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Messed up desktop wallpaper

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 4, 2011 4:35:11 AM

Hello,

I've done something silly. While browsing one of my albums on Picasa, I clicked on one and set it as my wallpaper, WITHOUT saving the image to my PC, and logged out.

Of course, when I try to log back in, the system searches for the desktop wallpaper on the machine, and not finding it, cannot load my user-profile. So I cannot log on anymore.

Is there a way of tweaking the registry entries to change wallpaper information for someone OTHER than the current user, so that I can log in from another user-profile and fix the issue?
a b $ Windows 7
January 4, 2011 5:16:23 AM

can you start up in safe mode?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 4, 2011 5:23:10 AM

Are you sure that's the issue? What is the exact error message? I would suspect that Windows just defaults to a black background if it cannot find the wallpaper in question.
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January 4, 2011 7:27:29 AM

arges86 said:
can you start up in safe mode?


Starting-up is not a problem. Just that I cannot log in to my user-profile.
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January 4, 2011 7:51:06 AM

Herr_Koos said:
Are you sure that's the issue? What is the exact error message? I would suspect that Windows just defaults to a black background if it cannot find the wallpaper in question.


Not exactly an error-message. Windows takes an age to log me on after I offer my password, and then when it does, I'm logged into a brand-new spanking-new profile, with an information-balloon at the bottom saying "Windows could not load your user-profile and has logged you on with a temporary profile, which will be deleted when you log out".

Am I sure that is the problem? No.
But the machine was working before I did that, and now it doesn't. The logic seems to be fit, and I haven't been up to any other mischief.
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
January 4, 2011 8:46:51 AM

Very interesting... I've never had that happen to me before.

Anyhow, if you can access regedit from this temporary profile, search for a key called Wallpaper (should be somewhere under HKEY_USERS\xxxxx\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System or something like that). Then point it at a the location of a file you know exists. Be sure to enter the complete path, for example C:\Pictures\Wallpaper1.jpg. Restart and see what happens.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 4, 2011 6:46:25 PM

You could log in as another user that is an administrator on the machine and rename the profile folder USERNAME.old. When you log in, it will create you a new profile. You can copy the items from the .old folder into your new profile and be pretty good to go.
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January 5, 2011 3:20:07 AM

Best answer selected by meljol.
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January 5, 2011 3:26:12 AM

Herr_Koos said:
Very interesting... I've never had that happen to me before.

Anyhow, if you can access regedit from this temporary profile, search for a key called Wallpaper (should be somewhere under HKEY_USERS\xxxxx\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System or something like that). Then point it at a the location of a file you know exists. Be sure to enter the complete path, for example C:\Pictures\Wallpaper1.jpg. Restart and see what happens.


Thanks Herr_Koos.
Unfortunately, the registry doesn't have user-profile names in HKEY_USERS, so its anyone's guess which one is mine. The "Wallpaper" value was missing in a few profiles and present in most others, so I did the next logical thing, which is to add an entry with the proper path in Value. A reboot flashed a message saying that my copy of Windows 7 is not genuine. Translation, I'm probably better off creating another profile and porting all my data to it :pfff: 

Thanks for trying to help, though.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 5, 2011 9:16:52 AM

You do have a genuine copy, right?
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January 8, 2011 7:54:59 PM

Yup. Just that the tinkering with the registry set something off.
Wisely, I've backed-out the registry-changes and created a new user-profile, which I've been happily using for the past few days :) 
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a b $ Windows 7
January 9, 2011 4:38:02 PM

Cool, glad you fixed it. A hard lesson learned, eh?
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!