Weird Issue, need input.

Nov 1, 2021
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Hello and good day,

I'm sorry for the somewhat cryptic and short title to this post but I have no other way of putting it at the moment. I ran into a very interesting issue with my neighbor's machine that I personally have never seen and still cannot make heads or tails of it.

So I'm asking here to see if anyone has seen it and what can I do next about it.

Ok, so I'll describe what has happened to the best of my ability again becaue it was very weird.

Got a call on the machine Saturday Oct 30th with a text showing a message on the screen. I went over and looked at the system. The message was from the AMD updater program wanting to update some software in the machine. I know that AMD has a security release but the individual who owns the machine is elderly and just wanted at that time to get back to her games she plays on Facebook.

I dismissed the box and the "desktop" appeared. I put desktop in quotes and you'll know why I did in a moment. The individual told me that the wallpapper changed. It wasn't what it was and the files that were on the desktop were gone! It almost looked like it was like a fresh install. No picture or custom anything, just the basic Windows icons and a solid color blue background.

I looked around in the system and saw that I could see the files in the individual's profile in the Desktop folder but they weren't on the screen. So using File Explorer, I moved the files over to the Desktop that was shown to me. The computer said it was logged in with this indivduals credentials which made it a bit more weird.

I then while working with this "desktop", went into the documents folder and made a backup of the things that were "missing" before on the Desktop just to ensure that they were somewhat backed up. I was planning on getting a pen drive over a bit later to back them fully up and off the machine.

However, the system seemed to slow down so I rebooted the system. Then is where the "weird" occurs!

The original desktop reappeared! Sans the files that I just saved!

Went into the documents folder to get the backups that I JUST made and nope gone!

This to me seems like the machine was dropped into a virtual machine however AFAICT, the machine is Windows 10 Home and I thought that the Remote Desktop wasn't active on that version. These folks like things done "old school" meaning that they want someone to be there physically to work on the machine and not across the wire.

All fairly simple attempts to unerase the files on this system have failed. It's like the system didn't even know that the files were there in the first place!

So I'm curious, has anyone else seen or heard of this? Any pointers to lead me in the right direction on this? I've been working on systems for a while and not seen the likes of this.

Thank you folks for your time and any input that you can give on this issue.



Noob Whisperer
Nov 19, 2013
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The only time I've ever seen anything similar to what you seem to be describing is when there was some problem during the login and the user was logged in with a "Temporary Profile".
Your comment about a virtual machine got me thinking about the taskview button and creating a new virtual desktop.
I haven't played with it for a while but I think the new virtual desktop maintains the look of the original or real desktop.

AND then of course there is Windows Sandbox which might look and feel a bit more like you are describing. But I think it's only available in Pro and Enterprise.

I don't know but if everything seems to be where it's suppose to be and behaving properly, I suppose it could have been a one off glitch in the matrix

Here's a snip of my normal desktop running on my left screen and a Windows Sandbox session running on my right screen.

Screenshot (7).png
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