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I am currently living in California and I periodically RDP to my home computer in NY.

I'm not quite sure how this happened, but from the last time I logged in a few days ago, to today, my user account has been mysteriously deleted?! Perhaps Windows Update did something flaky? I have no idea!

I have access to a different administrator account that I'm able to log into (user: Dani), but the Users folder for that user is a clean slate. I am able to access the Users folder for the user I usually log in as (used to be user: DaniHorowitz), and all of my files are there. According to their security settings, they seemingly belong to a ghost user with a GUID name.

I cannot seem to find any record of there being a user named DaniHorowitz anywhere with the exception of a Users folder by that name that is owned by a user with a GUID name.

What is the absolute cleanest way to recover my profile without missing out on any hidden files or permission settings that may have been configured?

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Last Post by Dani
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  • If you have the room and the user folder is not too big you might try to just copy the guid-named profile to the correct username. At least this would preserve the original in case that doesn't work. If you don't have the room then just rename the guid-named folder … Read More

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Ouch! Not sure what you can do as the system is remote. Have you run chkdsk on the system to see if there are file system problems? You can do that without rebooting, or on reboot if you wish. Anyway, a reboot may be necessary. Given the user directory is gone and the user account isn't there any longer, I'm not sure what you can do. If you had a recent system backup and you were on site, then not so much an issue, though if the backup disc is online you might be able to restore the user data after recreating the user account. You will lose anything done in the interim however. :-(

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Given the user directory is gone and the user account isn't there any longer, I'm not sure what you can do.

No no, I think you misunderstood. The user account is gone but the directory still does exsit with everything in it. I just need a clean way of associating the directory with a different user account, or recreating the old user account.

I'll try rebooting.

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Actually I got Eliran to let me in the apartment and I decided to delete your login. <3

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If you have the room and the user folder is not too big you might try to just copy the guid-named profile to the correct username. At least this would preserve the original in case that doesn't work. If you don't have the room then just rename the guid-named folder to the correct username.

When new user profiles are created, all Windows does is copy a default user profile into a folder with the new user name.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Another suggestion which won't help you this time but definitely will next time. Install Macrium Reflect. I have the free version and I have it set to automatically image my C partition with a full image done on the first of every month and a differential every day. Mind you, this really is practical only if you have your system set up like mine which is

C:   OS and Apps

D:   Everything else. 

I relocated all of my user folders (My Documents, My Videos, My Music, etc) to equivalent folders on D:. I have had several occasions where I have had to restore an image. Sometimes it is easier to restore an image than it is to try to undo unwanted changes. If you upgrade to the paid version you can do incremental rather than differential images.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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I marked this thread as solved because there's nothing else that can be done at this point. Had I done system restore once the problem was discovered, everything would have been salvagable. Apparently what had happened was the user account got corrupted during a Windows Update from a few days earlier. Unfortunately, I ended up trying to figure out a way to merge accounts and all sorts of wacky stuff, which left the files completely unaccessible and corrupted. I'm going to have to just take care of this once I return to New York. I'll probably end up wanting something clean so I'll reformat and pull all the data I need from backups.

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@Dani.

While not spot on, I want to share a spat of Windows hung on reboot failures that are in the forum I moderate. Just in case. I can see a scenario where the update comes down and the machine hangs at some point. I have not done any deep dives to figure why this happens but want to share this so you and others know what I found to fix it short of system restore.

It's not intuitive so herer goes.

-> Shut down the machine, unplug all USB devices and boot up. When you feel it's done, plug in the devices and then it's working again.

Maybe somebody knows what update or why this is, but this workaround has saved a few (too many) folk from system restore and total reloads.

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Shut down the machine, unplug all USB devices and boot up. When you feel it's done, plug in the devices and then it's working again.

The problem is that the computer is in New York and I'm in California. I tried to fix things up via Remote Desktop and royally screwed them up to beyond repair. Oh well.

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@Dani.

I get that from the above and if I learn more about what is going on to require us to essentially jump out of a car, roll the windows down and back up for it to keep working, I'll post more. But for now, there's something up and I bet a lot of folk have lost their minds over this one.

And Merry Christmas!

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Haha gotcha gotcha!! Yeah, oh well. Hopefully when I get back to New York I'll investigate and find I didn't lose too much in the grand scheme of things.

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