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Tech: Icons Disappeared! Dead in the Water!

Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 12 - 08:37 PM
Bill D 07 Jan 12 - 08:45 PM
artbrooks 07 Jan 12 - 08:55 PM
JudyB 07 Jan 12 - 08:59 PM
Bill D 07 Jan 12 - 09:23 PM
Bert 08 Jan 12 - 12:59 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Grishka 08 Jan 12 - 06:04 PM
Nick 08 Jan 12 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Grishka 09 Jan 12 - 04:46 AM
Bill D 09 Jan 12 - 09:51 AM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Jan 12 - 11:47 AM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 12 - 11:56 AM
Bill D 09 Jan 12 - 12:00 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 12 - 12:09 PM
sleepyjon 09 Jan 12 - 06:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Jan 12 - 09:00 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 12 - 09:28 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 12 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Uncle_DaveO 10 Jan 12 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,olddude 10 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Jan 12 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,olddude 10 Jan 12 - 08:58 PM
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Subject: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 08:37 PM

I have got real and puzzling and crippling computer problems!   I am hoping that one or more of the peerless Mudcat computer gurus can assist me.

I run on Windows XP Pro.

A day or so ago I installed the UNIBLUE SYSTEM TWEAKER, and in the
process made some setting changes, the details of which I forget, but
I didn't think there was anything harmful in what was offered and I accepted.

I did have the Uniblue program install what I think was called a refresh point, or something to that effect.

Soon (right away?) after that install, looking at the desktop, I saw that there were far fewer icons visible than expected. I found that the icons for the following were missing, and I find no way to run any of them, although I KNOW they are still in the system. At least some portions of Norton 360 operate automatically, and evidently run system checkups, and let me know when there is high usage of memory. And the ADD/REMOVE facility show all of these listed programs present.

Missing Icons:
ADOBE READER
MOZILLA FIREFOX
QUICKEN DELUXE 2011
REGISTRY MECHANIC 10.00
NUANCE PDF READER
NORTON 360 PREMIER
OPENOFFICE.ORG 3.3
TOTAL ECLIPSE <----- EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ME!
UNIBLUE SYSTEM TWEAKER
WORD PERFECT OFFICE X3

While Mozilla Firefox has disappeared, Mozilla Thunderbird's
icon is still there, and working.

While NORTON 360 Premier doesn't show, its subsidiary, NORTON AUTODETECT, shows its icon on DESKTOP, and it appears to work. NORTON has given me a window saying that its idle time system checkup shows the computer in good shape.

Wanting to locate those programs, I went to START, thinking to
SEARCH for each of them. Oh, oh! The START/SEARCH function
doesn't have its icon there, nor does START/RUN appear!

Also, the START / ALL PROGRAMS list is very abbreviated, and
at least all of the above list are missing from the ALL PROGRAMS
listing.

I have reinstalled Firefox, Quicken, and OpenOffice, but their
icons don't show up on DESKTOP. I have to grit my teeth
and use Internet Explorer, though I hate it.

PLEASE, PLEASE, can some one of you geniuses guide me on this?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 08:45 PM

Try right clicking on the desktop, selecting 'new', then 'shortcut', and browsing to where the program is located..(in 'program files' probably).
Then select the executable..(it should show you the icon you are looking for). Tell it OK, and see if it puts that icon on the desktop.

One can also go to Explorer (or even better file managers) and create shortcuts withing the folder, and drag them to the desk to.


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 08:55 PM

Unless you REALLY REALLY want that program, I'd run System Restore to a point before you installed it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JudyB
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 08:59 PM

Is there a folder on your desktop you don't recognize? Windows often tries to "help" you keep things neat by removing icons you haven't used lately - but generally stores them in a file called something like Unused Shortcuts - but I don't think it's quite that easy. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 09:23 PM

ummm... *I* use a free program called Iconoid, which allows YOU to control icon behavior and remembers where they are and their exact positions. (Even my icons get accidentally moved about occasionally, and Iconoid will restore them with one click)


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 12:59 AM

I have found that Windows 7 consistently removes icons without reason or without asking. If I didn't have a program that only runs on Windows, then I wouldn't use the crappy operating system at all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM

Acting on Bill D's advice, I was able to recreate the icons necessary to run all but one of the affected programs. Thanx, Bill!

The one exception is Norton 360, because I've not been able to identify the appropriate program file.


HOWSOMEVER, I still have the problem of missing functions in START, viz. SEARCH and RUN. I use SEARCH fairly frequently, so its absence may be a severe pain in the neck. But I use RUN rarely.

In addition to that, the program list provided by START/ALL PROGRAMS is still limited to nine entries, mostly Microsoft programs which are built into Windows XP PRO. Any ideas?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 06:04 PM

I have no idea, but Google brought up
Uniblue System Tweaker is a simple utility consisting mostly of system tweaks that allow showing or hiding Windows objects and features.
My first guess: Your icons are such objects, and Uniblue hid them.

Installing things again won't help. Until you manage to convince Uniblue to change its rude behaviour, use the Windows Explorer, click through the folder symbols until you find something ending with ".exe" or declared of type "Application".


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Nick
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 06:26 PM

The following might repeat might be relevant but might not so approach with caution as you may have something completely different.

Unhide.exe and what it does


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 04:46 AM

I googled for some more ten minutes, and found that Uniblue System Tweaker is known to shoot down anything in the Registry it cannot get its small brain around.

As artbrook recommended above, I would try to restore the system. Since I am nothing of an expert, you may ask artbrook to kindly explain.

Unhide.exe sounds like yet another of the frauds it pretends to fight.


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 09:51 AM

Dave... if 'settings' is still there under 'start', try going to 'taskbar & start menu', because there are 2 possible ways it will display....either regular or 'classic'. That gives you different menu options.


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 11:47 AM

Bill D:

Under START, no SETTINGS, I'm sorry to say.


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 11:56 AM

Many of the highly touted "tweaker" and "cleanup" programs do things similar to what is described, without explanation of what they're doing and with unexpected results. For this reason, Microsoft recommends that you DO NOT USE THEM, with the exception of a very limited list of "approved" ones that you may find suggested for specific problems.

If you right click on an empty place on the Desktop, one of the options should be "View" where you can click to "show desktop icons" or "hide desktop icons." Clicking "hide" will remove all of them from view, but does not delete any of them. Clicking "show" should bring them all back.

Recollection is that WinXP had a utility called "desktop cleanup" or something similar that would automatically remove any icons that you haven't clicked recently. I don't find it in Vista or Win7 (although both have similarly annoying features) but don't have a WinXP machine to look at. You could run a "one time" cleanup, or you could turn it on so that things disappeared at random, whenever the utility decides you haven't used one. There was no explanation that I can recall of what the utility defined as "recently."

From memory, I believe that the utility included a "Restore icons," but again I don't have a system running where I can check what was there. It may have created a folder called "Shortcuts," probably under your username, where it kept copies of all the shortcuts on the desktop, and if you can find anything of that sort you could just drag copies of the ones you want back onto the desktop. You might also find some of your icons still in a folder named "Desktop" under your username, where some of the "disappeard" shortcuts might still be present.

Your "optimizer" program may have completely removed the shortcuts that disappeared, and if it did so you'll need to recreate them. Just right click on the file and either "send to desktop" or "create shortcut" and then drag (or Ctl-C/Ctl-V) the shortcut out onto the desktop, as you've obviously figured out.

Norton is a special problem, because it can be difficult to identify the correct file to link to. There should be a Norton folder in C:\Program Files, and examples I have handy indicate the shortcut should be to an "exe" file, but there probably are several in the folder. In Windows Explorer, if you right click on the top bar, you should get a "More" option where you can choose what columns are displayed. If you add "file type" (if you don't already have it displayed) and then click that button on the top bar, everything will be sorted so that all the .exe files appear together. You could then create desktop shortcuts to each of the .exe files, and then click each in turn on the desktop. Delete the ones that don't do something useful and you should end up with the one you want. (I'm using NIS rather than 360, but my desktop shortcut is to "C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\18.6.0.29\uiStub.exe" and yours may be similar, if not identical.) Since Norton often "upgrades" you if you continue a subscription, you may not be using the same-named version you installed originally.

A better approach might be to go to the Norton/Symantec website and find the "live support" button where an assistant (a real person)will "discuss" the problem with you in real-time via an emailish connection. (You do need to install a utility for the connection, that allows the assistant to access your computer, but the utility disappears when you exit the connection. You have to reinstall each time you use the method.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 12:00 PM

You should still be able to access it in "control panel" That, at least, should show under 'start'. Then 'taskbar & start menu'


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 12:09 PM

I cross-posted with DaveO. If there's no "Settings" option on the start menu, you may need to go to Control Panel. The same choices should be there, but I can't say where in Control Panel they'll be.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: sleepyjon
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 06:49 PM

As you haven't got a definite answer yet (even from the redoubtable JohnInKansas) I'll tentatively suggest this: I lost most of the icons in the System Tray (?Notification Area - I'm not too hot on the nomenclature) and Google revealed the suggestion that it's all down to rushing poor old aging XP when it's just getting itself going. When you start up - and maybe it's only specifically if you have a password-protected user - don't attempt to log in until initial start-up activity subsides and the machine is idle (or if your hardware is too good to make that apparent wait at least a minute,) then after log-in don't do anything else until all the icons have appeared. Sounds crazy, but it works for me. I've taken to Hibernating instead of Closing Down when I know that I'll want to get started in a hurry in the morning!

SJ


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 09:00 PM

YIPPEE! John in Kansas, you are a gentleman and a scholar!

I had tried (I thought) everything else, and was about to call Norton again, although I had not previously been able to get a human being. I looked again at your long post above, and to make a long story short(er), uiSTUB.exe is the answer.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 09:28 PM

WinXP has also had a problem with Hibernation and/or sleep. There were reports that this feature was fixed with one of the updates, but scattered reports appeared after the fix should have been installed. A similar behavior probably appeared in Win98, but was less of an issue, possibly because it was still fairly common to use old-fashioned serial mouse connection.

The usual behavior was that if the mouse was moved while the machine was entering sleep or hibernation, the USB setup for the mouse, and possibly for the keyboard if it was also a USB type, was not recovered when the machine came out of sleep/hibernation.

Microsoft's first advice was "If the machine starts to enter sleep, let go of the mouse and take three steps backward until the machine completes the process," but they did later announce that the problem was "fixed." Some people have believed that it was solved.

All versions, from WinXP through Win7 have an opposite problem with external USB storage, if the drive is formatted NTFS as recommended. NTFS immediately updates the same information recorded in the root folder on a FAT32 drive when files are moved, deleted, or added, but on an NTFS formatted drive a bunch of additional information is added in the root folder "as processing time is available" after the initial file changes. This can result in a refusal of the computer to "release" the external USB device for disconnect until this "background" activity is at least partially completed.

If you do a normal shutdown of the machine, and disconnect the drive after shutdown is complete and before restarting, the normal shutdown isn't significantly delayed, and the background update will resume when you reconnect the drive the next time, but letting it finish can take a rather long time (as in "four days" in one case where I moved about 350 GB of files onto a backup drive in one XCOPY transfer in Vista.)

If an external USB device is a storage kind (a hard drive usually) formatted NTFS this is the likely reason for the "safely disconnect" utility to refuse to agree with disconnecting. The other common reason is leaving Windows Explorer (or a command prompt window) "pointing" to something on the drive when you try to disconnect, and there are a few programs that don't properly "release" a file when the file is closed. (PhotoShop Elements (in the obsolete version I still use), as a specific case, usually must be exited if you've used it to edit any file on an external USB drive, before you can get permission to disconnect the drive.)

All Operating Systems have these kinds of peculiar "features," but you often don't feel the need to figure out what caused "little problems" that only happen at infrequent (often random) times.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 09:33 PM

DaveO keeps cross posting with me. ....

I suspected that the "ui" might possibly stand for "user interface" or something similar, especially for something designated as a "stub." Norton has used some other extremely "creative" names, so it's usually pretty much a guessing game without their help, if you don't want to just reinstall and let the installer take care of making the icon.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: GUEST,Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 09:53 AM

I do still have the problem with the START display. No SEARCH, no RUN.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM

that's a virus, it has a lot of names but mostly prettypair or something like that.   Run a full virus scan then do this. I had the same darn thing

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310585


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 12:42 PM

olddude -

I don't see any indication that the KB article linked is applicable to the problem here. It addresses something else.

The most likely problem here is that the "optimizer" program that was run decided that the missing programs weren't important enough, and deleted them from the Start Menu.

Somewhere on the C:\ drive there is a folder called "Start," and shortcuts in that folder are what tells the Start Menu what to display. It's probably not easy to find, and probably is a Hidden + System File that won't display without playing fancy tricks (possibly requiring log on as Administrator just to see). If you really want to see the folder, I suspect that in WinXP it's somewhere under the username, since different users can see different menus if the user has added programs that haven't been shared, although it could be in C:\Windows or something similar.

The recommended method for tweaking it is in Control Panel, but I don't recall what name was used for the applicable section in WinXP. In Vista, it's at "Taskbar and Start Menu." If you can find the right place, you should find a "Customize" or something similar, probably with an "Advanced" button to click, and if you drill in far enough you should find a place to "Add Programs." When you click the Add button, you should find a "Browse" option where you can go to the program you want to add and "click it in" so that it will show in the Start Menu. Some versions of Windows have required a reboot before the change will show, but I think that probably was pre-XP(?).

In Vista, putting "Start Menu" in Help gets a Help item where there's a link to the place for doing it, but neither Help nor the place it takes you to tells you where you are when you get there.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but this is one of those places where Microsoft just says "ask your Administrator" and my Administrator is a little below par today.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: ICONS DISAPPEARED! Dead in the Water!
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 08:58 PM

John
as long as he is not getting the message about file32.vxd . The virus modifies the . shell in the registry. I had to remove the virus then edit the registry to fix it so it could run the .exe files again


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