Vista Home Premium - problem after logging in

#1
First of all: million thanks to the founders and the advisors of this forum.

The problem for the solution of which I am asking for your help is the following:
My OS is Vista Home Premium SP1. Occasionally, when booting up and logging into my user account the system gives this message:
"C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, and then try again. It it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location."

Whenever this happens, only the basic desktop is loaded, and most of the applications and system functions are unavailable.
After my many attempts to restore the system, either successful or not, the same error returns from time to time and then goes away again, without any apparent reason.

Before I registered here I have researched this question at length and found contradictory ideas as to the possible causes and solutions to this error. Based on what I have read on other forums from others who experienced the same, not even a complete Vista reinstall solved the problem.

Before I have posted this request I have tried to search this website to see if anyone else has the same problem, but I haven't found any. If someone knows the reason and solution to this, please help me.

Thank you :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi User, welcome to NST.
I've never seen anything like you describe, and if I saw something like it for a different drive from the OS, I'd suspect bad connections to the other drive.
Since this is saying it's unable to locate something on the drive that you're currently booted into, (Vista is your C:\ drive I assume ? ) and that it's an intermittent problem, I'd suspect a possible problem with your main HDD.
Check Control Panel/Performance/Advanced/System Health, and see if the system is predicting HDD failure in the SMART entry for the HDD. If it is, buy yourself a nice new large fast HDD while they're so cheap, before you lose your user data. (Back it up to somewhere else for safety anyway)

Otherwise do a Chkdsk /f against your HDD and let it check for bad blocks, and fix any errors it finds.
(boot your Vista DVD and use the recovery console, then take a long lunch while it checks out the disk surface)
 
#3
Hi User, welcome to NST.
I've never seen anything like you describe, and if I saw something like it for a different drive from the OS, I'd suspect bad connections to the other drive.
Since this is saying it's unable to locate something on the drive that you're currently booted into, (Vista is your C:\ drive I assume ? ) and that it's an intermittent problem, I'd suspect a possible problem with your main HDD.
Check Control Panel/Performance/Advanced/System Health, and see if the system is predicting HDD failure in the SMART entry for the HDD. If it is, buy yourself a nice new large fast HDD while they're so cheap, before you lose your user data. (Back it up to somewhere else for safety anyway)

Otherwise do a Chkdsk /f against your HDD and let it check for bad blocks, and fix any errors it finds.
(boot your Vista DVD and use the recovery console, then take a long lunch while it checks out the disk surface)
Terry, thank you for your welcome and advice.
Luckily, the System Health report indicates "passed" for each component, including HDD.
(Earlier I have also run the System Diagnostic tool downloaded from the pc manufacturer's website and it did not show any error either.)

This error seems to be odd indeed, yet if you have some other ideas about what else I may try to do, please let me know.
Thank you. :smile:

Addendum: During the past couple of days the system has seemed to function well again, but this may be only a coincidence.
(It happened before that the error seemed to have been gone, then yet, for no obvious reason later it returned again.)
I even suspected that the system is infected with a virus or malware, but since I am using the latest Kaspersky IS, I do hope that this is not the case.
 
Last edited:
#4
I've got that error before with Vista, or something similar. In my case, the problem was when it was looking for the Username/Desktop directory in a different partition than the one it was actually located in (because I happened to move all of my stuff in the Username directory, including the desktop folder, to a different partition than the one with the drive letter C:, which was my Vista partition). I solved it, I think, by moving my desktop folder back to its previous place.

You may want to check that your Vista partition still has the C: drive letter.
 
Last edited:
#5
I've got that error before with Vista, or something similar. In my case, the problem was when it was looking for the Username/Desktop directory in a different partition than the one it was actually located in (because I happened to move all of my stuff in the Username directory, including the desktop folder, to a different partition than the one with the drive letter C:, which was my Vista partition). I solved it, I think, by moving my desktop folder back to its previous place.

You may want to check that your Vista partition still has the C: drive letter.
I do see your reason for asking this -yes, the partition of Vista is still C: -, as I see Terry's point as well. It looks really grave when this error shows up, as if Vista has lost its partition, or as if the whole HDD is gone somehow.

As it turned out in the meantime this error is likely due to a failure of HP updates, which occasionally attempted to act at start-up and may have caused this problem. Or, at least so it seems as of now. A complete uninstall and reinstall of the HP software - with the assistance of HP Customer Care - seems to have solved the problem.

But, if this error would show up again - I do hope not - I let you know.

Many thanks for your replies. :smile: