My Documents disappeared

July 9, 2005 at 10:07:57
Specs: Win XP Home SP 2, 900 MHZ Intel Celeron / 1

Hi everyone. A PC problem hit me out of nowhere and maybe someone here can help.

My PC was, to the best of my knowledge, running fine. However, after restarting it I was shocked to see that everything in the "My Documents" folder has vanished. So have the bookmarks in IE. But it looks like all the other files: installed software, files saved in other directories, the various settings, are all untouched.

The missing files aren't anywhere else on the machine or in the recycle bin. There was no hint of a problem in Zone Alarm, Spybot, or the XP firewall. The only irregularity I noticed is the basic Windows Explorer process. It was capitalized, "Explorer.exe" instead of "explorer.exe" After killing the process with HijackThis and restarting it it's lowercase as normal. Is there some virus or worm that masquerades as explorer.exe and messes with the system? A hardware malfunction is another idea, but what kind would only affect a couple specific folders?

I already tried system restore; it was pretty much a shot in the dark since it isn't supposed to undelete saved files, and as expected it didn't acomplish anything. I guess now I'll try to see if an antivirus scan turns up any viruses, and try a file recovery app to see if I can recover anything.

Well, that's all I know so far. Any input is appreciated.

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July 9, 2005 at 10:36:40

The "W32.Mydoom.B@mm" uses the file name "Explorer.exe". The link below may be of some help.

W32.Mydoom.B@mm Removal Instructions


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July 9, 2005 at 11:01:03

If virus ruled out as most likely the case,

You may try Registry Editing:

1. Click Start>Run
2. In Open : box, type REGEDIT and click OK
In Registry Editor, First Navigate to the following DocFolderPaths
Key by sequentially clicking the plus sign next to the Hives + HKLM, the Main Keys, Subkeys and sub-sub keys until the entire keys are opened to reveal the target key i.e DocFolderPaths as shown here:

3. Next Copy and save the key to a folder on the desktop, just as an insurance against any mishap from editing so that you can go and restore it.
a. Click File>Export…
b. Make sure there is a dot in the circle next to o Selected branch toward bottom left of the Export Registry File window and type a short name for the file to be saved on the desktop and click Save

4. Return to

5. In the Right Pane under the first column (Name) RIGHT- click> New> String value.
6. Right click New string value >Rename and type your name for the string value [ Example: New string value renamed as TheClaudeTrilogy]
7. Right click TheClaudeTrilogy > Modify
8. In Value data box type C:\Documents and Settings\TheClaudeTrilogy\My Documents [ where C: is your System drive]
9. Click OK
10. Exit Registry Editor.

If all goes well you can delete the saved Registry key . Otherwise restore by clicking/double clicking the saved Registry file.

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July 29, 2005 at 10:52:56

I've tried both of the above but My Documents is still missing. Does anyone else have a suggestion?

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