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Windows Questions and Answers - Missing User Account
Amanda writes in with a Windows question:
Q. Each member of our family has our own "account" on our computer. This morning when my son logged in to his, all his files were gone. Pictures, music, data, everything. His sister and my accounts were not damaged. We have checked for viruses and malware and appear to be free of any. Could his files be hidden somewhere? If not how could just his files been disturbed? Thank you, Amanda
Answer: First thing you need to is to make sure someone didn't accidentally or purposely delete the account from the Users section in Control Panel. When a user is deleted then it asks if you want to delete the users files as well.
If not then you can look to see if the C:\Documents and Settings\username folder is there (username will be your sons login name). Open My Computer or Windows Explorer and browse to the C:\Documents and Settings\ folder and see if your sons name is there and if there is anything in the folder.
You can also do a search for his files in case they were moved if you know the names of some of them or you can do a search for his username. Right click your C drive and pick Search and put in his username. But before you do that make sure you click on More advanced options and check Search system folders, Search hidden files and folders and Search subfolders.
If none of these ideas work then I'm afraid the data might be gone. I've never heard of a virus that does this so it may have been an accident. If the data was really important there is data recovery software out there but it can be costly.
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