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Desktop icons won't move and Paste feature is grayed out in Windows 95.

Posted on 2004-04-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
This problem has been presented numerous times on Expert's Exchange, but I can't find a satisfactory answer, so I'll bring it up again. I work in the IT dept. of a school district and we have many computers that exhibit this same problem. Re-installing Windows is an option, but because of the number of computers we support (over 5,000), it is not the best option. I hope that there is a fix that is simpler and quicker.
There are two symptoms, but I suspect that they're caused by the same thing.
1. The icons cannot be moved around on the desktop. When you click & hold the icon and try to drag it to a different location it doesn't move. This is NOT a problem with Auto Arrange. The icons don't follow the mouse cursor and then jump back to their original position. With this scenario, the icons DO NOT move at all. It does the same thing if you try to drag & drop files in Windows Explorer....the files don't move at all.
2. The Paste feature does not work in Windows Explorer or on the desktop. When you Copy or Cut a file or icon, (or multiple files or icons) and then try to Paste them in a different location, the Paste and Paste Shortcut features are both grayed out.

We've applied updates (including the OLE update), tried different video cards & drivers, different mouse & drivers, etc.

NOTE: We don't have these problems in Safe Mode, but we do have them in Normal Mode and in Safe Mode with Network Support. Also, the Paste feature works OK in applications such as Notepad and WordPad.

OK, impress me......
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Question by:jgilson
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by:LeeTutor
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You may have problems with viruses or trojans.  You could try the free online virus tool at http://housecall.antivirus.com    I find that it isn't always able to CURE every virus it detects, but it is good at detecting and identifying them.  

A couple of other free online virus scanners:

http://www.pcpitstop.com/antivirus/default.asp

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm

Also try these free programs to rid your system of spyware, trojans, and other malware:

http://download.com.com/3000-2144-10194058.html?tag=lst-0-1
Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot can also clean program and Web usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer with other users. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system. And for advanced users, it allows you to fix Registry inconsistencies related to adware or malicious program installations. The handy online update feature ensures that Spybot always has the most current and complete listing of adware, dialers, and other uninvited system residents.
Version 1.2 adds a variety of new and updated features, including an immunization option that allows you to block many spyware downloads before they get to your computer, and improved detection mechanisms for morphing files.

http://download.com.com/3000-2094-10045910.html?legacy=cnet
With its ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware can easily rid your system of these tracking components, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.
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LeeTutor earned 500 total points
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If your problem occurred after installing some new software, you can try uninstalling the software, to see if that corrects it.  Or, if no new software was installed, but the problem began recently, you may be able to go back to a Windows state before the problem began.  You would need to boot to a DOS command prompt and then type this command:  scanreg /restore.  (You'll be offered 5 previous versions of the Registry to restore. Choose a date before the problem occurred.)  Another possibility is the scanreg /fix command, to attempt a repair of the registry. Or, if none of these corrects the problem, you may need to let System File Checker try to replace any missing or corrupted system files:  go to the Start button, click on the Run command, type "sfc" (without the quote marks) in the dialog box, and click OK. If you don't have the Windows setup files on your hard drive, you will need the install CD to provide backup copies for the replacement process.  In order to replace both missing and damaged system files, you will need to put a dot next to Scan for altered files, click on the Settings button and put check marks next to both Check for changed files and Check for deleted files.
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by:rid
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I think the earlier post here gives valid input. Spyware, trojans, viruses are all real threats. Also, I'd wonder about driver conflicts. Anything that has been updated recently, like graphics drivers or similar? Are you really running such a lot of machines on win95, still? (I use it myself, but I don't dare putting anything "new" on the machines involved...).  Sorry, but I don't think SFC is part of win95. Are there policies installed and enforced, to protect machines? If so, setting may have to be thoroughly checked.
/RID
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by:jgilson
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We fixed it!!
Lee Tutor's second response about uninstalling new software turned out to be closest to correct. It wasn't new software, but it was an updated version of our antivirus software - they had added a new feature. The new feature isn't compatible with Win95. We were, however, able to disable the feature and that corrected the problem. We stumbled across it accidently on a machine that didn't have the antivirus installed, then after it was installed the problem started. So we uninstalled it and the problem cleared up. I emailed the tech support for our antivirus provider and they told us about the incompatibility. Voila.....we're back in business.
We use Norman Virus Control version 5 (www.norman.com) throughout our district. So, if anyone uses that program on Win95 computers, make sure that you have the Internet Protection option unchecked. Tech support assured me that this won't compromise any security, because the on-access scanner scans every program before it executes anyway.
Thanks for the responses and the help. It was greatly appreciated!

RID......I just wanted to let you know that we're not running Win95 on all 5,000+ computers. My point was that we have that many computers out there that we have to support. We're running Win2k and WinXP on most of them, Win98 on some and Win95 on some. (We even have about 8 computers that are still running MS-DOS 6.20 to support an old application that one teacher uses!!).
Also, you are correct about SFC....it isn't a part of Win95.
Thanks for your input. I appreciate you taking the time.
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by:rid
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Wow... that was a complex situation. Glad you got it sorted out!
/RID
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by:LeeTutor
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Whoops, it's been so long since I posted in the Win95 section I forgot about the absence of SFC in that version of Windows.  (One of the many, many pluses of Win98!)  Glad you got the problem fixed.
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