How To Recover a Damaged User Profile in XP

Sometimes you may faced with  an error message as  “The system has recovered from serious error” after system restart or log off. This may due to the user profile in Windows XP might have been damaged.You  may  find that the desktop items are  also missing.

Windows user profile describes the Windows configuration for a specific user, including the user's environment and preference settings. The user profile contains all the files and settings for a particular user, such as installed applications, desktop icons, and color options. When a user profile gets damaged (due to various reasons such as the file system getting corrupted), settings for your ‘My Documents’ may be missing  and settings for Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer are also may lost.

To  overcome this ,you may have to re-create a new profile.Here is how to create a new profile when your old profile is damaged.

1.Login as Administrator.

2.Backup My Documents folder( C:\Documents and Settings\<old user name>\My Documents folder –assuming OS in your C drive)  to another location in another drive.

3.Also backup the contents of the Favorites Folder.(C:\Documents and Settings\<old user name>\Favorites )

4.Outlook Express users can find the files related to their emails at a location such as"LocalSettings\ApplicationData\Identities\{D10E00AF-FC98-4E44-B5CC-13E6D3AE304} \Microsoft\Outlook Express" folder.

5.Address Book is another important thing you may want to back up. You can find the Address Book file in "Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book" folder. Outlook 2000/XP users will find the PST file in the "Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" folder.

After you are done backing up your important files, you can proceed with the System Restore.Open Start >> All Programs >> Accessories, select System Tools, now click System Restore. Guidelines is here How to do a System Restore

Creation of new User Account

Make sure that you select Computer Administrator as the account type. Click Create Account to create the new user account.

1.Open the Control Panel and then open User Accounts.

2.Select Computer Administrator as the account type.

3.Click Create Account to create the new user account.

Copy your User Profile

You will now have to copy the old user profile to this newly created one.

1.Log onto the newly created user account and log off. Log back into the administrative account.

2.Open System Properties from the Control Panel and select Advanced tab.

3.Click the Settings button in the User Profiles section. You can now see a User Profiles window that lists the different user profiles present on your computer.

4.Select the old profile in the list and click "Copy To" button.

5.Click the Browse button, locate the Documents and Settings folder, and select the new account. Click OK

6.You will see a confirmation dialog box . Click Yes

7.Close the User Profiles and System Properties window, and log off

Still  if  you are not able to log on to your account, you need to delete the newly created user account and user profile .Log on to the Administrator account, open User Profiles and click Delete.Please note that when you move to a new user profile in this method, you will lose all the personalized settings such as themes, wallpaper, and icons.

You have to  create a new account and a new user profile as mentioned above. You can then manually copy your data files and other parts of the user profile from the original to the new one.

1.Login as Administrator.

2.Open C:\Documents and Settings folder. Locate and open your original account folder. Ensure the enabled viewing of hidden system files and folders  to view all the files present in that folder

3.Copy the contents of the folder containing the data that you want to move to the new user profile.Copy the contents of the Favorites, Outlook Express (or Outlook), and Address Book folders. Make ensure not to  copy any file related to the operating system.

4.Log out of the Administrator account and log on to the new user account

Now you may be able to access all your data files as you did before and also most of your applications.You may need  to recreate all your personalized settings,reinstall or reconfigure some of the applications also  .

After you restored the new user profile, you  do not  require the files and folders of the old profile . You can  get rid of them  by  opening the User Profiles window, selecting them from the list of profiles, and clicking the Delete button.

How to back up the user profile automatically

To safeguard against a repeat of such Profile errors, you can back up your profile each time you log off.

1.Log in to your Administrator account

2.Open  System Properties >Profiles window .Select the new user profile, click Copy To button and type the name of a folder on another drive in the Copy Profile To text box.

3.Open Computer Management. Start>Run "compmgmt.msc" (without the quotes).

4.Go to System Tools\Local Users and Groups\Users folder.

5.Click on your account name and select the Profile tab.

6.Type the path to the backup in the Profile Path text box.

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