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  1. #1
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    Strange Win7 desktop/shortcut problem - need true expert advice please

    Helping a friend with a very odd problem and am totally stumped so looking for suggestions. Here's the issue - this guy keeps on his laptop (Win 7 64) a desktop populated with about 40 internet shortcuts. The issue is that - on system start, if any desktop shortcut is doubleclicked the shortcut closest to the bottom right of the screen will actually open. If the webpage associated with the bottom right shortcut is closed, MOST of the time clicking the original shortcut will lead to the correct webpage, but sometimes it takes several tries. After the problem corrects itself, usually after closing the wrong web page and trying again, but sometimes only after multiple tries, shortcuts open the correct webpage until the computer is restarted again.

    If I take the bulk of the shortcuts off the desktop, clicking on an interior shortcut will activate the lowest right icon on the desktop regardless of whether it's an internet shortcut or some other type.

    So - steps I have taken. First, checking for malware - system is totally clean. Secondly - troubleshooted as many different things as I could, including removing most of the shortcuts from the desktop, resetting all file associations to defaults, a few registry edits I found online to fix odd issues, uninstalling recent updates (he said the problem began with SP1), switching to Firefox, running a Windows Fixit for the desktop, creating a new desktop and moving his stuff there, etc. None of which fixed the issue.

    So - I decided to back him up and reinstall Windows. I made a system image of his current configuration, created a normal Windows backup and also one using Windows Easy Transfer. Reinstalled Windows using the factory image on his system, restored his data using the Easy Transfer backup - and problem came back with his settings!

    ARRRGH - I am stumped, I can find nobody else with this same issue on the web no matter how I try to search, I don't want to have to do another factory restore and lose all his settings (it's a big enough pain in the neck to reinstall all his software and do all the updates, which are only partially done at this point). What I would most prefer would be someone who knows what the heck the problem is, how to fix it, and then I can restore the original system image and make the problem go away
    Last edited by jrmarto; 2011-06-10 at 19:47.

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Attachment 28284
    Hi jrmato,
    Would it not be easier saving the internet shortcuts as 'Bookmarks / Favourites'
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
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    Can you create a different user profile and then test shortcuts in the new profile?

    Joe

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Can you create a different user profile and then test shortcuts in the new profile?

    Joe
    I tried that already and the problem migrated over when I copied his desktop shortcuts to the new profile. It's a pain in the neck to test as it only happens on a fresh restart and even then it doesn't seem to happen on every single one, in other words I have thought I had it licked and then all of a sudden it starts happening again. When the problem occurs clicking on the original shortcut actually highlights the lowest righthanded shortcut immediately, and that shortcut will stay highlighted until it has opened and then been closed. Even clicking on other icons, or on other parts of the desktop, will not eliminate the highlighting of the wrong target shortcut, if that makes any sense.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Run sfc /scannow
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Run sfc /scannow
    That was one of the earliest things I tried, along with chkdsk /r, a complete hardware diagnostics check, and using the various Windows 7 troubleshooters and Fix-it's. None of those things worked before I reinstalled Windows, so I doubt they are going to help after a clean factory reinstall.

    I actually really know what I am doing and am stumped here. Does anybody with a truly deep knowledge of Windows have any suggestions?

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if this could be a hardware problem, perhaps a graphics card. I know it does not seem likely, but who knows. I would perhaps try new drivers for the graphics card and see what happens.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I'm wondering if this could be a hardware problem, perhaps a graphics card. I know it does not seem likely, but who knows. I would perhaps try new drivers for the graphics card and see what happens.
    Will try that, thanks, and let you know. I actually have about given up - put the system back to where it started with the image backup I made prior to the factory restore as a system that doesn't work but has all the user's applications in place is better than a system that doesn't work but needs all the applications reinstalled. Sigh - this has been really frustrating . . .

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Is it a generic mouse, or a mouse with extra buttons? Are the drivers generic, or specific for the mouse? It appears that the desktop doesn't know where the cursor is located.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Is it a generic mouse, or a mouse with extra buttons? Are the drivers generic, or specific for the mouse? It appears that the desktop doesn't know where the cursor is located.
    That's a good thought, but it's a laptop. I have tried using the built-in touchpad, and I have tried using a USB mouse, with no difference. I've checked the manufacturer's website (it's a Toshiba, not my favorite, but not my choice) for updated drivers and all is up to date. The system worked fine until about a week ago when the owner installed IE 9 and SP1, but uninstalling them didn't solve it, nor did a full factory restore after I retored his personal data and settings. It's got to be something somewhere in his settings but I can't figure out what the heck it could be. I mean - seriously - I did a factory restore and all was fine. Then I restored his data and settings via a Windows Easy Transfer file I had saved on a hard drive as a backup - and the problem recurred. Short of telling him he has to do a factory restore and then forget any idea of customizing the computer to work the way he wants it too I don't know what to do.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I agree that it must be something in his personal settings that got corrupted at some point. Using Windows Easy Transfer wizard is just rebuilding the corrupted settings.

    I would suggest a repair/reinstall, and then a rebuild (yes, painful as it sounds) of all his personal settings, rather than the transfer wizard. This would entail making a text note of all the settings he is used to, and going by that to rebuild his profile.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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