Un-removable, Desk-top Icon: (MSN Internet Access Butterfly}

Posted on 2004-04-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
My attempts to remove the icon started with the 'Add/Remove Programs" utility. As I recall there was no file listed. In Folder Options I cleared/checked all of the appropriate items relating to file types to be shown. I attempted to 'Run' the MSN un-install utility (MSN Subscriber Support offered 3 different spellings for the utility, I tried all three). Nothing happened except for the 'make sure you have the correct path,etc.' messages. Next, using Windows Explorer I found;   C:\Program Files\Online Services\MSN50, the MSN50 folder contained 35 items; One of them: 'MSNlogo.ico' I deleted, the butterfly was still there. I 're-started' the computer; the icon was still there. A second item: 'MSNunist.exe' was run and absolutely nothing happened. I then moved the entire MSN50 folder to the Re-cycle bin. The butterfly remained. I restored the folder and went back to 'Find Folders and Files', at 'Named' I entered 'MSN'...this brought up a long list of Folders,Files and Cookies, I selected All and deleted everything in the list except for 13 items which required confirmation of my desire to delete them. I was able to delete 12 of the 13...the butterfly was still on the desk-top. The 13th item; MSNSSPC.DLL so far has proved to be unremovable. It is supposedly located at; C:\Windows\System....I have not been able to find it. Even if I could find it how would I go about removing it? and more importantly, would that remove the icon?

Question by:harshale
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10784444
Hi harshale,

Quick question for you

a) Have you tried deleting the icon going into safe mode ?

b) Are you able to move the icon to the a different folder and then delete the folder ?


Author Comment

ID: 10786149
Good day sunray,                                                                   1- Attempts to delete the icon in the safe mode have failed, the recycle bin refuses to accept the icon.                                     2- Attempts to move the icon to a new folder results in...'you cannot move or copy to this location. Do you want to create a short-cut instead?.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 250 total points
ID: 10789530
The easiest way to get rid of these desktop icons, like Internet Explorer, Network Neighborhood, History, Web Folders, etc is to "hide" them using a utility named Tweak UI.  The version you need is 1.33 for Windows NT and 98.

RIGHT-Click the following link and select "Save TARGET As"

Save it anywhere on your hard drive where you can find it (desktop or c:\windows\temp is usually best)

It is a self-extracting installer that, when double-clicked, will allow you to unxip the contents to wherever you want.  The default is C:\windows\temp.

If you have WinZip, the best option is to Right-Click the file and select "Extract to c:\..\..\tweakui133".  This will create a new folder of that name in the same folder as you have saved the file.

Inside this folder you will find the file "tweakui.INF".  RIGHT-Click it and select "Install".

You will now have a new Control Panel icon called Tweak UI.

The "Desktop" tab allows you to hide certain desktop icons by unchecking them and then clicking "Apply".
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 10789549
It does sound to me like you installed MSN to your desktop rather than to the default installation folder.  Could this be the case?  MSNSSPC.DLL is supposed to be in c:\windows\system and is the file that shows the Microsoft Networks Login dialogue.

Also try Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Setup > uncheck "Online Services" > Apply > Reboot.

Expert Comment

ID: 10790072
ISTR icons that cannot by dumped in the recycle bin etc. can be removed by holding down the shift key whilst pressing delete.


Author Comment

ID: 10791357
Hello jthow

The shift key+ delete method had no effect. Just in passing; the butterfly has is now a page with the upper-right corner bent and the Microsoft banner on it. This probably due to my deletion of the  MSN50 folder.    harshale

Expert Comment

ID: 10791447
If you are comfortable editing the registry, you can find the reference to it there.  

I don't remember the key, but I think it was in HKLM and was in a folder relating to the desktop.

Do a search in the registry for the title of the icon.  Ignore all the CSLID entries look for the entry in a key that refers to the desktop.  When you find it, delete the key and the icon will be gone at the next reboot.  

Of COURSE, Back up the registry before messing with it at all.  If you are not comfortable in the registry don't mess with it, just live with the butterfly.


Author Comment

ID: 10793248
Good day BillDL

1- Installation of the icon on the desk-top was effected automatically by the manufacture/vendor. I was given no opportunity to determine where to put it. The computer was delivered with Windows 98 installed, the recovery disc, the QuickRestore discs, nor the Supplemental QuickRestore disc offers no chance to make any choice as to the location of the icon.

2- The Online Services folder in Windows Set-up  contains only America Online (unchecked), AT&T Worldnet Services (unchecked), Compuserve (unchecked) and Prodigy Internet (checked). There is no MSN Internet shown. This raises the question: Willing unchecking the Online Services and re-booting  have any unwanted effect on my Prodigy Internet connection?  Thanks for your  efforts. Harshale

Author Comment

ID: 10793478

I didn't realize there were two comments from you else I would have covered both in my other comment to you.

I had Winzip until my system collapse and restoration, I'll now go down-load it anew as well as the TweakUI utility and see how that goes.

As far as the MSNSSPC.DLL file is concerned; It does not show up in C:\windows\system...when I was in Folder Options>View I did not find a box for 'Hide protected operating system files' A file which MSN support alleged was there and should be cleared. Would this explain why I can't find MSNSSPC.DLL by means of Windows Explorer? Again, Thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 10793548
G Carter;

I'm fairly comfortable dealing with the registry, thus far I've had no disasters so I will give it a try. harshale

Author Comment

ID: 10793949

It worked... the tweakui utility was new to me and I was a bit edgy using it.
However, it did the job. Once again, Thank you and the other folks that offered suggestions. harshale
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 10795729
Thank you, harshale.

I have a feeling that the "'Hide protected operating system files", referred to by MSN support, actually relates to Windows XP which they all assume we should be using.  Tweak UI, if used with caution, is a great utility.  Just use the ? option and click on the settings to show what each actually does before using it.  Next time your icons all suddenly change after doing some disk-intensive work, use the option to "Repair Icons" under the repair tab.

It's also handy for hiding all those Right-Click > New items that programs insist on creating.  Before long you have a list as long as your arm of "create new" items that you rarely use, and would use the program's own File > New option.

Some desktop, start menu, and windows explorer icons are given a special significance in your registry with the expression "NameSpace".  I have a feeling that your MSN butterfly may well have been one of them.  Tweak UI will temporarily remove the respective "NameSpace" registry values if you choose to hide them.

These "NameSpace" icons are really just special system folders with modified behaviours such as a restricted Right-Click menu, or the sub-menu created by a Right Mouse Drag-n-Drop.

If you were to run the following batch file by double-clicking on it, it would create a file "C:\windows\temp\namespace.txt" which would list every occurrence in your registry of the expression "NameSpace".

Copy the text and paste into NotePad, Save As something like "namespace.txt" to your desktop, then right-click and rename it as "namespace.bat".  Run it and then locate the file it creates.

@echo off
start /w regedit /e C:\windows\temp\tempreg.txt
type C:\windows\temp\tempreg.txt | find "NameSpace" > C:\windows\temp\namespace.txt
del C:\windows\temp\tempreg.txt

The output itself won't tell you much that will be particularly meaningful to you but, without that reserved property in the registry, the "My Computer" icon (folder) wouldn't work as intended.

The registry key that probably affected you would be one of the sub-keys under:


You will see the "My Computer" one shown at:


You will notice the {long-unique-id-number} ( A "Class ID" or CLSID) which identifies the item in question.  In the above example, "My Computer" is identified as {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}.

Some of the items that appear within the "My Computer" folder also appear there courtesy of a reserved "NameSpace", for instance the Printers, Dial-Up Networking, Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks, etc.

Some, but not all, items that appear on your desktop are identified in the similar way, but appear under the "..\explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\" key rather than the "..\explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\" key.

Common "My Computer" icons


Dial-Up Networking  {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
Mobile Devices {49BF5420-FA7F-11cf-8011-00A0C90A8F78}
Web Folders  {BDEADF00-C265-11d0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}
Scheduled Tasks  {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}

Common "Desktop" icons


Outlook  {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
The Internet  {3DC7A020-0ACD-11CF-A9BB-00AA004AE837}
My Documents  {450d8fba-ad25-11d0-98a8-0800361b1103}
Recycle Bin  {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
Temporary Internet Files  {7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933}
Internet Explorer  {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Internet Explorer {FBF23B42-E3F0-101B-8488-00AA003E56F8}
Web Folders {BDEADF00-C265-11d0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}
Scheduled Tasks {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
Subscription Folder  {F5175861-2688-11d0-9C5E-00AA00A45957}
History  {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}

Many of these can be hidden using Tweak UI even if Windows decides that you really should have the item there.

The "NameSpace" entry in your registry is just telling Windows to reserve a "space for" the item with the CLSID number on your Desktop, in the My Computer folder, etc.

The actual properties that are transferred to this item are set against the actual CLSID.

Take, for example, your "Outlook" icon:  {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}.
It is identified in:

and contains the following presets for my Office 2000 setup (haven't shown all values here):

"InfoTip"="Displays all the unsolicited spam you try your best to block."
@="Microsoft Outlook"




Note:  I have edited this "InfoTip" (the popup text when you hang your mouse over the icon".

It tells it to display icon 7 found in the file "Outlook.exe" and also that it should run Outlook.exe when double-clicked.  The MLSHEXT.DLL file just displays a dialogue message "Windows Messaging is not currently installed. To install it, double click its icon".

Each CLSID item has its own unique properties and behaviours dictated this way, and some other items would be "ContextMenuHandlers" (Right-Click menu), "ExtShellFolderViews" (uses an .htt file like a web page where you have "View as a web page" enabled), and "PropertySheetHandlers"  (what you see with the right-click > properties option).  This is simplified, and is slightly more complex because each may link to another CLSID which could be common to others.

So, what I am really saying is that I think your MSN butterfly is preset with particularly annoying qualities to deliberately stop people from getting rid of it in the hope that they say "Hmmm, I wonder what this does?" and double-click on it  :-)

Incidentally, if you use the Tweak UI option under the "Desktop" tab to "Create as file", what this does is create a file with a name that incorporates its own unique long ID number.  This can quite easily be done manually by using the Right-Click > "New" > "Folder" option on your desktop and naming it as it appears in the registry.

For instance, if you want a new cascading "My Computer" menu item on your Start Menu, go to your "Start menu" folder, eg. "C:\windows\Start menu" or C:\Windows\profiles\harshale\Start Menu" and create a new folder in there.
Name it EXACTLY as follows (including the dot and curly braces):

My Computer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

To see the names that can create these special folders, use the "Create as file" option for all those unchecked boxes in Tweak UI's "Desktop" tab, and save them all into their own folder.  Open a DOS box, navigate to that folder, and type the command:

DIR  /p  /b

Alternately, send the output to a file for reference:

DIR  /b  >  c:\windows\temp\IDs.txt

You'll get something like this:

Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
Internet Explorer.{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Internet Explorer.{FBF23B42-E3F0-101B-8488-00AA003E56F8}
Microsoft Outlook.{00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
Recycle Bin.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
Scheduled Tasks.{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
Subscription Folder.{F5175861-2688-11d0-9C5E-00AA00A45957}
Temporary Internet Files.{7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933}
The Internet.{3DC7A020-0ACD-11CF-A9BB-00AA004AE837}
Web Folders.{BDEADF00-C265-11d0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}

Not all of these "Create as File" items will have the same functionality as the default Windows ones, and in particular you don't really want to start messing with the Recycle Bin.

The item "Internet Explorer.{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}" shows on my system as just what you described with the MSN one, ie. folded over edge on a windows flag icon.  This is despite the fact that Tweak UI lists 2 instances of "Internet Explorer".

I believe that this is because I initially did a custom install of windows 98 and chose to install Internet Explorer. I used the Tools > Internet Options > Advanced, and told it not to display an Internet Explorer icon on the desktop.  I later went to Add/Remove Programs > Windows Setup and removed IE from my system so that I could install a more recent version.  This might account for the 2 entries with different ID's.  Anyhow, Tweak UI overrides this setting.

One thing I DO advise is that if (for whatever reason) you decide to uninstall Tweak UI, you should have kept a track of the changes you made and should restore the original settings before doing so.  This way, the settings are no longer dependent on the existence of Tweak UI which won't be there after you uninstall it.  Mostly it imposes recognised DataValues to your registry that could easily have been applied manually, but it's best not to tempt fate.

Hope this information sheds a little bit of light on what you have probably just witnessed, and about Tweak UI.


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