The windows, it blowed up
November 30, 2006 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Windows 2000 just decided that I'm a new user for some reason. Exciting. How can I revert back to my old account?

So when I booted up my Windows 2000 machine today and logged into my default user account, I noticed that all my settings had reverted to the default: blue background, empty "My Documents" folder, cookies gone in Firefox, etc. I went and looked at the My Documents folder and discovered that Windows had created a new folder for me.

Let's say that my old account name was fluffy. This new account is fluffy.BUNNIES, where BUNNIES is the name assigned to the machine itself. I can still see the plain old "fluffy" directory, but it's not using it for my user settings anymore. When I log in as "fluffy" it just uses the "fluffy.BUNNIES" directory. This is irritating and somewhat worrisome, and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Does anyone know what could have caused this, and how I can get my properties back? For what it's worth, I don't recall installing any software or doing anything unusual the last time the machine was on and working right.
posted by selfnoise to Technology (6 answers total)
Aaaaaaaand not five seconds after I post this I found out how to edit the registry to fix the problem. Figures.

So can I narrow my question to: what the heck could have caused this and how can I prevent it in the future? Sorry about that.

PS: I used this page if anyone else has this problem.
posted by selfnoise at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2006

When we changed our domain server at work, the same thing happened. If this happened at your work, then this may be what caused the problem.
posted by seanyboy at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2006

Did you accidentally add your machine to a domain?
posted by mphuie at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2006

Adding/Removing a machine from a domain will cause this. I have also seen on RARE occasions renaming a machine cause this (only when on a domain).

It can also happen if the registry becomes somehow corrupted and unloadable.
posted by SirStan at 4:29 PM on November 30, 2006

As SirStan noted, this is because of registry corruption.

What probably happened is that your user profile did not unload successfully, either during a restart or an unexpected power off.

Some Windows security updates cause this (or have caused this) to happen, too. Also some antivirus programs can cause these problems, too.

In fact, nearly any program or service that is in a bad mood during a logoff or shutdown can cause this sort of problem.

Preventative steps don't really exist, other than:
1. Quit all programs before you restart or logoff.
2. Cross your fingers.

Sorry, and good luck.
posted by rachelpapers at 8:05 PM on November 30, 2006

I've found the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service to be invaluable for this very problem at work.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2006

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