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monroe

Desktop Icon Order Keeps Changing

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Understand ... at your convenience and time. I have two computers that are OK, seem to be perfect for that final Ghost backup but the third is "one stubborn computer" ... the desktop icons refuse to stay in the order that I want them. I continue to hit "F5" and they continue to shuffle around. I have all three notbooks set up the same way ... same software, same everything. I will continue being stubborn also and keep putting the icons back to the way I want them ... hopefully the settings will finally "hold" in the next few days or so. ... human vs computer ! ... I 'm not even 100% sure the other two computers are good to go, they seem to be for now ... I hit "F5" and the icons don't shuffle around. I guess after a few weeks I will know better with those two. That "F5" is an IBM thing only for the desktop icon order, don't think that is a standard on all computers, not real sure.

thanks ...

OK, I just noticed what you did in bringing the "old and newer" threads together in dealing with this subject. I knew about the older thread but it was under "Windows 2000", if I remember correctly, ... and there was a newer one under Windows XP already started ... reading parts of the older thread brings back a few things I didn't completely understand ... working with the command-line version and getting everything fully correct. I will look that over again.

Update ... seem to have the third Thinkpad holding the icon order. Worked with putting the icons back in order for about 45 minutes ... did a few reboots and the "F5" key no longer shuffles the icons around. I have "Display Only Custom Menu on Desktop" checked under "Custom Layout Save/Restore" in Desktop Restore 1.6.3. Again, time will tell if this will hold permanently on all three notebooks.

Edited by duffy98
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That "F5" is an IBM thing only for the desktop icon order, don't think that is a standard on all computers, not real sure.

F5 is a window thing, not really an IBM thing.

Just like to point out an alternative utility, DesktopOK

It doesn't save info in reg. It saves in .ini file and you can save multiple position type if you wish.

It does not have command line that restore quickly. But I made an unattended addon which includes

an autoitscript to automatically restore your position quickly. (addon here)

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Thanks Geej for the information on DesktopOK ... I downloaded it and also your DesktopOK233_INF_Addon cab file. I will experiment with them this week-end. So far my desktop icons are holding in place ... they "flicker" a lot but are not shuffling around. The flickering is annoying at times and I will look into that later on to see if that is just a "normal" XP thing ... just happy the icons are staying place.

Thanks for clearing that up about "F5" being a Windows Standard thing ... I only have three T series IBM notebooks at hand so I just wasn't sure about other computers.

That DesktopOK program looks interesting ... good to have all these programs handy to get to in a hurry. I see it also works with Windows 98.

thanks again for the input ...

Edited by duffy98
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Here's something for you. I'll post about my detailed configuration next: How to restore the saved desktop layout at every logon.

With desktop restore installed plain-vanilla, arrange the desktop to your satisfaction, then right-click on the desktop and select "Save Desktop", and this'll cause it to store what it calls "Default_Layout".

Now copy the command line version of Desktop Restore, named "DesktopCmd.exe", to c:\windows/system32.

Then right-click on the desktop, select "New", then "Shortcut" and give the wizard the following command-line:

%windir%\system32\DesktopCmd.exe Restore /n Default_Layout /y

And it'll create a shortcut named "DesktopCmd.exe" on the desktop. Rename it to "RestoreOrder", drag it and drop it onto the "Start" menu, then delete it from the desktop.

Now, click on the "Start" button, locate "RestoreOrder", drag it onto programs, "Startup" folder.

From now on, each time windows starts, DesktopCmd will run and restore the order you've saved, no matter whether it has been messed up or not.

Just do not forget to "Save Desktop" each time you make a change in layout that you want to stick.

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dencorso ... thanks for the "detailed" instructions for setting up Desktop Restore, that's what I needed ... never could have figured that all out. I will probably just continue to work with this program since you recommend it and everything stays in place once it's configured. These little XP "annoyances" are slowly going away, one by one.

thanks ...

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Some additional relevant info:

The desktop layout(s) are kept in the Registry, under the key "[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JOConnell]"

And, now, here are the promised screenshots:

post-134642-0-00635000-1338088501_thumb. post-134642-0-71303000-1338088515_thumb.

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OK ... thanks for the screenshots ... I will be experimenting with DR shortly.

Update ... OK not sure this is working ... followed all your directions and the old icon pattern (which I hadn't seen for a few days) made an appearance ... but it has not come back. However, I did "purposely" move a few icons out of order then rebooted the computer and the icons were still in that order when the computer fully booted ... they didn't change back to the way I want them ...

In your earlier directions when you said "With desktop restore installed plain-vanilla" ... I took that to mean no check marks on the Custom Layout Save/Restore page but in your screen shot there is a check mark in the 2nd box down ... Force Unmatched Icons to be Visible on the Main Screen ... I didn't put any check marks in any of those three boxes but I was wondering if a check mark should be in the third box down : Display Only Custom Menu on Desktop? As you said "plain-vanilla" ... I just installed DR and did a "Save Desktop" and went from there ... everything was clear and went smooth.

thanks ...

Edited by duffy98
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Here's the steps to using LAYOUT.DLL successfully. It works for (ALL) versions of Windows.

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD
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With help from dencorso in the Windows 2000 forum, I found this small help article early today and applied it to my Windows 2000 notebook and one XP notebook. Everything is staying exactly the way I want things to stay. I'm going this route with all my computers if this fix continues to work over the next few days. I had everything changing on the Windows 2000 notebook and everything is in place since the fix was applied.

Solution: Windows Desktop Does Not Save User Customized Settings

http://www.askvg.com/solution-windows-desktop-does-not-save-user-customized-settings/

Sometimes people face a problem in Windows when Windows doesn't remember their customization settings on Desktop and taskbar, like icons positions, toolbars positions, taskbar position, etc.

Recently I got a similar mail from a visitor "Onie Ward":

I downloaded something called Vista Customization Pack.

I've tried to uninstall this program (I'm on Windows XP) and it seems to have worked, EXCEPT that every time I login, my icons all line up on the left hand side of the page. I move them back to where I want them, but every login...moved. It all started when I installed Vista Customization Pack. I've emailed them, but haven't heard back.

Can you help?? Thanks.

So if you are also facing such problem, then this tutorial will help you in fixing the issue:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now check for a DWORD value "NoSaveSettings" in right-side pane under following keys:

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

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions

The DWORD value could be present in any of above mentioned locations, most probably in the last one.

2. Once you find the DWORD value, delete it and restart your system. It'll solve your problem and Windows will remember your desktop settings.

...

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Well the Desktop icon problem is back after two days of no movement ... also the "nosavesettings" DWORD is back in my registry .... as fast as I delete it ... it pops right back in ... I've deleted it seven times and it just keeps coming back. There is one change that I did and maybe those of you who understand XP can explain if there might be a connection. I had been having CCleaner clean out the "Prefetch" folder when I would run it for general cleaning. Then I read where it might be better to let the Prefetch folder alone and it will clean itself out after 128 items build in the folder. As soon as I quit cleaning the Prefetch folder the Desktop icons went back to the exact same order that I don't like. I have no idea where that icon order came from, I never had the Desktop icons in that order. Could there be a connection with the icon problem and the Prefetch folder? If there is a connection, why would the "nosavesettings" DWORD suddenly keep going back into the registry as fast as I delete it? I will put everything back later today, I have no time now ... just went to test the WiFi to make my final Ghost backup and then the icon problem comes back.

Is there a "secret registry" backup hidden somewhere in XP that Windows makes and NO changes can ever be made to the registry for "certain" items ... I had hoped the problem was fixed and it seems to be fixed if I can keep the "nosavesettings" out of the registry. How can I take complete control over XP and find the "secret" registry backup or whatever is causing this to occur? I ask that because I just read a few days ago that the reason XP is so large is because there is an exact duplicate of every file, folder ... everything that is hidden in the XP OS on the computer ... if that is indeed true, then there must be an exact copy of the registry somewhere that I will have to find and get the "nosavesettings" out of and then out of the registry that I am able to see. This is getting really murky and sinister ... XP and the hidden XP !!!

thanks ...

Edited by duffy98
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NoSaveSettings=0 is OK; NoSaveSettings=1 is a problem. Which value does NoSaveSettings have when it reappears?

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@PROBLEMCHYLD -

Where do you do Step#3?

I also note that "Safe Mode" has a tendency to "hose" the Layouts due to different size screen. (A/L in 98SE, so you have to put them all back - EVEN USING STEPS 1+2!)

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OK ... I have been trying more ideas from the web ... searching around on Google I am amazed at how many others are looking for a solution for Desktop icons staying in place, all the way into Windows 7. I can't understand why MS has never fixed this annoying problem or offered a simple solution that works for the masses.

Anyway ... PROBLEMCHYLD, I have LAYOUT.DLL installed and will give it a try. When you posted your information, I had just found that info about deleting "nosavesettings" from the registry and that would solve the problem. Out of the four registry entries that were listed, I found the "nosavesettings" DWORD in two of them on all four of my notebooks ... three Thinkpads with XP and one Dell (P3) with Windows 2000. I had no idea the registry settings would just automatically come back ... again on Google yesterday, I saw hundreds of questions dealing with "nosavesettings" always coming back after being deleted. .... getting back to your post PROBLEMCHYLD ... I was hesitant to follow your instructions because a few days before I decided to see what Align to Grid would actually do. I like my Desktop icons small so that I only have two columns on the left side of my screen and not three or four. When I hit "Align to Grid", the icons changed (as I remember) and I could not get them back to the exact way I had them ... worked with everything for some time and finally just gave up and used my Ghost backup to get things fixed. I will try it again to see what changes again.These are the settings that I use for my Desktop icons ... Icon size: 17 ... Font size: 7 ... Icon Spacing (Hor): 55 ... Icon Spacing (Ver): 45

densorso, the "nosavesettings" always seem to come back at this entry: HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions ... nosavesettings 0x00000000 (0) . So you say (0) is OK ... but why when something is deleted, OK or not ... does it come back? I sort of "joked around" earlier about a "hidden registry" backup somewhere in XP that will prevent certain registry items from ever being deleted. Could there really be a hidden registry somewhere replacing certain items if they are deleted? This just seems so complicated, people just simply wanting their Desktop icons to remain in the order that they would like them to be, day after day ... month after month.

I also tried your instructions for Desktop Restore and it didn't seem to work for me, I also said I moved a few icons around to see if they would go back into place after a reboot, they did not. I will try it again later, maybe I missed something. Perhaps it's because I have my icons smaller with the column Hor and Ver adjustments. I just like a smaller, tighter column of icons.

Must be a simple desktop lock or something somewhere ... and old forgotten program.

I had deleted that registry entry again before I got online ... just checked the registry again, as I'm typing this, and it was back once more. I will just forget about it and accept the fact that it cannot be deleted ... if a 0 is OK then so be it ... but I am going to continue to search around as to why that registry entry (or others) cannot be permanently deleted. Perhaps it falls under the Windows File Protection (WFP) idea somehow.

... I will also add, from my earlier post dealing with the Prefetch folder ... I put everything back the way I had it and the icons were still rearranging, so there is probably no connection with deleting or not deleting the contents of the Prefetch folder. Was just a coincidence I guess that the icon problem returned when I removed the "delete contents" step from CCleaner.

...

Edited by duffy98
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@PROBLEMCHYLD -

Where do you do Step#3?

I also note that "Safe Mode" has a tendency to "hose" the Layouts due to different size screen. (A/L in 98SE, so you have to put them all back - EVEN USING STEPS 1+2!)

As soon as you have all your icons in place. Align to Grid/Line Up Icons only place the icons neatly.

If you dont want them neatly then uncheck the option and follow the rest of the steps.

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Pardon, PROBLEMCHYLD... my confusion was in Step#3 which is within the "replaced" LAYOUT.DLL... My bad...

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