Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: User files lost after system repair + repeated Preparing Desktop

20 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
User files lost after system repair + repeated Preparing Desktop

Hello, and sorry to have a first post asking for help.

I did a forced shutdown yesterday when my PC seemed to be incredibly slow then hanging while logging off. On restarting today, I got 'disk read error' repeatedly, after the BIOS boot screen but before any of Windows.

I used my Windows install CD to run System Repair, which went like this:
  • couldn't identify an OS to fix and since I couldn't find a hard disk driver to install, I just carried on to find Repair
  • short first disk repair, then approved a restart
  • much longer second repair cycle, accompanied by 'File or directory \Windows is corrupt and unreadable' window - very persistent but kept OK-ing it until it stopped. [Is this genuine or malware?]
It was taking a long time (>1 hour) so I went away to do other things and popped back from time to time. Next thing I saw was the normal choice of users login screen, with User and our two named accounts.

However, I now have the following situation for my account, which was the one being logged off when I powered it down:
  • Logging in the first time, and subsequently, invoked 'Preparing Desktop', and leads to a default desktop and minimal icons
  • I can't see any of my files, either via Libraries or in \Users.
  • Applications have no history, 'Recent Files' etc.
  • But... I do have familiar files in my Recycle Bin!
The User account [administrator] seems OK but we don't leave much there. I can't see the Event Log - a DLL is missing. I can't get our wireless connection to work. Other software installed - Photoshop, Office - seems OK though Office did think to itself a bit. I can't see my files from this account either - \Users\username is just not there.

I ran a disk check on C:\ as administrator (via Windows, not command line), with the full sector check, and it reported no problems. I don't know how to find any report from the System Repair process.

The other normal user account seems fine - familiar desktop, files present.

In retrospect, no, I probably shouldn't have forced the shutdown; I should have made some restore points; probably other things too... but too late now. I have many of the files elsewhere, one way or another, but I can't help thinking these files are still there somewhere, just disconnected.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could suggest what to try next.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

Hello Mcw, welcome to SF!

I think your hdd is suspect. Even though checkdsk went fine please test further if possible:
For a full diagnostic of your HD that goes beyond Chkdsk, see:
HD Diagnostic

Also just in case, start up in Safe mode Safe Mode - Windows 7 Forums
and check for any differences. If there are.. then do full scans with an up to date AV and anti malware like Malwarebytes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 User files lost after system repair + repeated Preparing Desktop

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
C:\User\User -User\AppData\Local\Temp\032150Log.iniis lost
I run windows 7 premium 64 and all of the sudden I stated to get this popup after windows loads that says "C:\User\Lori-Bee\AppData\Local\Temp\032150Log.iniis lost" How can I fix this?...I tried check disk running CCleaner ....No difference
General Discussion
Preparing Your Desktop User profile corrupted, TEMP User
Hi! I'm using a Neo netbook, running Windows Ultimate 32-bit. I found out that my user profile got corrupted after a forced shut down (the battery doesn't work and the power went out causing it to shut down). The Welcome screen goes on for minutes, then "Preparing Your Desktop" appears and when it...
General Discussion
Help files lost due to system restore
I did system restore of my pc few times in order to undo an installation. I did not keep track of the contents of a folder in desktop all the while. After a couple of system restores I casually checked my folder in desktop and was horrified to all the folders and files deleted except the ones with...
Backup and Restore
Windows 7 and lost desktop files
Hi everyone, I have a problem. I used a Windows 7 laptop for a presentation and we all saved files onto the desktop of a user's account. Upon shutdown and log-in to this same user's account, the message "Preparing your desktop" shows instead of "Welcome", and all files from the desktop is gone... I...
preparing user profile
hi, i hope that i found the right forum to ask this question ; ) what i want to do is basically to automatically "apply" all my user settings including program settings when i create a new user. it's important for me that the program settings are applied, like for example specific...
General Discussion
Why Backup user and system files fails to create system images to optical disc?
1. Open center 2. Set backup settings and Select a optical disc as the location to save backup 3. An informaion pops up, says "System images cannot be saved on this device" Click for help, and can find "you can't save a system images on a CD or DVD" So, my question is why we can't do it,...
Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:25.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App