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davidcowlerFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Windows desktop items move when computer is locked


I'm using Windows XP at work and I lock my computer when I am going to be away from it for a while (such as lunch breaks). When I unlock it, some of the desktop icons have moved. It's always the same icons that move but they don't always move to the same place.

There is also an icon on my quick launch for a program I installed last week that ALWAYS goes to the end of the quick launch bar on bootup despite me dragging it to where I want it to be. I have even locked the task bar, but it has no effect.

I think Windows hates me. Apart from convincing my company to switch to Macs or Linux, what can I do to stop this unacceptable behaviour?

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I'll take a look at that - thanks - but I'd prefer to find out why Windows is being difficult.
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What is your screensaver?  Maybe it is changing your resolution while showing the screensaver.  Icons outside the the screensaver resolution area will be moved.
Just the standard XP screensaver. I thought it might be something to do with the resolution but I have icons on the very far left and far right but it's the ones at the bottom left that go walkies.
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this may be related to the video card drivers installed on your system. are you on a laptop or a desktop? make/model? what size monitor are you using and at what resolution? let me know
It's a Fujitsu laptop running at 1280 x 800 widescreen. My last laptop was Fujitsu as well and that also did this, although nowhere near as often.
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Just remembered something else - when I go to the desktop (minimising all open programs), some of the icons (most of them in fact) change to the standard Windows "I don't know what icon should be here so here's a boring default" icons, then they go back to normal after a few (very long) Microsoft seconds.

Bidonet - layout thing in place, just about to test.
is the laptop docked in a docking station? if so, is the docking station hooked up to an external monitor?
No docking station. Just bare laptop.

Just thought of yet another issue with this - sometimes when dragging icons to put them back where they should be, I can drag for a couple of inches, then it freezes, normally over another icon. I keep the mouse button down in case Windows, in its infinite idiotic wisdom, decides to drop one folder inside another.
Bidonet - that Microsoft trick works well. Still really really annoyed that locking the desktop and immediately unlocking is enough to screw it up. Microsoft obviously know there's a problem here, else they wouldn't have created this fix.
Do you have all of the latest windows updates installed?
this sounds horrible... this is indeed a strange issue. the only thing i can think of at the moment is this could either be a video card driver issue. i would try updating the driver from fujitsu's site and see if that helps at all.

as for the icons having an identity crisis, the first thing that comes to mind is that you may be setup with a roaming profile but since you're on a laptop, i doubt they would go that route.

other than the icons acting weird, do you notice any lagging with any other applications?
As far as I know I have all the latest updates installed, as it notifies me when there are some available. It has done this pretty much since I had the laptop.

I have previously updated the video driver from Fujitsu. Didn't make a blind bit of difference.

As far as roaming profiles go, I don't think I am set up in that way. Nobody else at work has this issue and several have the same model laptop with XP or 7.

I have not noticed any application lagging but there is a lot installed on this machine and it takes a while to boot. Yesterday it crashed beyond Ctrl-Alt-Del help and had to be manually rebooted, after which it lost all wireless network capability. That was restored after rebooting twice.

Oh, Bidonet - I lied. Every time I "restore" the desktop, it does most of it correctly, but changes one or two positions. How the hell it can do that is beyond me.
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Bidonet - that solution sounded perfect but it has only worked correctly the very first time. Every time since, it randomly chooses a block of icons and shifts them down one place.

I think I'm going to try Fences as suggested by pjam. Looks useful in any case.
Interestingly, the save/restore desktop doesn't always pop up the message to say it has done its job. I deliberately moved an icon, went to save - nothing. Put it back, save - nothing.
OK, I have made a decision....

I have set up Fences and every icon is in a fence with other icons. I have tested the screen lock and so far Fences has been able to keep everything where I put it. So, I am dividing the points up thus:

100 to pjam for the Fences suggesion
50 to Bidonet for the MS workaround which I'm sure would work better on a non-zombified PC
50 to kimbroy although I have not tested this solution (somehow missed the post and spotted it after instaling Fences).

Thanks for all your help guys :)
Although nobody was able to determine exactly why Windows was behaving in this way, some suitable workarounds were suggested.