Lost files!! Roaming profiles!! Desperate!!!

Sony / Vgn-nr180
June 12, 2009 at 18:34:59
Specs: Windows Vista
I woke up the yesterday morning and found that my laptop was ON. I usually have it hibernating overnight. When I opened it, I saw that it looked like it had been restored to when i first got it. All my files were gone...but, I still had all my programs loaded.
I restarted the computer and I got an error message saying that it could not load my profile. I tried doing a system restore, but it informed me that I didn't have any system restore points! That's unlikely because I have it set to create restore points every Wednesday after I run a virus scan.
I brought it to work so our IT guy could take a look at it. I can't verify how skilled he is, but he told me that my system created a roaming profile(s). He didn't explain why, but he said that all i could do was to restore my computer to the manufacturer specs.UGHH! Not what I wanted to hear. When we tried to access some AppData file, we were denied access. We opened the security settings and noticed I had several user names: SYSTEM (which I figure is standard), V (my user name?), Account Unknown (S-1-5...) (SID I think?), Administrators (V/Administrators). I only remember setting up the Admin profile.

Now, not wanting to give up, I downloaded the free version of Launch Data Recovery. The software FOUND MY FILES! Unfortunately, I have to pay for the license to retrieve my files.
When I try to access the folder where the files are suppose to be, I'm denied access, even though I'm logged in as the admin. The error message I get is "C:Users\All Users\Application Date is not accessible. Access is denied."

SO, the questions,
1)Is there a way to get my files back and set my desktop back to what it was?
2)How do I get rid of the other profiles (since they're not listed under Users).

My apologies that this seemed long-winded, but I'm a novice when it comes to computers (but I can follow directions really well!).

Dennis (domalibiran@yahoo.com)

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June 12, 2009 at 19:28:42
A roaming profile is only used on domains. Has your computer been associated with a domain?

You could try a free program like Testdisk or Recuva to recover your files. Check here.

WinSimple Software
CompTIA A+ Certified

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June 14, 2009 at 08:04:28
Thanks for the advice, Rayburn.

I don't ever remember signing up for a domain, so I'm not sure why that would occur.
I used a program called Panda Recovery to restore SOME of my lost files, but it still doesn't put my computer back to where it was before this strange change.

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June 14, 2009 at 20:08:09
TestDisk is one of the best free ones out there. Did you try it?

FYI, a domain that roaming profiles are associated with is a network domain (domain controller, workstations, etc.), not a domain as in "domain name." :)

WinSimple Software
CompTIA A+ Certified

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Related Solutions

June 14, 2009 at 21:04:47
I'll check out testdisk.

I really only use my computer at home on a home network.

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June 24, 2009 at 13:51:21
Sounds like the Administrators group was probably removed from the ACL on your "All Users" folder, hence when you try to access the files in that folder you get the "Access Denied" message. Your old files shouldn't be in the "All Users" folder, but if that is where you say they are, that's where they are.

Anyways, to get permission back into that folder you will need to take ownership of it first. As a local administrator you should be able to right-click on the folder and select the properties, then click "Advanced" on the Security tab. Click on the Owner tab and change the owner to "Administrators" and click Apply.

Once you have ownership, you should be able to set the permissions on the folder to give the "Administrators" group access again. You'll want the permissions on the "All Users" folder to look like this:

Administrators > Full Control
SYSTEM > Full Control
Power Users > Modify
Everyone > Read/Execute
Users > Read/Execute

That should get you back on track.

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June 24, 2009 at 18:39:40
Thanks for the help guys. I wound up doing a system restore to get my laptop back to normal. Lost some files, but oh well :)

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