corrupt profiles

Hewlett-packard / Dx2450
August 19, 2010 at 10:36:12
Specs: XP Pro SP3, AMD5200/3Gb
This question has been asked before but there has been no definitive answer.

What causes user profiles to be corrupted? This is a standalone XP Pro machine, about 2 years old, with two users - one admin & one standard. The admin's profile got corrupted a month or so ago - got it corrected. Now same thing has happened again. This time decided to give it a thorough going over. Checked the harddrive (& the rest of the hardware) with HP's built-in diagnostics. Checked the drive with Seatools, ran memtest, ran full scans with Norton and Kaspersky. Everything came up clean. There's no indication of incorrect shutdowns & it's not exactly been heavily used - just general Office & internet use.

Anyone got any other ideas why a standalone machine profile(s) would become corrupted?

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

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August 19, 2010 at 11:07:47
I believe there are many possibilities for this sort of behaviour so you'll be hard pressed to get a difinite answer. Further it is often very difficult to uncover the reason for intermittent faults.

One thing I have found over the years is that it is far too easy to assume a software problem. Sometimes after months of chasing an intermittent ocurrence I have found some loose fitting plug or bad connection inside the machine which was to blame. When these give trouble while data is transferring they can corrupt the machines software, which then gets the blame.

Cleaning the oxide off edge connectors (RAM, Cards etc) can sometimes help and I usually then plug the devices in and out a few times to clear any oxide off the sockets themselves. These are often prone to give rise to symptoms when the temperature is changing rapidly or following some case vibration.

Check all cable connectors by removing them and reseating them in the same way. I have been caught a few times by loose fitting power plugs. For example, I have run into this on SATA HD's and exactly the same thing with a floppy disk power plug. The later intermittently caused blue screens when attempting to use the drive. If in doubt renew the cables and start afresh.

Unfortunately working on the sofware (generally) can often add even more problems if is actually the hardware that is playing up. I realise it is difficult to see why profiles should be corrupted in particular, except perhaps that they are addressed during boot when temperatures are changing.

The only software reason I can see for corruptions is when it is badly written - perhaps a timing issue. Maybe keeping your startup items down to a minimum will help and running chkdsk /f

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