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Tech: Win 7 Disappearing Icons

JohnInKansas 07 Jul 12 - 04:31 PM
GUEST 07 Jul 12 - 11:10 PM
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Subject: Tech: Win 7 Dissapearing Icons
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 04:31 PM

A "feature" in Windows 7 sometimes can be annoying: (I don't usually start off with a joke, but …)

The symptom is that INDIVIDUAL desktop shortcuts DISAPPEAR, seemingly at random. If you don't just "happen to" remember what was there and isn't now, there's no (known) way of finding out what's gone.

The ACTUAL behavior is that Windows 7includes a "System Maintenance" function that, with default settings, runs weekly. If it finds a "broken link" the shortcut is (sometimes) deleted. It also may delete any link that hasn't been used during the past 30 days. (On the apparent assumption that anyone who uses Windows has a very short attention span and won't miss anything they don't use every day?).

The biggest objection to the "broken link" deletion is that a link to an off-computer target, as for a network server or an external drive, may appear "broken" if the external source is shut down or disconnected when the System Maintenance utility runs, making it necessary to create a new desktop shortcut when/if you reconnect the device – if you want one.

Both of these actions, deletion of broken links and deletion of inactive links, can be variable and unpredictable – and UNEXPECTED.

Previous advice from Microsoft (ID 978980 Desktop Shortcuts Disappear in Win7) has been that the only way to prevent either or both kinds of deletions has been to completely disable the System Maintenance function, which is not recommended since it might also do something useful. The earlier advice incorrectly states that the deleted shortcuts are "sent to the Recycle bin," which would permit identifying what has been removed so you could decide whether to put it back, but they usually DO NOT appear there – or anywhere else that anyone has found.

For Windows 7, there is a "hot fix" and a "Fixit" tool that claims to solve the problem of deletion of broken links. It is unclear whether it affects "inactive links," but it apparently doesn't.

Your Windows 7 MUST BE updated to SP1 before using these. You can check "System Information" (Start|All Programs|Accessories|System Tools|System Information) to find out whether SP1 is installed, and the link above gives information for getting the SP1 update if you need it. (Note - another Win7 annoyance: that everything in the program list is in a different place every time you look for something, since it puts "recently used" items at the top - - - sometimes.)

At Support ID 2642357: Broken shortcuts are deleted from Win7 you can get a "hotfix" to install on your Windows 7 computer.

AFTER THE HOTFIX IS INSTALLED, you will need to return to the above link and run the "Fixit Tool" OR follow the instructions given to edit the Registry manually.

After completion of the above, desktop shortcuts with broken links should not be deleted when System Maintenance does its scheduled runs.

The usual advice is that "hotfixes" should be installed only if you have a problem. Hotfixes often are incorporated into subsequent "patches" but the date stamp on this article is February 2012 and it doesn't appear to have been in a patch since then, so there is apparently little expectation that Microsoft considers it an "important" problem. (Only a couple of hundred people have complained in the 11 separate threads I found in "Microsoft Community Support" – ONLY ONE OF WHICH found a possible answer.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Win 7 Dissapearing Icons
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 11:10 PM

Very disappointing - here I thought I was getting an opportunity to win seven disappearing icons.

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