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Icons on desktop are duplicated.

Posted on 2002-07-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Windows 98 SE.

Any file (icon, shortcut, whatever) copied to the desktop immediately duplicates itself.  You end up with two icons on the desktop of every FILE BASED object.  (Stuff like My Computer, Recycle Bin, etc don't duplicate.)

If you go to a command prompt and look at the \windows\desktop folder, you only see one of each item.  But if you make a new file (echo hi >> filename) you refresh the desktop and whammo, two filename files.

I'm at a loss here.. any ideas?

Thanks.

Edit:

Addendum.. if you delete any of the two icons, the other is deleted as well.  Changes to one icon is instantly reflected on the other.
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Question by:EDStech
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23 Comments
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175436
Are you using Desktop Plus?
http://www.desktopplus.com/beta.html

Is this a new problem, if so, what have you recently installed or changed?

Asta
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175453
Did you at any time upgrade from ME to 98 or vice versa?

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q271184

You may also try start-run-msinfo32-tools registry checker.

Listening for more from you.

Asta
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175485
Have you scanned your system with updated Viruscan program and virus definition files?  Did you recently do a reinstall of programs where these duplicates "may have" been created?  Do you have any 3rd party software you added that are desktop tools that may have generated this problem?

Found lots of freeware to eliminate and control icons, though haven't used/tried any of them, so can't attest to their value or problems.

Here's one example.
http://www.skylarkutilities.com/program.pcs?system-icon-cleaner
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:EDStech
ID: 7175598
No, we're not using desktop plus.

No, we haven't ever tried to put ME on it.  (Corporate policy, Win ME will NOT be tolerated on site.. we'll pull you from the network and kick your ass if you try.)  

Yes, it's a new problem.

Yes, we've updated our virus files and etc.  As luck would have it, we just today updated to office scan 5.02.  However, I am assured that this problem cropped up before the upgrade.  

I haven't had a chance to go run SFC, but that's my next real step to try.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175721
Also, reboot after a shutdown and try repairing the registry, another thing we may wish to explore if still unresolved is the iconcache...

After shutdown long enough to unload drivers, TSRs, etc. (2-3 minutes), reboot to MS DOS Prompt, navigate to windows\command directory and type
scanreg/fix.

See if scanning/repairing registry helps.

If not, try scanreg/restore (same process) to go back to a last known working registry.

I so know what you mean about ME, LOL.

Back to work, listening when I can.

Asta
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175733
You've tried F5 (refresh) on the desktop, and/or from start - folder/settings desktop to update now?  Sorry, working from memory, no longer have 98SE, using XP, but that "may" help.  Do you use Web folder view?

More later if/when I can.  
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7175737
Final thought, do you use the process to create a desktop icon by right clicking the icon and choose Create Desktop, or are you actually dragging an exisiting program icon from elsewhere to create the shortcut?  Could be pertinent.  Later.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:EDStech
ID: 7175958
F5 causes the desktop to refresh, when it refreshes, that's when any new icons are shown as duplicated.

Copying a new item to the desktop, creating a new item via the right click to create so-and-so, and creating a new file on the desktop folder via the command prompt all yeild the same results.

I will, tomorrow morning, hop over and give the scanreg and SFC tools a try.  Will report back then.

Thank you for your help.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7176013
My pleasure; sure wish I could make sense of this fiasco for you and sure hope that helps.

I've seen a few shareware programs out there that claim to eliminate/fix the duplicate Icon issues, but don't have any personal experiences with their merits.  Also will look a bit further later this week, if the problem persists.

Asta

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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7176015
It is advised/requested that you not edit the original text of your questions here, Ed, since it truly does lose the timestamp flow of events and recommendations, not to mention the confusion as I now reread the primary question and it had changed.  ":0)
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7176021
Curious why you use the command=echo hi >> filename .... which I've seen cause duplicates, rather than using the standard and supported OS function for shortcuts which you can then always edit to modify filename and minimize these problems.



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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:EDStech
ID: 7177821
I edited the post long before the first reply ever came through.  I didnt' feel it warranted a whole new reply for such a simple comment...

I use the echo to the filename just as an example of file creation on the desktop.  As I'm sure you know, the desktop is just a file folder (c:\windows\desktop) and any file placed into this folder shows up on the desktop.  Redirecting echo's output into a file in this folder simply creates a text file in said folder, which is represneted by an icon on the desktop.  I did this just to illustrate the mysterious powers of duplication that this machine has.  Using the echo >> is no different than right clicking and selecting "Create new..." on the desktop.

I'm on my way over to give the scanreg and sfc a shot.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:EDStech
ID: 7177966
Allll righty then...

SFC: No changes found.
Scanreg: Registry "fixed," no improvement.
New video drivers: No improvement
Scandisk, defrag, cursing at machine: No improvement
Turned off virus program and all resident TSR's: No improvement

Boot into safe mode: Didn't try, that's next on list.

I hate obscure crap like this.  I'n not an obscure crap specialist, I do projects!  :|
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7178078
Thanks, I can't agree more with you, obscure and illogical stuff gets to me as well.

Did you upgrade W95 to 98?  Perhaps this is a key
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q243779

Perhaps, if all else continues to not help, this may help
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q133733
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7178079
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q132668

Sorry for the sporadic postings, but at work, little time this week.
":0) Asta
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:EDStech
ID: 7178129
I'll give the shelliconcache thing a try, but I changed the color depth when I redid the video drivers, so that should have achieved the same thing as manually wiping the cache.  However, no reason not to try..

This is a clean install of 98, and was working for quite some time before the problems started.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7178403
Also asked a couple of other Experts to visit here in case they have some clues that I've missed.
":0) Asta
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:centerv
ID: 7179916
Such low esteem of ME!  Tchs, tchs.  :>)

Heve you tried tweakUi to repair the icon cache?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:centerv
ID: 7179935
You can also try rebooting to safe mode and rebooting again.
Booting to safe mode resets the desktop properties to windows defaults.
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LVL 6

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Mindphaser earned 0 total points
ID: 7263198
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Expert Comment

by:JLGaland
ID: 7712855
I want to get rid of those duplicates
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Expert Comment

by:jakobsf
ID: 8483194
Any resolution on this??

I have a windows XP system with exactly the same problem.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 8550851
Please post a new question in the Windows XP topic area with what you need, jakobsf.
Asta
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