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Windows settings suddenly changed!


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#1 Paperweight333

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:34 AM

Dear Reader,

 

My problem occurred when I booted my Windows 7 laptop yesterday (HP), and saw after logging in that my desktop background had reset itself to the factory default. Also, the shortcuts present on the desktop were also different from before, and some files (documents) I had placed on the desktop were not there. The Quick Launch bar was also empty except for Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. When I ran some programs (Firefox, VLC media player) I got some screens saying 'this program is not your default program for ... ' as if I ran them for the first time.

 

When opening Windows Explorer, I also found the quick access 'Libraries' were all empty. I checked C:/Users/Myname and found all my files there as usual (thankfully), but something is clearly out of the ordinary. It's almost as if I have logged into a different account on the same computer, which is not the case as there is just one (with Admin rights).

 

Thinking this may have been the results of a virus/malware, I have run a full system scan with AVG and MalwareBytes. AVG removed a few things tagged as 'tracking cookies' and MalwareBytes removed 2 undesirable registry entries tagged 'non-malware'.

 

Can anyone tell me what may have happened to my computer? And how I can reverse it?

 

(I can check if it is done automatically, but I do not make system restoration points regularly. Which may be unwise, but I do not use this laptop very often.)

 

Thank you for any advice!



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:31 PM

 

and found all my files there as usual (thankfully)

 

Before you do anything else this would be a good time to back these files up to some form of external storage since you imply that they are not backed up !  What form of storage you use depends on how much data you have and what is most convenient to you - DVDs, memory sticks and external hard drives are all possibilities. You might also want to consider updating the back up on some more or less regular basis.

 

Depending on what exactly has happened to your laptop, you should have some restore points and checking for them is very simple. Click 'Start - Control panel - Recovery - Start system restore'. This will bring up the System restore screen and click 'Next'. This will bring up a screen which lists - usually - one or more restore points. If the listed one(s) don't pre-date the start of your problem then click the button to the left 'Show more'. Hopefully there will be one which pre-dates the problem, select and click 'Next', accept a couple of warnings and then let it run. Do NOT stop it until it has finished. Once it is finished re-boot and see if your normal appearance is returned.

 

If it isn't, or if you have no restore points, post back.

 

Chris Cosgrove


I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !


#3 Paperweight333

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:21 AM

I have used the System Restore function to set the system back to a state of a week ago, and everything appears to have returned to normal. Excellent. Luckily the restore points were automatically made. I still don't know what plagued my laptop, but at least it seems to have been resolved now.

 

I will take your advice to heart and backup the files on the laptop.

 

Thank you sir!



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 09:40 AM

Just before you put this laptop away until your next not very often use, do the updates that came out on Tuesday last then check that a new restore point was created. If you get the same updates that I did you will need to restart your computer after the updates, then check for a restore point. Just go through the recovery procedure as far as the screen listing restore points, then just click 'Cancel'.

 

If for some reason the system has not created a new restore point you can always make one. Control panel - System, then at the top left hand side click on 'System protection'. This will bring up a panel which will list your hard drive or drives - you probably only have one - and click on the button 'Create . . .'. This will create a new restore point.

 

It is always a good idea to have your data backed up to somewhere off the computer instead of just on the one hard drive. It is a certainty that at some point in time your hard drive will die. If your data is on external storage as well, it is very unlikely that both would fail at the same time.

 

Glad the problem is resolved.

 

Chris Cosgrove


I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !





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