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Recovering Words Document

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  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
September 29, 2012 8:09:44 AM

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???

More about : recovering words document

September 29, 2012 9:07:20 AM

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.

September 30, 2012 4:35:14 AM

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
Related resources

Best solution

September 30, 2012 4:38:56 AM

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.
September 30, 2012 6:50:26 AM

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 

October 1, 2012 4:59:40 PM

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.
October 1, 2012 5:01:55 PM

Best answer selected by andrewkylee.