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Flickering desktop icons

Sorry for long post, had a wierd problem yesterday. A guys desktop (Windows XP Home  no service pack) desktop icons flash intermittently when you click them. It happens sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't occur at all.

When I rocked up to his house, he demonstrated it to me, sure enough, he clicked on one of his desktop icons, and every icon on the desktop began to flicker on and off very quickly. Once this starts, you can't do anything (clicking start button has no effect, and trying to click an icon on the desktop doesn't do anything). The way I stopped it from happening, was to bring up the task manager.

I ran some virus and spyware/malware scans at his house and it didn't pick anything up. So I thought, what the hell, I'll rebuild the PC. So I then took it off-site to my house to rebuild.

I put Windows XP SP3 Home edition on, installed his copy of Norton Internet security 2008, updated to latest definitions, installed latest graphics card, network and audio drivers, installed latest Windows Updates etc. Restored his backup.

Took the PC back to his house, all seems to work fine (and used his hardware again  ie: k/board & mouse etc). A day later, and he says the same problem is occuring.

He assures me that when I left his house he turned his PC off as he went to the pub with some friends, and turned it back on this morning, and same thing happens. So I can only assume that he hasn't installed any apps or malicious programs. I also kept a backup of his files on my PC, and my PC is fine, so there aren't any viruses or anything wierd in his files (I assume anyway)

Does anyone think it could possibly be a faulty mouse (maybe loose wire or something?) I haven't tried this yet, but I'll be going back there soon to replace the mouse and see what happens. I can't think of what else it could be.

Oh, also, can't be someone doing malicious things to his PC over the Internet, ADSL modem was switched off, and he had no connection.

Any other thoughts?
Windows XPMicrosoft Legacy OSWindows OS

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8/22/2022 - Mon

Before you embark on any more complex kind of troubleshooting, you might want to try this:
Go to Kelly's Corner (http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm), scroll down to item #157 and save "disablerefresh.reg" to your PC. Then run it on your friend's machine.

There is a known issue with the XP icon cache - at least sometimes and on some machines.

Good luck.

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Thanks for your help, it was the keyboard that was faulty.

It was the keyboard that was faulty in the end.  Thanks for your responses.

I would never have thought that it was the keyboard though, but anyway, all fixed now!
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