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Desktop icons on Windows 7

Posted on 2015-02-20
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Last Modified: 2015-03-22
Hello everyone,

I have a user who is having an issue with his desktop icons. It's a small company with a domain controller with folder redirection enabled. This specific user's issue is that every week or so, his icons will be rearranged; he likes to have his desktop icons arranged very specifically. This started happening after we replaced his old XP machine with a new one with Windows 7. However, after trying to troubleshoot (tried disabling/enabling folder redirection and many desktop properties settings) I'm stuck and feel like I'm missing something obvious.
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Question by:dstanton007
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16 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:DanielT
ID: 40622362
Maybe check and see if there is evidence of windows explorer crashes? It may not be obvious to them as it should restart but doing so would mess up icons if there has not been a proper shutdown.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:akb
ID: 40622372
I know this isn't a solution to the cause of your problem but there is a program called Fences which is great for organising your desktop icons.
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/
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Author Comment

by:dstanton007
ID: 40622377
I forgot to include in my post a couple of things that didn't work. The user was also having issues with his monitor randomly blacking out, he wanted to get a new one anyway. We installed a new one but the issue remains. As a last resort, we also reinstalled Windows from scratch. Again, that didn't work.

I would like to stay away from using a 3rd part program if possible. The user isn't exactly the computer literate.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 40622383
> every week or so, his icons will be rearranged;

how? rearranged to the left as default, by name, type or time? or aligned to the nearest grid?

any details please?
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40622385
Did reinstalling Windows fix the monitor issue?

Are you using plain Windows or an image with other stuff added?

Go to your desktop and:

1. Ensure Auto Arrange and Auto Align are both off.
2. Again in Desktop Settings, Desktop Icons, uncheck "Allow themes to change desktop icons"

Please let us know
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40622390
I know you don't like third party solutions but I recommend Iconoid http://www.sillysot.com/

I've had Windows 7 muck up my Desktop as well and Iconoid enables me to save and restore as required.  No, I don't know why it does that - it also tries to change resolution on me as well at times.
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Author Comment

by:dstanton007
ID: 40622397
bbao - He likes to put his icons grouped together in different parts of his desktop. For example, folders on the top right, and My Computer, Recycle Bin, etc., on the bottom right. Then after for a week, the icons reset as if you were to right click on the desktop and sorted by name.

John - Reinstalling Windows did not fix the issue. We used a plain Windows 7 Pro 64-bit disc. We have verified that Auto Arrange, Auto Align, and "Allow themes to change desktop icons" are not enabled.

dbrunton - Thanks, but again, no third party.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40622421
We used a plain Windows 7 Pro 64-bit disc. And you have reinstalled.

So with settings you have tried, also try a Classic Windows Theme (NOT Aero) and use a plain background to test (no pictures).

Right click on Computer, Select Properties, then Advanced System Properties in the Window that comes up. Look through the settings and consider using Best Performance.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:DanielT
DanielT earned 300 total points
ID: 40622442
From info you've posted they may have a video issue with their computer.
This may also be related to the icons due to possible crashes.
Consider if the issues are occurring together.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 40623219
Icons will be re-arranged when you also modify the resolution of the screen. If this is a laptop or desktop and they have added an additional monitor or extended their desktop to another screen or presented to a TV or something where the screen resolution will change your desktop icons will also be re-arrange as well.

Will.
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Accepted Solution

by:
dstanton007 earned 0 total points
ID: 40654409
Thanks for the help everyone.

I ended up calling Dell Support and had a warranty exchange on the motherboard. It turns out the integrated graphics was the issue.
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Author Comment

by:dstanton007
ID: 40654633
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for dstanton007's comment #a40654409

for the following reason:

Thanks for the help everyone.

I ended up calling Dell Support and had a warranty exchange on the motherboard. It turns out the integrated graphics was the issue.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 40654450
good to know Dell has replaced the hardware and fixed the issuue.

BUT, honestly per my experience, the icons should be ONLY arranged and rearranged by the OS, not the graphics card, motherboard or any hardware component. it's really an interesting solution. :))
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:DanielT
ID: 40654634
Glad it's fixed! That's the main thing.

Note I did mention specifically that it may be caused by a video card (ie: integrated video) issue so this was correct according to Dell. :))
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