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Problem changing the target of a shortcut to an .scf file in Windows 7

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am trying to create an-XP style Show Desktop icon on my new Windows 7 taskbar.  There are plenty of instructions all over the internet, all saying the same thing:

1.  Create a dummy .exe file and pin a shortcut to the taskbar.
2.  Create the .scf file.
3.  Change the target of the shortcut to the .scf file.

When I try to do step 3, I get an error saying my path name is invalid, and I cannot see why.  The attached screenshot shows the folder where the shortcut and the .scf file are, and error I get when I try to change the target in the shortcut properties window.

Most of the how-to pages say to put the .scf file into the windows shortcut taskbar folder, but I have tried both that and putting it into its own folder, and the same thing happens.

Any suggestions how to make this work would be welcome.
ShowDesktopShortcut.jpg
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Question by:yodercm
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Paul Smart
ID: 36570079
Go to folder options and choose to display all file extensions (may say hide known file extensions).

You may find that the file is not called Show Desktop.scf but instead called something else (Show Desktop.scf.xxx)

The reason I say this, is none of the other icons are showing the extension, but this one is.

(just an idea - i can't test this theory as i'm on a mac at the moment).
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LVL 27

Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36570138
thedigitaljedi, I already checked that, noticed the same thing you did, but all the other files in that folder are shortcuts, so they don't have extensions.  The folder is set to show all file extentions.  I just double-checked that by moving a .xlsx and a .exe file there to see, and the extensions of those showed.
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Assisted Solution

by:Paul Smart
Paul Smart earned 250 total points
ID: 36570203
Ok.. can you just create a new short cut and use this as the location

C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

Save and Call it whatever you like. You can now pin this to the task bar.

(alternatively Press WINDOWS KEY + D) to do the same!

- This maybe a good workaround for you!


C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

Open in new window

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LVL 52

Accepted Solution

by:
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 250 total points
ID: 36570274
I don't know why your approach is not working, but here's a different way to do it that may work for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBcdQbxhhHQ

Regards, Joe
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LVL 27

Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36570444
joewinograd, I was resisting the second toolbar approach, thinking there must be some simple reason why I can't change the shortcut target.  I'll do that approach as a last resort since it takes up extra space on the taskbar, which is in short supply for me. :)

I know the first method can be done, because I did it successfully on my previous Win 7 system, and don't remember having any trouble, so there has to be some little trick that is missing here.

I'll wait and see if anyone else can suggest anything before I close the question.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36570481
Makes sense. I just looked for <Show Desktop.scf> in my Users folder (and all subfolders) to play with it...not there! Then I looked in my Windows folder (and all subfolders)...also not there! Then I looked on my entire C drive...you guessed it...not there! I even tried <*.scf>...not there. I'm running W7 Pro. I wonder why I'm not finding that file. Sorry to turn your question into my question. :)  Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Smart
ID: 36570506
Show desktop was replaced in win7 with the aero peek desktop ;)
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36570739
@thedigitaljedi,
Yes, but we're talking about the icon that invokes it. The standard in W7 is the vertical bar on the far right side of the taskbar (for me, it's a horizontal bar on the low left side of the screen because I dock my taskbar on the left, not the bottom). What the author is trying to achieve is to invoke aero peek desktop in W7 via the XP style icon rather than the W7 style bar. Regards, Joe
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LVL 27

Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36570939
What Joe said :)

I hate the stupid bar way over on the right.
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LVL 27

Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36570948
There are lots of websites that give instructions for this,  example:  http://maketecheasier.com/restore-the-show-desktop-icon-in-windows-7/2010/03/16

and they all pretty much say the same thing.  I just can't figure out why the shortcut target change won't work.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36570961
I'd love to try it here, but I can't even find <Show Desktop.scf> anywhere on my machine!
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LVL 27

Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36570998
You have to create it, very easy, just make a .txt file with


[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop


then rename it.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36571045
Ah, yes, I had found that earlier at:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/190355

But I clearly didn't read it carefully enough! :)
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LVL 27

Author Closing Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 36577550
I guess I'll just stick with the second-choice method.  Thanks to both of you for your help and suggestions.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36577603
You're welcome. It's not bad, as work-arounds go. Btw, since you're trying to retain some of the XP look and feel in W7, I want to mention that I use a product called Classic Shell (SourceForge – FREE!):
http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

It has made W7 a lot more usable for me. You may want to give it a spin. Regards, Joe
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