Came across a new pattern of symptoms the other day. I mean new to me, of course, I’m sure somebody, somewhere, has seen this before. But I didn’t find anything on it via Google.
The complaint was about a corrupted user profile, which is not particularly unusual, but when I went into a different user account to try to fix it, there was very little I could do. Attempts to open an elevated command prompt, to do a system restore and to scan the hard drive, among others, resulted in program file not found, though the files were exactly where they should be.
I hit F8 at startup (this was Windows 7) and tried system restore via computer repair. This failed repeatedly, in some cases reporting corrupted files. So I extracted the hard drive and connected it to another machine, then scanned it using chkdsk and a couple of anti-malware progs. Some apparently minor problems were found and fixed (both malware and file system).
After reinstalling the HD I found the user profile fixed, then was surprised again to be told that system restore had completed successfully. Had I missed something or is this a fault, whereby sys rest reports failure prematurely? I don’t know, sometimes you just have to draw a line, especially when you’ve found a fix! (The problematic programs were all happy to run now too.)