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I Have No Desktop ICONS!

Icons are the little images that represent a program shortcut on the desktop...

That's neat, how did you do that?

A virus eat your icons you say?

Well other than having a very clean desktop it does make doing something's a little difficult, no?

Ok, enough kidding around with this guy's problem.

If you suspect a virus cleaned off your desktop the first step is to get rid of the virus.

Always clean viruses from the Safe Mode, most virus attach themselves to a program or a service and Safe Mode does not start very many services and no programs when it starts.

The easiest way is to log on with a different ID than the one with the missing IMAGES, it must have Administrator rights.

Next you need to figure out how to get them back.

Once you have logged on are the images on the desktop?

No, well the bad news is you will have to reload the OS because the virus has really made a mess of the registry.

Yes, then proceed.

If you have images on the desktop you need to save some of the missing ICON ID's files.

The easiest way to do this is with Explorer, open two instances of Explorer.

In one go to another drive (if you have multiple drives in your computer) and make a new directory, call it what you want.

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If you only have one drive then under the ROOT of the drive create a new directory, call it what you want.

In the other Explorer open the affected ID under Users (Vista/Windows 7) or Documents and Settings (all others), in the right window highlight then copy the following folders to the new directory:

  • Desktop  (if the desktop has been customized)
  • Favorites
  • My Documents
  • Application Data - Any special settings for games or programs, you could just copy the complete folder.
  • Local Settings - Any special settings for games or programs, you could just copy the complete folder

Once you have saved the affected ID's data then go to the Properties of My Computer or System Properties from the Control Panel.

On the Advanced tab go to the "User Profiles" click the "Settings" button

In the new window you will see all the user ID's that have logged on to the computer in the white box.

Select the user ID that is affected and select Delete. Confirm the deletion.

Log off, then log on with the affected ID.

All the images back? If so copy the saved data back to the User's ID.

There is a couple of things about this procedure:

  • Any customization such as the desktop or screen saver will be lost.
  • Any custom programs or games the saved data will be lost, open the program and set it up the way you want it again.


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Author of this web site: Monte Russell


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If all the ICONS are still missing you will need to reload the OS, if it was a virus you didn't remove it all the way (see the  Self Computer Repair Unleashed 2nd Edition Manual for instruction on cleaning a virus from your computer!)





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