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

  • Registry
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
May 8, 2014 7:48:08 AM


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

May 8, 2014 8:15:05 AM

Try replacing the battery to your bios and then load optimized bios settings
May 8, 2014 12:36:52 PM

It seems odd that BIOS trouble would prevent Windows from loading my user settings. Is there anything else that comes to mind?
May 8, 2014 10:43:08 PM

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.


Best solution

May 12, 2014 3:59:25 PM

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.