Project file saved on desktop
Major mistake!!! Save projects on any other disk than your C: drive.
Saved a copy of the project to the desktop (same location as original!)
That does not help either.
Log in as administrator with full access rights on all disks and directories and search if you can find the project file or an auto-save version. Start in C:\Users\<user name>\Desktop
As Harm mentons, the C:\ is not the ideal location for Saving the Projects, and especially the Desktop folder, with has come special attributes.
You mention that you got a pop-up message, when you did the Save_As_a_Copy, but I could not find what it said. That could be very important. If you did not change the file name when you did the Save_As_a_Copy, and Save to the Desktop, you like overwrote the original Project, PRPROJ file. This ARTICLE goes into more detail on Project Files and the different types of Save.
Many thanks for ur info and advice. Great response. The said edit suite is in use and Im chomping at the bit to get in there and will get an answer for u right away.
a windown popped up referring to the 'project copy' then it all vanished.
Is it lost forever maybe?
Let's hope not. There is - somewhere on your system - a project file with your data in it and if that went down the drain, there is still a good chance that you have one or more versions of an auto-save project in the location you have set in your project settings, but you must use Explorer to find one of those files.
If you have administrator rights you can start searching for *.PRPROJ files and then narrow the search to the Desktop directory or directories with a name like 'Adobe Premiere Pro Auto-Save'.