Desktop organization


J

JimL

I'm running XP Pro, SP3 Mobile (T60p ThinkPad) with tomorrows updates.

For years I've always arranged my desktop icons around the periphery of the
screen.

Recently at every boot the desktop comes up with the icons all crammed into
the upper left corner, assumedly according to some Microsoft plan.

Fortunately I have a desktop restore utility, but using even that it getting
irritating.

What's happening and how do I fix it?

JimL
 
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V

VanguardLH

JimL said:
I'm running XP Pro, SP3 Mobile (T60p ThinkPad) with tomorrows updates.

Wow, "tomorrow's" updates? I gotta have that update predictor you're
using! What's it called?
For years I've always arranged my desktop icons around the periphery
of the screen. Recently at every boot the desktop comes up with the
icons all crammed into the upper left corner, assumedly according to
some Microsoft plan. Fortunately I have a desktop restore utility,
but using even that it getting irritating.

Right-click on a blank spot of the desktop. What all settings did you
select under "Arrange Icons By"?

Might you be changing screen resolutions? If the desktop gets resized
then the icons on it have to also get moved so they will remain within
the screen boundaries of the desktop. Also, while the static icons on
the desktop will usually remain in place when you change resolution and
then change back (like when you play a fullscreened game that changes
resolution), often widgets or apps that paint icons on the desktop will
not repaint those icons in the same place after a resolution change.
 
J

JimL

VanguardLH said:
Wow, "tomorrow's" updates? I gotta have that update predictor you're
using! What's it called?


Right-click on a blank spot of the desktop. What all settings did you
select under "Arrange Icons By"?

The only thing checked there is "Show Desktop Icons."
Might you be changing screen resolutions?

Never. I have a set-up that matches my TV to my laptop screen almost
perfectly. (gotta love that 30 inch monitor) But I won't guarantee that
some gremlin software didn't do such a thing behind my back. Maybe there's
a new undetectable virus out that does nothing but make desktop size
changes...

If the desktop gets resized
then the icons on it have to also get moved so they will remain within
the screen boundaries of the desktop. Also, while the static icons on
the desktop will usually remain in place when you change resolution and
then change back (like when you play a fullscreened game that changes
resolution), often widgets or apps that paint icons on the desktop will
not repaint those icons in the same place after a resolution change.

This afternoon it changed when I dropped out of Firefox to check a folder
name.

Thanks
 
V

VanguardLH

JimL said:
VanguardLH wrote ...


The only thing checked there is "Show Desktop Icons."


Never. I have a set-up that matches my TV to my laptop screen almost
perfectly. (gotta love that 30 inch monitor) But I won't guarantee
that some gremlin software didn't do such a thing behind my back.
Maybe there's a new undetectable virus out that does nothing but make
desktop size changes...

Have you tried reloading Windows in its safe mode (with networking) to
check if the behavior persists despite no longer loading all those
startup programs?
 
J

JimL

VanguardLH said:
Have you tried reloading Windows in its safe mode (with networking) to
check if the behavior persists despite no longer loading all those
startup programs?

I am apparently the only one on earth who uses the folder configuration that
sets up individual window sizes for each folder - as opposed to using the
default system of every folder coming up in exactly the same window setup.
You may or may not know about the setting which makes the individual folder
settings possible for hundreds of different folder windows. I accumulate a
_lot_ of them over months and years and set it higher than default.

"Safe" mode _always_ destroys all but a few of these and flips me back to
the default, every one alike, configuration. (Of course I have been told by
experts that this simply does not happen because safe mode is safe. I can
only assume these experts use the default system so wouldn't have a clue
what really happens if you get outside the default configuration.)

Anyway, I use "safe" mode only in the most dire of circumstances, such as
avoiding the use of the grossly misnamed "recovery."

JimL
 
V

VanguardLH

JimL said:
VanguardLH wrote ...


I am apparently the only one on earth who uses the folder configuration that
sets up individual window sizes for each folder - as opposed to using the
default system of every folder coming up in exactly the same window setup.
You may or may not know about the setting which makes the individual folder
settings possible for hundreds of different folder windows. I accumulate a
_lot_ of them over months and years and set it higher than default.

First you asked about positions of icons on your desktop. Now you're
talking about the window sizes of folders. Those are completely
different behaviors.

For remembering attributes of your folders, one, don't ever delete the
desktop.ini file (normally hidden) stored within the folder. If you
elect to show hidden or system files and then happen to, say, delete all
files (like hitting Ctrl+A to select all and then Del to delete them
all) then you also deleted the desktop.ini file and you lose your
customizations for that folder.

Two, Windows remembers attributes of folders but up to a maximum number.
I forget the default (I think it is 400) but I upped mine a long time
ago. Instead of remembering the registry key to edit, I got Microsoft's
TweakUI, a powertoy for Windows XP, and set the value there under
Explorer -> Customizations. I first upped the folder customizations
cache to 8000 but it's now up to 10,000.

How to modify your folder view settings or to customize a folder
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812003

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx
(do NOT use the TweakUI version for Itanium unless that's your CPU)
"Safe" mode _always_ destroys all but a few of these and flips me back to
the default, every one alike, configuration. (Of course I have been told by
experts that this simply does not happen because safe mode is safe. I can
only assume these experts use the default system so wouldn't have a clue
what really happens if you get outside the default configuration.)

Sorry, forgot about the rearrangement in safe mode. My idea was for you
to get rid of all the startup programs of which one of them might be
causing the problem. You could also use msconfig.exe to disable all
startup program (diagnostic mode) but still boot Windows in its normal
mode; however, msconfig doesn't manage all startup items and you may end
up using SysInternal's AutoRuns to find all startup items, like those
hidden under the logon events. Without a resolution change and NOT
enabling the auto-arrange option for the desktop, my guess is you are
running some software that is causing the problem. It could be
something like you installed a video tweaker that lets you save game
profiles and switches resolution automatically but you don't notice it
because the utility effectively changes from the same resolution to the
same resolution but with a different intermediate resolution so all you
might see is a flash on the screen. The idea is to get rid of all those
background process on Windows startup and then see if the icons still
get rearranged on the desktop when you reboot in that diagnostic mode.
Anyway, I use "safe" mode only in the most dire of circumstances, such as
avoiding the use of the grossly misnamed "recovery."

Would that be Recovery Mode which eliminates the desktop GUI and you get
a command line along with restrictions on what you can perform? Or
would that be System Restore which is a backup of ONLY the system files
and not the apps or data files (which are not part of the "system", as
in operating system, and for which you should be using a real imaging
program)? I've found Recovery Mode very useful. I've found System
Recovery a joke and disabled to eliminate the waste of disk space and
use my own imaging program scheduled to run every day (do full images on
Monday, incremental images Tue-Sun) and use it just before I make a
major change.
 
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J

JimL

I'm not asking about folder windows, I'm telling.

Previously if I have said I never use "Safe" mode a bunch of people pile on
telling me how stupid that is. This time I started with the reply to those
posts before they came. THEN I said I don't use it.

Thanks

JimL
 
J

JimL

I suppose I'll _never learn_ not to put a wrap-up in the last line of a
post. It seems no matter what size a post is, no one _ever_ gets to the
end - where I made my point.

I guess it's a public speaker's habit. In school they said, "tell them what
you're going to tell them, tell them, and most importantly, tell them what
you told them."

JimL
 
V

VanguardLH

JimL said:
I'm not asking about folder windows, I'm telling.

Previously if I have said I never use "Safe" mode a bunch of people pile on
telling me how stupid that is. This time I started with the reply to those
posts before they came. THEN I said I don't use it.

I'm not wasting more time on preemptive retorts as posts.
 
V

VanguardLH

JimL said:
I suppose I'll _never learn_ not to put a wrap-up in the last line of a
post. It seems no matter what size a post is, no one _ever_ gets to the
end - where I made my point.

I guess it's a public speaker's habit. In school they said, "tell them what
you're going to tell them, tell them, and most importantly, tell them what
you told them."

Now you're meandering even more. AADT: They have drugs for that.
 
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J

JimL

VanguardLH said:
I'm not wasting more time on preemptive retorts as posts.

So you STILL missed my last sentence. I don't use the "Safe" mode.you
recommended.

JimL
 
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