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Resolved Desktop icon positions won't stay put

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by rikki, 2017/02/28.

  1. 2017/02/28
    rikki

    rikki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    This is a known issue with Windows 7, and probably every other Windows version, and for some inconceivable reason Microsoft either cannot or will not fix it. I have put up with this on my streaming computer for some time, but now it is really starting to get to me.

    I have tried all the recommended fixes, including moving an icon back and forth and other silly things which are somehow supposed to make Windows 'remember' better. None of it makes any difference. Finally, as a last resort, I even installed Desktop Restore but even that doesn't work. All it seems to do is 'restore' the icons to a different random pattern, but nothing puts them back where they actually were.

    This post is my last last resort. Is there any secret way I may not know about to make this behave the way it is supposed to? It seems like such a dumb problem, and it is inconceivable that there is no proper fix for it. Yet regardless of what I try, every time I reboot my computer my desktop icons get scrambled. What is going on here?
     
  2. 2017/02/28
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    I have never had your problem from W95 through to current W10. I have moved Desktop Icons around to suit me and they always stay in place. You may have some other 3rd. party software which is the cause of your issue.
     

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  4. 2017/02/28
    MrBill

    MrBill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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  5. 2017/03/01
    rikki

    rikki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    I am not sure if I have this problem on my other computers because I normally avoid using the desktop as much as possible since I prefer to work from a file manager but it is definitely an issue on my streaming computer, which is the one place I actually want to be able to use desktop shortcuts. I have also encountered it in the past with both XP and Win 98, and I have read up on it on-line so it is definitely a real issue for some machines and Microsoft seems as mystified by it as everyone else, even though it must date back to at least Win 95.

    My problem is not linked to auto-arrange or screen resolution. I am now in the process of working through some Registry hacks I have found that might or might not help. In the meantime, I have found that Desktop Restore does in fact work correctly from a cold boot, so that at least offers a workaround.
     
  6. 2017/03/01
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    I have seen this problem forever, even with W10. I have found the most common cause (or event leading up to the problem) is the updating of the graphics driver that forces a cycling through a couple resolution changes, and a reboot.

    My setup is not common, but not rare either. I have two monitors with my desktop "extended" across both monitors. I have icons positioned on both monitors. Occasionally (again, after some driver update), my icons move. For me, all icons from the secondary monitor suddenly appear on the primary monitor, mingled with those already on the primary monitor. So I have to rearrange them all again.

    That was frustrating enough, but in the past, they might suddenly rearrange themselves again if I rebooted. :( Then for no apparent reason, they stuck and stayed put for months, until the next driver update.

    I have found I can prevent the problem by arranging them how I want, then right click on a blank spot on the desktop and click "Refresh". There is a moment of instant panic as all the icons will blink - but they don't move position and from then on will typically stay put - at least until the next graphics driver update.

    So I have gotten into the habit of clicking Refresh like this every time I modify my desktop icon positions, or before rebooting after a driver update.
     
    Bill,
    #5
  7. 2017/03/02
    rikki

    rikki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    That's a good tip but unfortunately it doesn't help my situation. However, I completely overlooked something that complicates matters. My streaming computer feeds into an HDMI switch via an Hauppauge HD PVR2. Sometimes it connects to the TV, other times the TV is fed from other sources. This means the 'monitor' that the computer sees is not consistent. Every time I switch back and forth, the effective resolution changes and the EDID data probably gets scrambled. No doubt this is affecting my desktop icons. Also, when the system first boots up, the default feed to the TV is from a Sky box, not the computer. For some reason, none of this occurred to me when I made my post, but now that I have seriously started looking into it I realise that the resolution issue must be affecting it. With that insight, I'm not sure this is even fixable, beyond what I have already done with the Desktop Restore utility. It would be nice if I could just tell Windows to freeze the desktop icons and not change them under any circumstances until I specifically instructed it to, but I suppose that is asking too much.
     
  8. 2017/03/02
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Windows uses the registry to store the Desktop icon layout. There is no built in method to restore icon layout (Refresh saves the layout), but you can add that functionality to the context menu:
    Save and Restore Desktop Icon Layout in Windows Vista
     
    Last edited: 2017/03/02
  9. 2017/03/02
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    You both are right. Windows uses the registry to store the icon layout, but it is also dependent on the resolution.

    The option shown in Tony's link only lets you save one layout. ReIcon is a little program that lets you save then later select multiple layouts. I have never used this program, but I am told it works as expected.
     
    Bill,
    #8
  10. 2017/03/03
    rikki

    rikki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    I think I will mark this thread as solved. I don't see any way to take it any further.
     

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