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  1. #1
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    desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Ashamed to post this but ........

    As usual, I don't follow the rules so I can't tell you when this saga started. Current situation is as follows :

    I have a number of shortcut and folder icons on the desktop that I can't delete (file may be in use ......)
    I've tried safe mode etc etc but still can't get rid of the icons. Icon properties show no target file, and "not a valid shortcut"

    If I drag a valid, working icon into one of the duff folders on the desktop, that shortcut also loses it's target and becomes undeleteable

    I saved some Web pages on to the desktop yesterday, created a folder, and dragged the HTMLs into the new folder. They now can't be deleted either (and neither can the folder). I seem to be building up a whole desktop-full of duff icons and folders and I'd dearly like to be able to clear it up - any ideas ?

    This all started (I think) a shed-load of months ago after a Diskeeper defrag ... but I can't be sure, I'm sorry. I've lived with the slowly growing problem, but currently, I daren't modify any desktop icons (move 'em into a folder or whatever) because it's a cert that they'll become unmoveable and undeletable.

    I've seen reference to a file called ShellIconCache (or something similar) which recommended deletion (and the system auto-recreates) but I can't find that file anywhere on the system (yes, I show system files etc when searching and viewing) Anyway, I gather its deletion only fixes incorrect icon images, not the target data, and I'm having probs with folders as well.

    Whether it's relevant, I know not but after creating a new partition on my system disk (Partition Magic) the files I dragged into that became unuseable/unndeletable

    System is an Athlon XP1700 running fully patched WinXP Home, up-to-date A/v software, regular checks with AdAware etc. 520 Mb memory, system disk 80 Gb with shed-loads of free space, data disk 80 Gb about 50% full. Unfortunately I didn't do "the sensible thing" when installing the setup, so Programme Files are on the main system disk instead of a separate partition.

    Is it worth grabbing the bull by the horns, and reinstalling after fdisk (I have <most> of updates etc stored on CD and/or the data disk) ??

    Not at my home PC at the moment, but if there's any info you need to help me, I'll be delighted to dig it off the home machine, and I'll be even more delighted that someone takes an interest (between guffaws) in my problem

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Have you run a thorough CHKDSK on your hard drive to ensure that there are no errors? You can execute this by entering Start - Run - CMD and then in the command box entering <code>chkdsk {drive} /R</code> - you should get a prompt that the system cannot obtain exclusive access to the drive and a prompt to do it on restart. Make sure you do this for all partitions/drive letters you have.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Hya : yup, both drives, all partitions

  4. #4
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Is the user you are logged on with an administrator? Have you tried deleting them with Windows Explorer? Cocuments and SettingsuseridDesktop or Cocuments and SettingsAll UsersDesktop.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Yes, I have full Admin rights. Tried deleting by right-click, also deleting through explorer docs&settingsuseriddesktop : same results (can't delete - may be in use)

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    I'd try taking a look at the files with Process Explorer and see if you can determine what, if any, process has them held open.
    -Mark

  7. #7
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    You can try these steps. Start Task Manager. Then open a command window - Start | Run | cmd.exe. Stop all running programs except the command window. Using task manager terminate explorer.exe. Then in the command window navigate to the desktop folder that contains the shortcuts/folders. You shuld be able to use 'del' to delete the files in the command window. Then you can use task manager - File | New task to restart explorer.exe. It may just be easier to re-boot to get all the background stuff running again.

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Thanks - I'll give it a whirl (downloaded now) but it doesn't address the primary problem that the shortcuts are losing their targets, and becoming "not valid shortcuts" with scary regularity (whenever they're moved etc). I'll try the Process Explorer tonight (if the missus gives me a chance)

  9. #9
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Thanks Wylly. Tried to use Process Explorer last night but couldn't fathom out how to "look at the files". I'll revisit it asap

  10. #10
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    mmm .... I'd seen that trick before and tried it - still no joy but thanks

  11. #11
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Don't know if it'll help, but attached are typical dialogues I'm getting :

  12. #12
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    and another

  13. #13
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    And the last (I couldn't see a way of entering all three at once, sorry)

  14. #14
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    Re: desktop problem (XP SP1A)

    Bryan,
    When you used safe mode did you login as Administrator - the built-in id not just your user with admin rights? Have you tried an XP repair install?

    Joe
    Joe

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