All user settings lost


I have an old XP box into which I log on with Remote Desktop Connection every day. It had started to get flaky. It would regularly fail to load my user profile, but rebooting normally would fix the problem. Still, yesterday I though running chkdsk on my aging C and D drives would be a good idea.

I have now lost all my user settings: Quick Launch toolbar, theme, Outlook Express identity, etc. (One quick sanity check: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\Path used to show a very long series of pathnames. Now there's only one path.)

  • There are no System Restore points.
  • Documents and Settings\Charles\Recent correctly shows the most recent files I've opened — does this means my troubles are strictly registry-related?
  • My latest ntuser.dat backup dates from January (15.872M in the backup, 16.128M on the PC) and I'm more than willing to live with lost settings from the past 4 months if it revives all settings from January.

Should I back up the registry and try overwriting it with the January version? Would this bring back my settings?

Thanks for your help.
you probably had a corrupt user profile, I would go ahead and restore the backup, and then run malware scans and scans from your current antivirus
If System Restore does not work, in that Administrator logon go to
Control Panel and create a new user account that will replace the
damaged one.
Now open My Computer windows on the two user's profile folders, and copy
across the folders inside, from the old into the new One now you can
remove the old one and its files.

above from here
Thanks for the reply, Elizabeth. From a different account, I restored ntuser.dat and ntuser.ini from the backup. As it turns out, I had a backup from last month, so I lost very few recent changes. It feels great to be back in my own environment, with all settings restored. I have a followup issue, but I'll post that in a separate thread.

Thanks again.