My first clue that I had a problem was the fact that every time I sign in with my administrative account it comes up with "Hi, give us a few seconds while we set up your computer" aka its acting like this is the first time I've turned it on. This is of course, preposterous.
The second thing that was very alarming was the lack of a desktop background, icons for my desktop and nothing pinned to my toolbar. I had to open up task manager and open the file location of a process to be sure that any of my files were there at all. They were, to my relief and I quickly opened up Chrome to try and find a solution.
I was able to get my desktop icons back after moving over some desktop files from C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop to C:\Users\Owner\Desktop. This however didn't return my background or the pinned items to my start menu. I figured I might have to resetup my whole Desktop. I was just happy all my files weren't gone.
So, I started first by trying to pin Chrome to my taskbar to which my taskbar started flashing between my original taskbar and the funky, blank one. Unable to stop this (or use the taskbar at all after this started). Ctrl+alt+deleted and signed out. This was when I noticed down at the bottom right I had a yellow message indicating I had updates to install but they wouldn't install automatically, I would have to go into my PC settins and check for it manually and update from the app. This might have been my problem.
I resign in. My background is back along with my toolbar, I am relieved its not flipping out any longer. I navigate to my PC settings, go to the "Update and Restore" section and click on the updates tab. The little loading circle comes up as if its looking for something, then nothing happens. It doesn't tell me anything, just a blank window. I have no way of updating from the PC settings app. I did try playing around to see if it was just being finicky for whatever reason, but it never shows anything more than the loading circle.
Still thinking the update is my issue I seek out a manual way to update my OS. I find a couple files provided from Microsoft in the form of stand alone updaters.
The files I got were:
I find out that the 2919355 file is the "most recent update" as I downloaded them mistakenly as a pack and there wasn't any description of what each one specifically was.
I tried to run that one seeing as it would either tell me I needed other updates or would go about its business without them. I tried running it. It set up the files needed to update. Then gave me an error code. The message is as follows:
I have no idea what this means and even after looking up the error code I still have no idea what it means. All the pages I found relating to it had nothing to do with Windows 8.1 (I know the standalone updaters were specifically for Windows 8.1) so it must be a more general error code that I'm not understanding?
Either way, as far as I'm aware, there aren't any other ways to update my operating system which I am still assuming is the issue at hand. I didn't have this problem before that update message popped up and can only assume at this point that their not coincidental. I'm at a loss for what to do next.
Recently I haven't been able to get my desktop back either. The "pin this program to taskbar" option when I right click on items in the taskbar is greyed out and doesn't work anymore. This was the only way I knew how to get my desktop back to relative normalcy.
Skype is also not starting up saying that program files are missing and I'll have to reinstall it. This only tells me more that some files have been deleted/moved around by something or another. I still suspect that this might be some sort of virus or otherwise outside program. I don't remember downloading or installing anything prior to this however.
I also tried to sign in to the other profile on this PC (its non administrative and is essentially the guest account, though passworded). I've had mixed results. Previously I could sign into it (at the point my desktop had been restored) but not it tells me some sort of profile protocols are missing.
I have no idea if this problem is anywhere near common. I've done searching only to come up somewhat empty. Bleeping Computer has never done me wrong in the past, so I'm hoping you guys might have some answers for me.