Recovering Words Document

Recently when booting up my computer, it tells me that I've lost my Windows profile settings. Once logged in, I noticed the files on my desktop is gone. Luckily, I located it in another profile folder and moved it to the current profile desktop folder. Right then, everything works.

However when I reboot, Windows displayed the original profile I had. I logged in and of course the desktop files are gone again because I moved it previously. I try to look for the other profile again and it vanished! Searched the documents under *.docx, ~*.*, *wbk but no luck. Any ideas where it went???
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  1. Hello and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums.

    I suggest going to Control Panel>User Accounts and setting up a completely new User Account. Restart and log in to that account them migrate any files you want from the other account from c:\documents and settings\{thatusername}\all relevant folders into the equivalent folders in the new account.

    It's a messy copy and paste exercise but only a one-off and you can then delete the old account and click to Delete Files back in User Accounts.

  2. Thanks for your reply Saga Lout. Can you enlighten me how creating a new user account can restore the files I lost previously? Wouldn't copying everything over to the new user account be just the same as what I have right now?

    I guess I am trying to find a way to bring back the mystery user account Windows booted me into, so I can access the files I moved from the account I am using now (c:\documents and settings\{thatusername}\desktop). I don't understand how the files can just be deleted without even being moved into the recycling bin....

    Things I've tried:
    - system search for the files I lost
    - ran regedit and verify the user accounts
    - system restore
    - Recover unsaved files from Words
  3. Best answer
    Windows most likely created a temporary profile when it couldn't load the user's primary profile. This temporary profile is deleted on logoff/shutdown/reboot. Any files you moved to that profile are gone.

    You've just learned the hard way about the importance of making backups of your important files.

  4. It's probably worth a shot at recovering those files - if they survived one temporary profile they may stlil be in there somewhere so long as you haven't defragged or written a lot of data to the disk. Try Recuva from or Restoration2514 from whichever site you consider safest.

    I still think a completely new account with its own profile is the best way forward but it's more of an experience thing than a sound technical basis. :D

  5. Thanks for the replies. I ended up typing up a new document altogether since I need it immediately. Tough lesson indeed....I didn't know Windows can create a temporary profile.
  6. Best answer selected by andrewkylee.
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