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monroe

Desktop Icon Order Keeps Changing

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I am having the same problem on XP also but I am working now with my Windows 2000 setup. I have tried some registry fixes, different programs that are supposed to keep the Desktop icons in the order that I want them to be ... nothing seems to work. I have 2 programs that work just fine in putting the icons back into the proper order that I originally had them in ... DIPS and Icon Restore. However, I would like a "permanent fix" to this problem. When I turn the computer on the icons always go back to the old order that I don't want or sometimes they will change back when actually doing something on the computer. I have deleted "shelliconcache" at least 8 times, found that tip on Google ... it doesn't work. When I go to TweakUI in the Control Panel there is a Repair tab there and it has a Repair Icons heading. I run that and it brings up the "old" arrangement that I don't want.

What I'd like to know ... that "old" icon list is somewhere on my hard drive and hitting on that "Repair Icons" tab goes to that list and puts them back into that order on my Desktop. I go to DIPS and put them back in the correct order or the way I want them. Where is that list, what is it called and can I "manually" change it to the order I want or just delete it and it might show up again "fixed"? I don't understand all the really deep inner workings of an OS and there are people in this forum that really do have that knowledge. I'm mostly at the Windows 98SE forum but I started recently fooling around with Windows 2000 and XP. A few programs that I can't get to work on Win 98SE will work on Win 2000 or XP. I happen to like Windows 2000 Pro since I have been working with it and most all my Win 98SE programs will also work on Windows 2000. As I said earlier, I'm also having this Desktop icon arrangement problem with my XP setup but I'm thinking if I can get a fix for Windows 2000 ... then it may also solve my XP problem. Want to add ... all my icons are on the left side of the Desktop which is where I want them, they always stay on the left side but they just go out of order from the way I have them arranged.

thanks ... want to add, I never seem to be able to get the forum search to work for me ... have tried many times before with this new forum setup but I get errors or something wrong with the parameter. If someone else had this problem and was able to solve it ... please share.

Edited by duffy98
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It's not really an answer to your question but...

I'd suggest trying Desktop List view.

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Thanks tomasz86 ... I hadn't seen that program, looks interesting. I downloaded a copy to experiment with later on, hoping to stay with the icons for now. Just need to find where that "repair list" is when TweakUI uses it to "repair" the Desktop icons ... TweakUI goes to something on the hard drive ... probably in the WINNT folder somewhere but I wouldn't really know. ... thanks, was downloading some of your downloads yesterday. Great stuff.

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Thought I'd resurrect this topic again. Still having problems with the desktop icon order changing every time Windows 2000 Pro starts. Anyone else have this same problem and how you maybe fixed the problem. I have a program to restore the icons in the order I want them but it drives me crazy to have to restore them every time I turn on the computer. I have tried a couple of desk lock programs but they are hit and miss. Anyone have any suggestions or a good icon lock program or can I make a change somewhere in the registry? Any and all ideas welcome ...

Edited by duffy98
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Use midiox desktop restore...

Get both the GUI version and the command-line version. Then sort the desktop and save the layout, with a custom name, using the GUI version. Then create a new shortcut in the desktop. Fill the destination with the fully qualified name (drive:\path\name.exe /parameter) of the command-line version and set it to restore the custom named layout you created in the previous step. Set the shortcut to run minimized. Then move the shortcut to the startup folder in the start menu. I've never found one single system where midiox's files don't work, up to now. And it's freeware!

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thanks dencorso... I have all the downloads and will try everything out shortly.

OK ... ran into a problem. Got the first part done: "Then sort the desktop and save the layout, with a custom name, using the GUI version." No problem doing that part.

Went to install the "Command line version" and this box pops up:

This Installation Package is not supported by this processor type. Contact your product vendor.

... Any idea what that exactly means ... I'm on a Dell Pentium 3 notebook with Windows 2000 Pro installed.

Edited by duffy98
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When you have moved the icons to the correct place you then use layout.dll to save their positions 'Save icon layout.

If they move then you simply right-click on the desktop and click 'restore icon layout'.

No?

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Use, instead, midiox desktop restore... In many situations layout.dll fails to perform a correct layout restore, after it gets messed up. But I've never found one single system where midiox's files didn't work, up to now. I've never investigated in full this problem, but the author of the midiox desktop restore (Jamie O'Connell) published some notes about it on his site, for which I gave a link above. There is also a forum dedicated to it, there. And it's freeware!

Get both the GUI version and the command-line version. Then sort the desktop and save the layout. If you use regshot just before and just after saving the layout, you'll find where in the registry it saves that info. Then create a .reg file from it. Create also a run entry to run the command-line version of desktop restore, and set it to restore your custom layout on startup. For the unattended you should merge to the registry those two regs, the one that has the custom layout and the one that runs desktop restore.

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I myself keep having my Desktop Icons shuffle around when I startup the computer or when I am on the computer and open or close a folder and they will suddenly move back to the layout that I don't want. I have three programs to restore the icons back to the order that I want ... mostly use one but the others are secondary backups, in case one fails. Anyway, having just switched over to XP Pro earlier this month (from 98SE) I have been getting everything to my liking for that "final" Ghost backup but my one problem has been the Desktop icons changing every so often ... so the other day I spent a few hours hunting around on Google for a possible registry fix for this problem. Finally as I was ready to give up, I came across this forum and a guy there had posted a registry fix and several people had said "it works" ... one person had 12 computers to look after and said it works. There were some that said it didn't work for them but they might not have did the registry fix correctly. I have three notebooks and have put this registry fix on two of them to try it out. Since I have applied the fix my Desktop Icons have not moved from the way that I want them to be on the desktop. It's only been (roughly) two days that I have been using the fix so I guess in a few weeks or a month I will know for sure if it's truly a fix.

I can gather all the information and post it here for others to try out, if it is OK to do so. The guy that everybody is thanking will get the credit of course, but he seems to have disappeared from the forum ... made two or three postings and left. If dencorso or any moderator says it's OK to do so, then I will. I am just not sure, since it was on another forum. Like I said, so far it seems to be working ... since I have applied the registry patch/fix ... every time I have started my computers, the icons have not moved and when I'm on the computer for several hours, the icons are staying in place. So far, this is fantastic ... that icon thing has been driving me crazy.

thanks ...

... just will add, I'm not sure if it will work for icon patterns all over the Desktop ... my icons are in two columns on the left side and staying in the order that I place them ... so far.

Edited by duffy98
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Well, I'm not a mod or anything, but I would assume that any registry "fix" is permissible to post here. None that I am aware of infringe on any copyright or EULA etc. I would be very interested in hearing the justification from a mod or admin why that would not be true. (But I could be wrong of course. :) ) I also see nothing wrong in attributing the info to the original contributor by name, unless he asked to remain anonymous, which he apparently did not. Now you might not want to mention the forum, if it was unsavory in any way, and if so you definitely should not provide a link, but I agree that a mod or admin should make the final call.

Cheers and Regards

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bphlpt ... after my last post I decided to go ahead and post everything I have on the subject ... I guess if the Mods decide it's OK or not OK, then they can remove my post. I don't see anything sinister about it, forum looks OK ... a person asked for help with Desktop Icons and this guy (securityguy14) comes along with a registry fix that seems to work for most people. He didn't give anyone credit so I give him the credit. It must have been his discovery or fix. I have posted the replies of thanks that came in after various people tried the fix. As I write this my Desktop Icons are still in place after a full two days. I sure hope this is a permanent fix ... like I said earlier, after a few weeks I will have a better feel for everything.

How can I lock desktop icons? (at answers.microsoft.com)

I am unable to LOCK the icon items on my desktop. I have clicked right on the desktop and via properties checked lock items, yet they are easily moved and NOT locked. I've tried locking them thru 'Appearances and Themes', yet they will NOT lock. How can I get them to stop moving around and stay put by locking. Any help would be graciously appreciated. And, no I am not changing my resolution which I know moves them.

The forum labeled this Reply: ... "Most Helpful Reply"

securityguy14:

When you say "LOCK the icon items on my desktop" I'm assuming that you mean to keep them from re-arranging themselves with a reboot? If that is what you mean, then just copy then paste whats below to notepad, then click on "File>save as..." at the top, save it to the desktop. when you go to save it change the "Save as type" from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files" and name it anything with a .reg extension. then close everything and click on the file and choose "merge". also you want to make sure to add the part " Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00". that registry setting saves the position of items on the desktop when you shut down

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

"NoSaveSettings"=hex(3):00,00,00,00

Then someone posted this reply asking "securityguy14" for additional information.

......

I'm hoping SecurityGuy14 can clarify a point, since I'm concerned about making any changes to to the registry -in the past I've had some disasters.

So, how/where exactly does one "add the part Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00"

In other word, how and where should it be added in the registry editor (or somewhere else)? I've done a search, and cant find Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 currently on my hard drive (I have Windows 7 home premium 64-bit).

This reshuffling of the desktop is a real annoyance and seems to have occurred in every version of Windows back to 98. I've used the Create Restore Point feature, but this is a huge hassle if youve got to do it repeatedly. And since the rearranging seems to happen without any precipitating factors I can determine, you'd almost have to create a restore point daily.

By the way, when I check "screen resolution" by right-clicking the desktop, the monitor name and resolution all appear the same as always. I know that occasionally on reboot the system finds "generic pnp monitor" in place of the actually monitor brand, but this doesnt seem to be a factor in my situation.

Thanks to all those who take the time to offer help on these pages.

.......

securityguy answers ...

.......

Sorry I didn't get back on this, I wasn't getting the alerts about the thread that I was supposed to. for the part about adding "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00", that was just to say that it has to be included along with the rest, it has to be on the registry file created, by copying then pasting what I have there to notepad, for it to be recognized as a registry file.

.......

then the following posts thanking securityguy14 ...

.......

GENIUS.... Thank You sir, I will install the new registry key on all work computers.

What a lifesaver. Thanks securityguy.

.......

I can confirm for you that securityguys first answer does indeed work fine with no problems. The registry edit he suggested works fine.... just make sure you write it out without the spaces between the "windows registery edit" starts. as in it should look like

windows....

[HKEY...

and not

........Windows...

[HKEY..

so no space between the side of the document and and the first text... (no tab space)

or else when you go to merge it, it wont work. (wont do anything bad, just says it cant be merged)... thats the problem i had with it.... but i can confirm it does work... thanks securityguy

.......

The solution posted by securityguy14 worked for me, also.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

"NoSaveSettings"=hex(3):00,00,00,00

To be safe, I exported HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ and called it noSaveSettingsRestore.reg

.......

OK. SecurityGuy 14's Solution as Implement by me and a couple of others REALLY works in Windows 7 Professional

In regedit go to [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

Then create Key "Explorer"

Add new DWORD value "NoSaveSettings" and set to 0

Now Reboot and the problem was solved for us.

.......

Security Guy's fix works great in Windows XP Ver 2002. Many thanks for ending a very annoying problem.

.......

It seems you guys are talking about three different things. The main question is how to make it where your icon positions will be saved, and will still be exactly where you left them when you reboot. That is the question Security Guy answered.

However, some people seem to be asking for the ability to make it where the icons cannot be moved. Some are okay with them being moved temporarily, while others aren't. Either way, you'd be best off looking for a third party solution. Just search the net for "lock desktop icons freeware."

Finally, some people are answering the question about locking the desktop itself. In other words, they are describing something like locking your cell phone, so that none of the buttons work, and you have to type a password to use it again. These are the people telling you to press Windows-L.

.......

Indeed there isn't. The best solution I've come up with to this issue is the following registry hack:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

"NoSaveSettings"=hex(3):00,00,00,00

That seems to have done the trick for me on both my Vista & Win 7 Machines.

.......

Wow Thanks for the great info and clear instructions. This has been driving me crazy for

a while.

.......

OK, that's all I got and I hope I don't "need" anymore and the icons never move again unless I move them.

thanks ...

.... Update ... I see after reading the forum again that I left out the last reply from securityguy14 so it is out of order but here it is:

What do you mean by "highlight desktop icons"? And, where is 'lock icons in place'? I just see 'lock web items in place'. I have tried all the suggestions except Security Guy's, and none work. If I change the size of icons in Appearance in Properties, all my icons move to the left. I enjoy changing my Desktop's appearance periodically, and also have my icons stay around the edge of the screen in groups where I can find one quickly. Doesn't appear to be possible on XP? Thanks.

securityguy14:

Actually it is possible to have Windows XP to save the position of the icons, the registry edit that I listed above tells the system to save the placement of icons.

....

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In answer to duffy98's question: yes, it's OK to quote other forums or provide links to other forums or both, as long as one is no pointing to or quoting anything that violates our rules. In other words, bphlpt's interpretation of the rules is correct. I have, however, edited somewhat duffy98's post just to show how to indicate clearly that something is a quote. I may have overdone it, so duffy98 may want to re-edit the post, and is, of course, free to do so.

Now, as to using the NoSaveSettings as a general solution, I do think it's an overkill. When you set it, no seettings whatever, including windows sizes and positions, or any other tweak one may do, gets saved. To fight the icon layout haphazard changes, I still think the Midiox Desktop Restore is a more commensurate solution. That's just my 2¢, though.

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Thanks dencorso for doing the editing ... I don't mind at all, it looks a lot neater. I have that program also installed Desktop Restore 1.6.3 and I just noticed the TIP that the author provides at his site.

TIP: Even with Desktop restore installed, does Windows seem to scramble your icons now every time you reboot, or press F5 to refresh? If so, after you restore your icons the way you want them, manually move one icon a space or two over and then move it back. After that Windows should remember their placement for a much longer time.

... after my last post and after two days of the Desktop Icons staying in place, they did shuffle around when I opened XMPlay and went to the Integration tab to set "Associated filetypes" of music to play ... as soon as I hit the Apply button ... the Desktop Icons shuffled to the old positions. I just now tried the author's tip of "manually move one icon a space or two over and then move it back ... that seems to be working ... when I hit F5 now the icons do no move but before every time I would hit F5, the icons would change position. Maybe this will work after all. I will keep "icon watch" for the next few weeks and have my fingers crossed.

thanks ...

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This question is for dencorso ... when I was playing around with XP last year I posted about Desktop icons not staying in place or rearranging at different times. You posted about midiox desktop restore (Desktop Icon Save and Restore 1.6.3) at that time and I went and downloaded it ... but I didn't seem to get it working right or something and got frustrated and just decided to stay with Windows 98SE. However, because of my WiFi problems occurring with these IBM Thinkpads, which is now a thing of the past with XP installed, I am staying the course this time with XP.

As I said earlier, I have three Desktop icon restore programs on my machine, counting Desktop Restore 1.6.3 and they do the job when the icons shuffle around. I would like to know the settings that you use for Desktop Icon Restore 1.6.3 on your computers. When I read the information at the web page, I'm not sure if I am reading what I think I'm reading. Will the program automatically put the icons back in order "without" any input from me? In other wards, everytime the icons move, Desktop Icon Save and Restore will in a split second restore the icons on its own? Am I understanding this right?

Here's what I have under "Custom Layout Save/Restore" ... I have my icon layout saved and then there are three boxes to check or leave unchecked at the bottom. I have the bottom line checked ... Display Only Custom Menu on Desktop and nothing else checked. Is this how you have your system set up? This looks like a very good program that should work but I may not have the settings just right.

... I said earlier that this question was for dencorso, since he recommends this program and uses it but input from anyone is also welcome.

thanks ...

Edited by duffy98
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@duffy98: I shall answer your questions shortly. Right now I've just done a major thread surgery, to keep things in their proper threads, and I have no time left to write you a proper reply.

@everybody: Please let's continue the discussion about Icon desktop layout restoration here in this thread, OK? Thanks!

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