I have a Dell computer using XP Home. I recently had the system32/config/software file missing or corrupt message, and after getting the Dell Recoverey disk I tried to repair the files using recovery console. This did not work. So following other advice I restored to a previous point, again using recovery console. I can now boot up my computer but now I have no desktop items, My music & pics etc...and no programs when I go to "add/remove programs" on control panel. All my original files are still on C: so they have not been wiped. But I now have a "My Name.ComputerNo" folder. It's almost like it has created another user, but there is only the Admin user active and I have only ever used this user.
Any help would be greatly received!
I strongly suggest since it is a Dell computer to go to Dell support, my concerns for you is something caused this to happen in the first place, could be some kind of hardware failure or virus.
You're at a critical point here that could cost you any or all your important files or pictures, Dell support is much more familiar with what their particular installation software is capable of doing or recovering from.
Since you are actually able to startup into Windows as you mentioned a desktop with no icons, I would suggest that if you have an external USB Hard disk drive, you should make a copy of all your pictures, files etc to the extrenal drive so no matter what happens... you have secured your important files.
I see computers sent off to the manufactuers all the time that come back wiped of all personal data!