I don't see a thread that got deleted on any page in the hardware forum so who knows. Maybe we went down for maintenance (i'm not personally aware of any) and it got rolled back. Shoot me a PM if you want me to investigate.
Your weird linking shouldn't be happening. My understanding is that we do that on guest accounts and all of that, along with ads, should be removed for every registered user. You can send a PM to Tech Admin or use the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page to report this issue an Admin should be able to assist with that.