drive and then import them to the new OS.

Please don't take this wrong, I don't mean it to be trite. But, Microsoft made hidden files for a reason. I understand you have been doing it for years, but all it takes is one time of opening/editing/moving the wrong file and you have problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jul 2015   #4
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I would guess you accidentally moved the admin folder to within default, it just takes one slip of the mouse . And moving is usually fast as physical position of files doesn't change, copying will always take time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #5
Dioradio

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I didn't open anything other than Start-> Computer-> Drive-> Users-> Admin Folder. Only selected the name of the LOG file then copied it. On new OS, opened the browser then pasted it. Read a link, then went back and entire Admin. Folder was missing. The NT.LOG file was showing an up to date modification time stamp which also piqued my interest as I hadn't actually loaded the old OS.

I only selected the "rename" feature, then "copy". Actual file wasn't selected, and I was already inside the Admin. folder, so not sure HOW it could have been dragged to Default?

I've read elsewhere about the permissions. I think that would be possible IF the folder hadn't turned up in the Default folder i.e. was just missing. But dunno. I have the hidden folders viewable as some installed programs are in the ProgramData and elsewhere.

That old OS was bonked anyways so not a huge deal. Pagefile and Hibernate gobbled up over 30gb of space when there was only about 30gb left on that partition and the stupid OS deleted ALL system restore points AND a previous system back up silently (WTG Microsoft- you'd think they'd have it disable the pagefile and hibernate with a warning vs. silently deleting important restores and back up image). Then within a few hours of that ended up having a very brief power outage which seemingly deleted other files and Explorer started hanging. Literally spent over a day trying to fix before deciding to wipe my old XP drive and load Win 7 there. Even the Win 7 SP1 Repair disc was worthless.

Win 7 is fairly great when it's OK, but man loose a file or have something bonked and it's all downhill from there. Have had Acronis for awhile but never ended up using it as the system never had issues in nearly 4 years that system restore couldn't fix and figured the windows back up would suffice. Not making that mistake again. Have that system image .tib saved on a partition this time and made a bootable Acronis USB.

(I'm not advertising Acronis. Just throwing it out there in case someone stumbles onto this in the future. There are options available to prevent loosing everything whether free or paid. Also, instead of doing a fresh install OVER a bonked Windows version which most people seem to do; either partition the drive or buy a 2nd HD/SSD and load the fresh OS there. You can then boot that OS, then manually search for pics, programs, games, text, etc. under old OS vs. loosing everything. Doing this can prevent loosing any and/or everything. Another neat feature is you can create a back-up image and duplicate it to the 2nd drive, effectively having 2 OS so if for some reason one HD failed or you can't restore the image or are in a hurry, you can boot the secondary OS so long as it's files aren't outdated. Also, having the image made to revert to, forgoes having to install fresh OS, drivers and updates from scratch. Most here are fully aware of this, but for those of you still new to this you have options. )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #6
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

As I said in my post it is just a guess

I use Acronis and has saved me of headaches a few times. I make weekly Full Backups + daily differential ones of C and my Win10 partition (I don't have a System Reserved) to a dedicated internal backup drive. Also copy the backup files to an external USB drive just in case. All user files (games/music/documents etc) are sync'ed with FreeFileSync to yet another external drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #7
Dioradio

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
As I said in my post it is just a guess
Sorry if I came off the wrong way. It's 100% unintended.


Yeah, Acronis seems like decent software. If companies weren't so paranoid about certain aspects of their programs, having to resort to other programs to prevent nasty messes could be so much easier to avoid. MS could score some serious favor if they incorporated a true image maker and made fixing a bugged OS less of a chore to outright impossible at times.

1-2 Tb HD are super cheap now. Thinking of grabbing one to back up both in-use HD. Makes too much sense to ignore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Missing Administrator Folder profile Win7 Ult.




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