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.
More about :lost user settings started troubleshooting step
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.