Vanished: all desktop files not in a folder...

By timeflight
Jan 11, 2005
  1. I was confused enough to register here and see if anyone else has had this happen to them (or heard of this happening);

    I recently lost the charger for my cell phone, which i also use as an alarm clock. Therefore, I went to download.-com and downloaded and ran both "Karen's Alarm Clock 3.0.3" and "Easy MP3 Alarm Clock 1.0" -- both are free and I trust download.-com (or did, until today). In retrospect, I wish I'd read the description on the latter program; it basically vomited adware all over my system. (i run winXP and ran iexplorer, although I switched to firefox within the last half hour)...

    On to the wierd events of this afternoon: I'd recently switched from winamp to the free windowsXP version of iTunes (i like the accessibility of the playlists, etc) I've spent a lot of time organizing with the player, and had it open on my desktop. It took me a few minutes to notice the computer was running slowly (the Task Manager box in the tray gave it away), that and the 'speed' of the computer.
    At first when i moved itunes and the desktop remained blank behind it, i assumed Windows was simply slow in refreshing the main desktop. However, on further inspection, all text files, documents, mp3 files and .exe files (including those for the above recently downloaded programs) are gone. MIA, although i'm hoping, not irretrievable...

    I immediately went into lockdown mode; I already had the task manager running in the background, went into "processes" and started hunting down anything that didn't look familiar; at the moment i'm still dealing with "DeskAdServ.exe" and "DeskAdKeep.exe" I also had some "180 Search assistant" something titled "sald.exe" (i believe; am not 100% sure on those two names)... etc, etc, so on and so forth. DeskAdServ.exe appears to have spawned DeskAdKeep.exe in the time it's taken me to type this. I'm currently running my Symantec antivirus, which I first updated, but it hasn't found anything yet (i already killed everything i could find, both manually in regedit and using the install/uninstall funcions in the control panel.)

    Back to the files; nothing "valuable" has vanished, in the sense of bank numbers or anything like that; just short stories, notes to myself, various things i found amusing or interesting, a few miscellanious mp3's - basically just stuff waiting to be filed. A search for the titles i remember, no matter how system-wide, turns up nothing at all. However (and this is the really strange part) anything in a folder is still there, and there were about 12 folders on the desktop; all are there and all are completely intact.

    Has anyone else heard of this and/or does anyone have any idea how to get my documents back? some were important for various personal projects.

    Thanks in advance; and be warned about download.-com - all may not be as it seems!

    p.s. i've also restarted numerous times; nothing to be gained there...

    and one more addendum: i recently installed WinXP service pack 2 and unfortunately didn't have all of the desktop files backed up, although so far i've only lost those files...
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    Go Here and follow the instructions or maybe print them out. I`m sure it will help you.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. timeflight

    timeflight TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It did - thanks very much!
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