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Folders placed on desktop disappear on reboot

dparrot asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I like to maintain certain folders (like "My Computer" and my working documents folder) on my desktop on a permanent basis.  That used to be the case.  But recently, I began to lose these folders on re-boot.  They can restored with a few clicks.  But it is annoying.  I can't find any folder settings that affect this behavior.  Does anyone have a suggestion?  Could it be related to the code in desktop.ini?  Are there conflicts caused by one of my startup programs?

I am running a Thnikpad R-30 with a 697Mhz processor and 1 Gig ram.  The OS is W2K, 5.0.2195, SP3, Build 2195.

Here is a list of the programs that load at startup:

1.      HotSync Manager      c:\prograrl\palm\hotsync.exe
2.      ctfmon.exe            ctfmon.exe
3.      PlaxoUpdate            c:\winnt\plaxo\1.4.0. 140\installstub.exe –a
4.      Msnmsgr            "c:\program files\msn messenger\msnmsgr.exe”/background
5.      Wireless-B            c: \prograrl\Iinksys\wirelerl\wpcllcfg.exe
6.      TrackPointSrv            tp4serv.exe
7.      Tourpath            regedit /s c:\winnt\tour.reg
8.      Synchro Manager      mobsync.exe /logon
9.      PRPCMonitor            prpcui.exe
10.      TPHOTKEY            c: \progra~l\thinkpad\pkgmgr\hotkey\tphkmgr.exe
11.      TP4EX            tp4ex.exe
12.      BMMGG            rundll32 c: \prograrl\thinkpad\utilit~\pwrmonit.dll.startpwrmonitor
13.      LTSMMSG            ltsmmsg.exe
14.      ConfigSafe            c:\cfgsafe\ntfsclup.exe
15.      CSScheduleCheck      c:\cfgsafe\schwizex.exe –check
16.      zzzHPSETUP            d:\setup.exe
17.      HP Lamp            "c:\program files\hewlett-packard\hp precisionscan\ precisionscan pro\hplamp.exe”
18.      kmw_run. Exe            kmw_run. exe
19.      NAV Agent            c: \progra~1\norton~1\navapw32.exe
20.      QuickTime Task      "c:\program files\quicktime\gttask.exe" -atboottime
21.      Zone Labs Client      c: \progra~1\zonelarl\zonealil\zlclient,exe
22.      DSL Connect Tool      c:\program files\msn\msnia\dslmon.exe
23.      LoadQM            loadqm.exe
24.      SSBkgdUpdate      "c:\program files/common files/scansoft shared\ssbkgdupdate.exe” –embedding -boot
25.      WorkFlow Tray      "c:\program files\scansoft\omnipageprol4.0\ workflowtray.exe”
26.      Opware14            "c:\program files\scansoft\omnipagepro4.0\opware14.exe”l
27.      OPScheduler            "c:\program files\scansoft\omnipageprol4.0\opscheduler.exe
28.      siService.exe            "c:\program files/sunbelt software\ihatespam\siservice.exe
29.      RealTray            c:program files\real\realplayer\realplay.exe systemboothideplayer
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Top Expert 2004

To start with check for spywares and virus in the system

Use spybot ,ad-ware ,CWshredder and post the log from Hijackthis here

After installing them, First Update them and then run

Spyware/Adware removal tools:

What is spyware : http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html

SpyBot-S&D : http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspybot.shtml 

Ad-aware : http://www.webattack.com/download/dladaware.shtml 

CWShredder: http://www.softpedia.com/public/cat/10/17/10-17-150.shtml

HijackThis : http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html 

SpywareBlaster  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspywareblaster.shtml

SpywareGuard :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspywareguard.shtml

SpySites  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspysites.shtml

Keylogger Hunter :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlklhunter.shtml

BHODemon : http://www.spywareinfo.com/downloads/bhod/

Browser Hijack Blaster : http://www.wilderssecurity.net/bhblaster.html

Other spyware removal instructions:


online virus scanner:






Also try doing sytem file checker (start --> run --> sfc /scannow )

Do you have mandortaory profile?
Search you computer for Ntuser.MAN

if so have a look at


I ran a total system scan and found no viruses.  I also used spybot - found some commercial spys and deleted them.  I do not have a file called Ntuser.man.  I am still having the same problem of losing folders on the desktop on re-boot.

I don't know if this matters, but I have a desktop computer with a similar software setup (including the OS) to my Thinkpad.  I never have this problem with the desktop.  Maybe it has something to do with the Thinkpad utilities and drivers that load on startuip.


Hello, Hello  Anyone out there?

That could be a whole range of things.  Is the laptop networked?  If so, it could be that your profile being downloaded from the network is causing these things to disappear.  There is a setting if you right click on the "My Computer" icon on the desktop, go to properties.  Then User Profiles.  Find your profile [(COMPUTER NAME)\(USER LOGON NAME)], and then click the button "Change Type".  Does it help if you choose Local Profile, or do you not have access to this.  I am assuming that it is networked.  My machine only has the Local Profile option, as it is not networked, so this might be the case for yourself.  

Hope this helps,  



Yes, the computer is networked.  The only option available to me is "Local Profile".  "Roaming Profile" is greyed out.

Even if I disconnect it from the network, I still lose my folders on re-boot.

This also happened to me 18 months ago.  I ended up reinstalling the operating system and all my software.  That solved the problem and it worked just fine for 6 months as a networked computer.  It just started happening mysteriously for the second time.  I would prefer not to have to reload my OS avery 6 months!

If I can't find any other solution, maybe I'll upgrade to XP Pro and/or get a different laptop.

Have you tried contacting Microsoft themselves?  

Actually, I don't know if you have heard of it or not.  There is a program called X-Setup from Xteq Systems (that is free) [http://www.xteq.com/].  

If you get the program and start it, it will present you with a tree-style options pane.  There is an option called "Save Item Positions on Exit".  This may help.  

[All X-Setup Plugins -> Appearance -> Desktop -> Options -> General Desktop Options: Then, in the right pane, check go to the option "Save Item Positions on Exit"]  

Beware, however, if you go through all of the options to customise your system, do not change the number of server connections in the internet explorer options.  I did this, and the internet did not work at all.  I blanked the boxes with values, [should reset original values], but nothing happened, so I have to reinstall Windows.  Everything else seems fine with this, though.  

Good Luck!



Ooh.. Another useful program is called available called GeekSuperhero, and it stops programs from changing different aspects of windows, e.g. Homepage, StartUp folder etc.  It prompts you when something is going to be changed, and asks you whether you want to allow the program to change the options.  Actually, I think that it detects the change and then, if you say to, reverts back to how it was before.  


I don't think that it is free, however, but there is a free trial (15-days) which should help you find the program (if it is a program) that is causing problems.  The website is quite amusing also!...



I tried both programs.  thank you for the reference.  The setting, Save Item Positions on Exit in X-Setup affects only icons, not folders.  I thoroughly checked all other options in X-Setup and nothing protects folders.  I also tried GeekSuperhero and it didn't help either.  Sorry

I did contact Microsoft.  They tried everything and concluded it is an IBM problem.  IBM says it is a Microsoft problem,

Don't you love it?

Yup.  Next, you will find that the emails to IBM and Microsoft went to the same support centre in India...!  

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.  

Actually, could it be that parts of the registry are write protected.  If you use Regedit32 [Start -> Run -> "RegEdt32" [without the quotes], there is a security menu at the top.  If you can find where abouts the setting is in the registry, maybe this would be a viable route to follow.  


Oops. Sorry.. Forgot the '?'.  Should be "...parts of the registry are write protected?..."



I like your line of reasoning.  a write protection instruction could explain what is happening.

In my version of W2K, regedit32 doesn't work, only regedit.  In any case, there is no security menu - only registry, edit, view, favorites and help.  Within these menus, there is no sub-menu that deals with security.

Within the registry itself, there is a security tab in the all users software section, but there is only one entry and it is benign.  I also did a search using the word "desktop" to see if there were any security/write protect settings and nothing came up.  I also checked all folders and directories having the term desktop and there were no security settings.

So, I still don't know the root cause of the problem.  But, for the time being, I simply placed a My Computer shortcut in the startup folder.

Ah.. That could be the problem.  When I use regedit, there is not a security menu at the top either.  Try copying regedt32 to C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings
where [Username] is your username.  Then try launching it from there (small trick from WinXP I found).  

Is every shortcut on the desktop reset?  If not, then you could create a shortcut to My Computer and place it on the desktop as a temporary solution.  



I took another look at your instructions.  I had typed in "regedit32".  It should have been "regedt32".  That worked.  There were 4 entities listed.  All except Restricted had full control checked.  I changed Restricted to full control.  I restarted the computer and it lost the folders again:-(.

Are you creating shortcuts to the folders/system locations on the desktop, or using a utility to place the "official" things there, i.e. if you right click on the My Computer icon, does it display things like Manage, or does it display Delete, Copy etc.  

Are there any other shortcuts on the desktop?  Are they reset?  

Also, if you use Regedit or Regedt32, what is listed under:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows, Current Version, Run
--- Also, look for anything else under "Current Version" with Run as the key title, eg RunOnce, etc.  
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, Current Version. Run.  
--- As above, look for RunOnce etc.  

If there are any of these that look suspicious, or that you have not heard of before, that could be the problem.  

Oops.  Just referred back to the question. You have already shown what progs are run on startup.  Do you know what they all are?  Tourpath looks a bit suspicious, as it is a .REG file, and "/s" means that it is a silent install, i.e. no "Do you want to let ... modify the registry?" questions.  



1.  The only shortcuts on my desktop are for programs.  The shortcuts reappear on reboot just like they are supposed to.  Only folders (like My Computer and other folders) disappear.  The My computer icon is the regular Windows installed icon with delete, copy, etc.
2. I have lots of program shortcuts on the desktop.  I don't know what you mean by restting them.
3. I used regedit to look at the run and runonce entries.  Everything listed is supposed to be there in support of the software I have installed.  I double checked a few of the items I was not sure of.
4. I did some research on Microsoft's and several technical websites.  The command is used as a path instruction and is associated with programs that provide a tour (as in a tutorial).  Norton says it is innocuous.  I am not sure that I want to remove it.

Thanks, Don

OK.  Sorry that I have not gotten back in touch sooner, but due to problems with my own machine, I have had to reinstall everything again [BTW: It still does not work properly!].  

I have done some searching on the internet, and have found this.  I don't recall the menu in the description being present, but if it helps, then that is good.  

As for the Hidden My Computer Icon, just Right Click on an open space on the Desktop - click on Desktop tab then at the bottom click on Custimize Desktop - Check the Box next to My computer in the Desktop Icons section click ok then apply and it will put it back on the desktop!



I never said the My Computer icon was hidden.  It is not.  The My Computer Folder is one of the folders that will not remain at re-boot.  Also, your comments make reference to something you found on the internet, but there is no url provided.

Oops...! Sorry, Don (is it OK if I call you that?)  That should still be in my Internet History.  

Nope... Here is the link, however.  (Good old Google...)

Hardware Analysis - Forum [http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/25714/]

I know that the topic itself is not directly related, if at all, but the answer that I posted seemed relevant here.  

What you can do is create a folder with the title as:

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

You can copy and paste the above if you want to, from the M of   'M'y Computer   to the } of    309D'}'

Is this an acceptable replacement?  It has the entries that used to be in the original shortcut menu (and Copy, Paste, etc, as this is still a folder).  



I am not sure what you mean.  I did a search on my C drive for the term "my computer" and nothing came up except for mycomput.dll.  So I am not sure what I am replacing.  Is this something in the registry?

Also, I clicked on the url.  It took me to the hardware analysis site where I got the following message:

You Are Here:  
/ Home / Errors / Not Found /
   Page Not Found  
The requested URL was not found on this server.

Hmm. I copied and pasted it exactly from my web browser, but in the history, there is no "/" on the end of it.  
Also, I'm sorry.  I mustn't have explained myself clearly.  Create a new folder on the desktop with the name

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

From re-reading the page from the hardware analysis site, I personally would not actually read it, as it is XP specific.  I thought that maybe someone with XP had a problem that had a similar solution to 2000, but after checking out the instructions on an XP machine, I have discovered that this is not the case.  Sorry.  



I created the folder, opened it on the desktop and rebooted.  On reboot, the open folder did not appear.  Of course, the icon I created is still on the desktop. So, this stubborn problem still exists.   I am just curious, what is the purpose of adding ".{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}"?

If you double click on this new icon, Windows opens the My Computer system folder.  If you create a standard folder and call it "My Computer", then that creates a folder called "C:\Documents and Settings\dparrot\Desktop\My Computer" that you can put files in if you want.  Creating a folder with the rest of the stuff after the name makes it show the drives, control panel etc., just like the real "My Computer" icon does.  

What do you mean, "the open folder did not appear".  Do you want it to show "My Computer" opened when you start up the laptop?  



Yes, I want it to appear opened on boot-up.  Windows normally remembers what your desktop looked like when it reboots and re-creates all opened folders automatically.  My system does not do that.  It would help if there was a way to send you a bitmap snapshot of my desktop - the way I want it to appear.  I don't see any way through Experts Exchange to do that.  Perhaps, if you gave me a regular email address for this purpose it would help.

I understand what you mean.  Was this what the purpose of the question was?  If so, then I think that I have made a mistake.  I thought that you meant that the desktop icon had disappeared!!!

There are several alternatives to solve this problem.  One of which is that you could use the hibernate feature of Windows 2000.  Since I do not know your level of experience, I shall explain it to you.  What Hibernate basically does is it copies your RAM to the hard disk, and powers down the computer.  When you turn on the computer, it copies it back from the HDD to the RAM again, so everything is exactly how you left it, from explorer windows, to word documents, spreadsheets, internet windows, everything.  

Alternatively, what you can do is actually browse to "My Computer" properly, not just using one of the folders just created, and r-click and hold on the icon at the top left of the window.  Drag (using the r-mouse button) over the following:

Start button, Programs, Startup.
When the StartUp folder shows, release the r-mouse button on the newly expanded folder somewhere (above or below existing items/"(no items)") so automatically start "My Computer" on startup.  

I can find loads of ways to do it on XP, and can remember the setting for 98, but cannot find it on 2000.  There might be a registry setting, but I cannot find (a) how to change it, and (b), what it is.  

Other than this, I can think of nothing other to do other than contacting MS again.  



Several weeks ago, I placed the my computer icon in the startup folder.  It is a partial workaround.  But, Windows should remember other folders as well and it doesn't!!!  I'll try the hibernate approach.  If you do not have any other ideas, I suppose we should close out this case, don't you agree?

I suppose so.  
A final thought: Was there an option in X-Setup to remember the open folders when the computer is restarted? (ordinarily, I would be able to tell you the answer instead of asking, but since reinstalling everything, I have lost the CD, and it would take too long to download it)  If not, and the hibernate feature works (I don't know if it will as the machine is networked and some people with networked laptops have problems doing this) then I think that the question has been as solved as it can be.  

Why hibernate might not work when networked:
Due to the way that the hibernate feature works, Windows may still think that the computer is attached to the network, even though it is not.  While this may be OK for a DUN connection whereby it can be easily reconnected, and most people only use this for an internet connection so is not constantly required, a LAN/P2P connection (where Windows constantly connects) might cause problems, hence the option might not appear.  It also depends on hardware compatibility, as to whether the devices can all resume.  However, I do not see that there should be any problems, as my P133 can hibernate, and it is far quicker to do this than do a full restart cycle.  

Did the hibernate feature work?  



Allow me to explain a previous point [05/01/2004 04:01PM BST]: Upon reading the question, I was under the impression that it was actually the icon that was disappearing on startup.  From re-reading this 'thread', am I right to correct this impression.  Was the question itself related to Windows not restoring folders on startup, and not icons vanishing?  

If this is the case, then I apologise for making the mistake and hope that the latter answers are of more help!



Yes.  Icons are fine.  Open folders are the problem.  I have downloaded x-setup.  I'll let you know how well that works.  Also, the hibernate function works just fine, even when attached to my router network.  And it does save the desktop.  So, that is one approach to use.  I'll be back to you re: x-setup.

Any news?



I tried x-setup.  It allows you to do many things.  I explored EVERY option.  But, there is no option for keeping the desktop exactly the same on reboot.

Oh.. That is a shame.  Does the Hibernate feature solve the problem?  Does it do what you wanted better than expected?  [It means that if you are working on something, for example, a document in MS Word, you can leave it open (but it is still worth saving it, unless there is a problem), and when you turn on your computer again, it is there, ready].  



Yes, hibernate saves everything.  When a computer is in hibernation and connected to a DSL modem, can hackers or spy files or viruses still access my hard drive (I use msn.com as my isp and they supposedly have a firewall plus I use ZoneAlarm Pro as my own firewall, along with Norton Anti-Virus).  If there is still a chance for exposure, I would probably not use hibernation extensively.
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