Back Up/Restore Windows Desktop *Locations*


P

(PeteCresswell)

I just tried out a promising RDP analog for use on my 10" tablet.... but
the first thing it did was hose my Windows desktop: scrunching maybe a
hundred carefully-arranged icons over two large monitors into the window
space used by the tablet.

On the downside, that's good for about 45 minutes of tedious
dragging/dropping.

On the upside, I got rid of a half-dozen icons I didn't really need.

But it would have been nice to just restore from some sort of backup.

I can image the system... but I don't want to re-image, just restore a
desktop.

Icon location, location, location.... just like real estate... that's
what is critical.... otherwise I'd just copy the desktop folder to
somewhere else and re-copy it.

Seems like somewhere in the system the coordinates of those icons must
be stored.

Is there a way?
 
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P

Paul

(PeteCresswell) said:
I just tried out a promising RDP analog for use on my 10" tablet.... but
the first thing it did was hose my Windows desktop: scrunching maybe a
hundred carefully-arranged icons over two large monitors into the window
space used by the tablet.

On the downside, that's good for about 45 minutes of tedious
dragging/dropping.

On the upside, I got rid of a half-dozen icons I didn't really need.

But it would have been nice to just restore from some sort of backup.

I can image the system... but I don't want to re-image, just restore a
desktop.

Icon location, location, location.... just like real estate... that's
what is critical.... otherwise I'd just copy the desktop folder to
somewhere else and re-copy it.

Seems like somewhere in the system the coordinates of those icons must
be stored.

Is there a way?

There are utilities to do this.

Try a search for "restore desktop icons layout".

Example of returned result.

http://www.intowindows.com/save-and-restore-desktop-icon-positions-layout-from-context-menu/

( http://www.midiox.com/desktoprestore.htm )

It's a shell extension, which can cause its own grief
judging by how often the topic comes up. The command shows up
in a right mouse click.

I don't use anything like this, and haven't tested it.

Paul
 
V

VanguardLH

PeteCresswell said:
I just tried out a promising RDP analog for use on my 10" tablet....
but the first thing it did was hose my Windows desktop: scrunching
maybe a hundred carefully-arranged icons over two large monitors into
the window space used by the tablet.

On the downside, that's good for about 45 minutes of tedious
dragging/dropping. On the upside, I got rid of a half-dozen icons I
didn't really need. But it would have been nice to just restore from
some sort of backup. I can image the system... but I don't want to
re-image, just restore a desktop.

Icon location, location, location.... just like real estate... that's
what is critical.... otherwise I'd just copy the desktop folder to
somewhere else and re-copy it. Seems like somewhere in the system the
coordinates of those icons must be stored. Is there a way?

When you change resolutions, the icons are getting moved so they remain
in view. If you don't need to see all the desktop icons, like you only
need to see the few that would be in the upper right corner of the
desktop (as shown in the lower resolution) then maybe disabling the
auto-arrange option for the desktop might work.

Right-click on desktop -> View -> Auto-arrange desktop icons (deselect)

Because the icons won't get auto-arranged means those positioned outside
the screen space for a lesser resolution cannot be seen; however, if you
don't need them at the lesser resolution then you haven't lost anything.

If that doesn't work, something that might work is Stardock's Fences. I
haven't used because it's not free ($10, has a trial) but keep getting
interested in reviewing it now and then. They might let you define
physical location based on resolution. If not, well, you only have the
fenced areas with multiple icons to drag around instead of dragging
around every individual icon.

I've also heard of Iconoid (http://www.sillysot.com/). One of its
features is to save relative or absolute positions of icons so you can
restore that layout later. Development on it ceased in Aug 2010 but
development on Windows XP ceased longer ago than that. It is freeware,
well, donationware; however, since the author ceased any development
over 3 years ago then I see no point in donating to him. To reduce his
cost for his web site, he could move the downloads to download.com or
softpedia.com to eliminate file downloads from there. If he made it
open source, he could host his web site and downloads over at
Sourceforge.

I've seen DesktopOK discussed in the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup. You
might want to ask over there on other alternatives (if freeware is your
only interest for a solution). Something that isn't so integrated with
the Windows desktop (as is Fences and the others) is IconRestorer
(http://fsl.sytes.net/iconrestorer.html). That simply does what you
originally asked about: backing up and restoring the icon layout on the
desktop, so it's like a special-use backup & restore utility. You can
see a few more screenshots over at Softpedia.com.

I suspect the desktop layout is stored in the registry. So you could
backup just the registry and then restore it to get back your desktop
layout. What you choose to backup/restore the registry is your choice.
ERUNT is one 3rd party choice but whatever you're using now for image
backups might let you backup and restore just the registry. Some backup
programs, like Easeus Workstation, let you take snapshots of your system
(far more thorough than Windows' System Restore) which are quick to save
and quick to restore. As I recall, however, you must not perform a
defrag of the OS partition or you might corrupt the prior snapshots
(I've seen mention of this in their forums). You might even try saving
a Restore Point before switching resolution and then using System
Restore to go back to that state; however, saving a restore point isn't
super fast plus it restores more than the desktop's state.
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per VanguardLH:
Right-click on desktop -> View -> Auto-arrange desktop icons (deselect)

Did a Right-Click Desktop | Arrange Icons By, found Auto-Arrange was
already deselected, but Arrange To Grid was selected.

Deselected it... Now, after I try one of the backup solutions, I'll try
the offending application again and see what happens.
 
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P

(PeteCresswell)


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