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I've lost my desktop icons, desktop wallpaper, etc.Need help

by PAMoss70 / December 9, 2012 7:55 AM PST

Yesterday, while using my desktop computer, I exited out of an application I was using, and then all of a sudden my desktop background went to the default Windows setting, and I went from having various PDF files, and shortcuts on my desktop, to just having the recycle bin and internet explorer icons left on my desktop.

My computer hasn't reverted back to factory settings because when I search, I still have programs such as PC Tools Spyware, Mozilla Firefox, iTunes, etc., listed in program files. However, for example, when I tried accessing Mozilla, it was like using it for the first time; it didn't have any of my bookmarks, etc.

I've run my PC Tools Spyware tool on the computer, and it hasn't found any malware, etc. So, at this point, I'm looking for advice/input now from some experts to help me. Don't know if RAM on my computer needs to be replaced, etc.

Thanks in advance.

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It sounds like possible corrupt user ID
by wpgwpg / December 9, 2012 8:05 AM PST

Since you didn't say what version of Windows you're running, I'm not going to be as specific as I'd like to be, but click the Start button and look in the upper right corner of the start menu to see if it has your user name there. If something happens to corrupt the files associated with your ID, windows can assign a temporary ID with the results you're reporting. If this is the case, you can create a new ID and copy the undamaged files and shortcuts from the old one. I'd normally give specifics, but since I don't know what version of Windows you have, I'm unable to do that here.

Good luck.

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It sounds like possible corrupt user ID
by PAMoss70 / December 9, 2012 9:11 AM PST

Thanks for the quick reply, I appreciate it. My desktop computer is still running off of Windows XP. It's a Dell computer I bought back in 2004.

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Desktop issues etc.
by pgc3 / December 9, 2012 10:08 AM PST

Just out of curiosity have you looked to see if your homepage has changed? If it is not showing what you normally use,, Mozilla or whatever you normally use for browsing, it could, as a prior poster stated become corrupt or redirected. I saw that you had done some scans but I didn't see any anti virus package(s) mentioned. A quick and easy test for malware/trojan infection would be to just download Malwarebytes, then boot the system into Safe Mode With Networking, run a MWB scan, when the scan is completed, click SHOW RESULTS, if anything nefarious appears, choose the removal option. If, as I mentioned before, your homepage in Internet Options is not what you normally see, highlight backspace, re input your normal address, msn, mozilla or whatever you use, hit apply and see if things normalize. These are just a couple of failry simple things to do when trying to ferret out this type of issue. Another thing you could try is a rollback to an earlier time to see if that might bring things back to normal but I'd suggest checking the other items first, including a MWB scan.

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