Lost user settings. I've started troubleshooting; what's my next step?


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.)

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

Thanks for your help.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about lost user settings started troubleshooting step
  1. Try replacing the battery to your bios and then load optimized bios settings
  2. It seems odd that BIOS trouble would prevent Windows from loading my user settings. Is there anything else that comes to mind?
  3. Have you tried defragging?

    I have had problems fix themselves from defragging.

    Might also try Ccleaner, and give it a try, it has a really good registry cleaner, and its free.
  4. Best answer
    In the end, I restored ntuser.dat and ntuser.ini from the one backup I could find, dated a month ago. What a relief to see all my settings and environment just the way I'd left them! (Apart from recent changes which I can redo on my own.) Thanks for your suggestions.
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