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Desktop short cut icons disappearing at random times.

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-03-28
I have a user that just was set up on a new windows 7 32bit machine.  She has set up some desktop short cuts to files on our servers.  It does not always happen but it has been the case that she has come into work and her short cuts are gone from her desktop.  All of the remaining local desktop items are rearranged.  The servers we are running are SBS 2003 and windows server 2003.  Anyone run into this before or have an idea what may be happening?
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Question by:techitch2
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 37746777
are the shortcuts on mapped drives
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Expert Comment

by:Tymetwister
ID: 37746789
I agree with Ian to check for that first, but just to be sure, has this PC been scanned for malware? (If not I recommend Malwarebytes for starters). I've seen a lot that mess with desktop icons just as you are suggesting.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 37746820
Please check when the icons are gone/re-arranged if the user has been logged in with a temporary profile.  That can happen with Windows 7 and gives the result above.

Also try deleting and remaking the icons for the mapped drives. When you are doing this,  see if the mapping is "persistent". Turn off persistence on mapped drives.

... Thinkpads_User
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helpfinder earned 125 total points
ID: 37746860
I recommend you to check for virus or malware.
on other hand there is something called System Maintenance in Windows 7 (MS built-in functionality) which regulary check for some issues and tries to fix them. And to clean "broken" shortcuts is one of its tasks.
So if your (her) shortcuts are broken, pointing to not existing resource, or pointing to the network folders who are not reachable then it might be a reason why Windows deletes them.
Solution is to disable the functionality or have 4 or less shortcuts like this (4 is a windows limit).
If you are interested to disable it then you have to:

    Click Start
    then click Control Panel.
    Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.
    On the left navigation pane, click Change settings.
    Set Computer Maintenance to Off.

Or another solutoion (as I know this maintenance checks only desktop) might be to create folder on Desktop named e.g. Shortcuts and put them here.

This rearraging might be caused by connecting and disconnecting to external monitor, projector or something like this

Hope it will help you
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Author Comment

by:techitch2
ID: 37746914
I believe the icons that had vanished were network linked and i know windows 7 sometimes disconnects from the mapped drives on server 2003.  I've run into it before where the user has to go into my computer and click on the mapped drive icon to reestablish a connection.  (usually only happens after long period of downtime or with laptops that have been off the network a while.

This machine is brand new and set up by me.....running kaspersky endpoint 8..... fresh install.  Malware/virus is highly unlikely.  The machine was but into production on late Friday and that day we had to click on a mapped drive to get a networked based program to run.  The next Monday her icon where missing and rearranged.

I will try your suggestions soon as this is a difficult user to work with.  IE wants issues fixed but is not willing to give you time at the machine or cooperate with you.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37746952
The two most likely causes (given new and probably no viruses) are (1) temporary profile and (2) persistence causing drive mappings to change or not work.  

Also make sure your user is using only one userid.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Run5k
ID: 37747048
On a Windows 7 machine, the operating system will automatically perform weekly maintenance that deletes "broken" shortcuts from the desktop if their are four or more of them.  Here is a great Experts Exchange article written by Leew, one of the EE realm's foremost Windows experts.  It explains the scenario in-depth, as well as potential fixes:

Fixing Disappearing Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 7

An alternative solution would be to place the problematic shortcuts on the Public desktop, since it seems to be exempt from the Windows automatic cleanup routine:

%systemdrive%\Users\Public\Desktop
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 37747078
>>> deletes "broken" shortcuts from the desktop if their are four or more of them

That is why I suggested checking persistence and remaking the icons. I do not have any problem with icons for mapped drives, but I make sure persistence if off in order that the mapping is the same each time. .... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:techitch2
ID: 37747220
Where do i check for persistence settings?  I don't see them.
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LVL 90

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37747239
In the user's profile, Start, Run, cmd and open. Type NET USE /? to see the help


It would be NET USE Z: /DELETE /PERSISTENT:NO  and then re-map the drive.
... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:techitch2
ID: 37749095
Please be patient guys I'm test your ideas and will award points on Monday if successful.
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