I'm having some major issues with my HP Pavilion laptop. I'm running Vista Premium (not SP1), and when I tried to boot up earlier today, it got all the way to the welcome screen with no problems, but then it suddenly said "Preparing Desktop" as if it were the first time I ever booted it. When the desktop did load, all my settings were gone or reset (no wallpaper, menus back their defaults, desktop icons back to the defaults, etc).
All my files and programs are still there, but I if i try to access those, I get an error message saying something like "windows cannot access the specified file or path because you do not have appropriate permission." However, I have an administrator account, and that's the ONLY account on the computer.
The only things I've installed or updated lately were Avast antivirus with a new program update, and some microsoft updates which were just two old security updates for Media Player. Everything still worked fine after those as far as I could see, even after several reboots.
If anyone knows what might have caused this or any way to fix it, I'd really appreciate it.
I should also note that this is not the first major crash I've had with this laptop since I bought it a year ago. Last June, the entire thing crashed to the point where it would not even boot. HP claimed it was a hard drive failure and they sent me a new one on warranty. Everything worked fine after that until now. I really have about had it with this laptop and Vista.