Windows 7 Reset Problem FIXED

All right, I just spent the last hour and a half working on this, so hopefully things work out as well for you guys as they did for me.

Earlier tonight I booted up my computer (I'm actually on an Apple iMac, dual booting OS X and Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit) and started up using the Windows 7 partition. Everything was looking fine, my logon screen was the same, same picture, password, etc. When I entered my password and logged in, it displayed the usual "Welcome" screen, but followed it with "Preparing your desktop...". Not something that should have happened during the hundredth time I've logged into Windows. GOt to my desktop, and everything is gone and changed. It's basically back to factory settings. HOWEVER, my programs were still there and able to run just fine. Games, however, would have to be started over as the save files could not be found.

Naturally, I panicked, and probably did some things I should not have. Hence why it took me an hour and a half to fix. But with my simple-version fix, it should only take you guys five to ten minutes.

If you've experienced this problem, DO NOT PANIC. Your files ARE still on your computer (Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, etc.) they are just not where they are supposed to be.

Restart your computer. This should restore your system back to the way it was before it reset. Your taskbar and desktop should look the same. However, your files may still be missing.

Go to:


Inside that folder should be all your personal documents. It should look like your user folder (C:\Users\(your username). Simply drag and drop the folders to your specific user folder and merge any folders it asks you to.


Restart your computer to make sure everything stays. If everything stays, you're done.

If restarting your computer either reverts it back to factory defaults, or didn't help in the first place, you can still find your files, but you will need to keep restarting your computer until it gets back to its normal state. It took me about 6 or 7 times until it returned to my normal system state.

This whole problem is most likely caused by the System Protection feature of Windows 7. You have the option to turn this off, however, I don't recommend it. If there are major hardware issues (my hardware issue was an external hard drive) it will revert system settings and files (excluding any programs) to default. Your files will be moved to the above folder (...\systemprofile), never deleted.

NOTE: Turning off System Protection also disables System Restore.

Hope this helps!!

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