Beginning today, starting up my desktop computer with Windows 7 Enterprise x64, I've had issues surrounding the saving and loading of user and program settings.
On the first startup this morning, the computer desktop had a black background, all the icons were missing except for computer and recycle bin, numerous programs that open at startup gave me errors unable to find dll's or had missing files, and possibly most important/key, windows gave me an error that "c /windows/system32/config/systemprofile/desktop" could not be found or something similar. I restarted the computer hoping it might fix it - this got all my icons back, but the font was different to usual, and the background was still black. I've been able to change the background and this DOES save upon restarting, so that's no longer an issue, but it might help narrow the problem. Changing the theme also changes the font to what I want (but only the desktop and menus - programs still use this other weird font) but even the desktop changes back to the new bad font upon startup. This is made even more confusing by the fact that advanced theme settings are actually set to the good font, for some reason windows decides not to use this upon each startup.
I installed a program (steamlimiter) last night and had that running - I figured I might uninstall that and see what happens, which I did, afterwhich my antivirus detected a virus at c:/windows/temp/~nsu.tmp/Au_.exe and I removed. When I restarted, my desktop only had half the icons it should have, and I noticed in my users folder that there were two desktop folders, one of which was empty. I restarted again and this was gone, my desktop back to what it was before this removal of virus.
Apart from that, the programs that I run seem to have issues with their normal configuration. For instance, steam continually starts downloading an update for a game each restart when I paused it last time. Itunes also needs to 'configure' each time I run it. This coupled with the font issue, lead me to believe that the user profile settings or configuration are having trouble being read, but with the icons on the desktop being saved as well as the background, I'm not sure where to start fixing this issue.
Here's what I've tried:
* a 'clean boot' after disabling all non-microsoft services (the issue still occurred)
* restoring to a restore point from yesterday (upon restart the computer told me the restore failed due to an antivirus being on although the restore feature said it was successful and gives me the option to undo it)
* I have made a new user account and tested that by restarting and it seems to load the regular font fine.
Any ideas would be great. I really want to avoid restoring my whole computer if possible.