The symptoms you describe are indicative of a side effect
from the HDD Defrag family of rogue security programs
which changes file attributes to "hidden", making them appear invisible
so the user thinks some of their files have been deleted. Newer variants of the FakeHDD rogue delete Quick Launch and Start Menu items/folders and store them in a %Temp%\smtmp
See this example guide
which includes removal instructions and using unhide.exe
), a tool which will remove the "hidden" attribute on all files and attempt to restore Quick Launch and Start Menu items to their proper location. When done you will need to restore the hidden attributes to those files manually. To do that, open Windows Explorer, go to Tools > Folder Options > View and make that change there.
When done Vista
users should right-click on the Start Menu and choose Properties. Under Privacy, ensure the boxes are cheked to Store and display a list of recently opened files and programs.Note: Do not clean out your temporary files/folders until this issue is resolved
. If the tool does not work, there are manual ways of restoring the hidden items if the temporary folders are not wiped clean.