Can't Delete Two Icons From Desktop, Any Suggestions!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista File Management' started by SpiderRIDER, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. SpiderRIDER

    SpiderRIDER Guest

    Ok, I have two blank icons that belonged to two files in my desktop. I
    deleted these files days ago, but the blank icons with text still show on
    the desktop. When I try to delete them I get the following message from
    Windows Vista Ultimate...

    Could not find this item

    This is no longer located in the c:\[Directory Structure That Points to my
    Desktop Here]. Verify the item's location and try again.

    I then have a try again button and a cancel button.

    I have tried creating two text files with the exact same filenames and
    extensions and it doesn't ask me to overwrite, it just creates two new files
    with the same names and extensions. I can delete these two new files but the
    other original two remain.

    Any idea's what happened and how I can get rid of these two things?

    SpiderRIDER, Aug 14, 2008
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  2. SpiderRIDER

    Brink Guest

    Hi SpiderRIDER,

    Sometimes these are just ghost icons and can be removed by refreshing
    the desktop (F5) or restarting the computer.

    Hope this helps,


    *There are no dumb questions, just the people that do not ask
    '*VISTA FORUMS*' (
    *Please post feedback to help others.*
    Brink, Aug 15, 2008
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  3. SpiderRIDER

    SpiderRIDER Guest

    Thank you for taking the time to make the suggestions.

    I have tried refreshing and they are still there.
    I have tried rebooting and they are still there and still can't be deleted.
    I have also tried removing the program who's extension they belong to and
    that still won't allow them to be deleted.

    Thanks again,

    SpiderRIDER, Aug 15, 2008
  4. SpiderRIDER

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, SpiderRIDER.

    If you right-click on one of those icons and choose Properties, do you see
    the path to the file in the Target box on the Shortcut tab? What do you see
    if you click Change Icon on that Shortcut tab?

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64 SP1)
    R. C. White, Aug 17, 2008
  5. SpiderRIDER

    SpiderRIDER Guest

    It points to the desktop c:\users\{my name}\Desktop

    There is no properties tab. The size and size on disk is 0 bytes.

    I do have security, details and previous versions tabs. Ready only isn't
    checked and neither is hidden.

    SpiderRIDER, Aug 17, 2008
  6. SpiderRIDER

    bjg123 Guest

    I missed the first part of this discussion, but here's my compilation o
    fixes I've found so far. Some have been mentioned already, others not

    One possible answer is that the Windows Search feature is indexing th
    file, which prevents you from deleting it. Try disabling the feature vi
    the Services tab of msconfig (type that into the Run window). Restart
    and see if you can delete the file

    Another possibility is that the Thumbnail generator built into Window
    is accessing the file but can't render a thumbnail. Try disablin
    thumbnails altogether: in any folder, click Organize, Folder and Searc
    Options, the View tab, and check "always show icons, never thumbnails.
    Restart (shouldn't need to, but just to be sure) and retry deleting

    If still no luck, you might try programs like Unlock (just google it
    that give you improved access to "in use" files. I haven't tried thi
    one, but others had good luck with it

    Here's another option: uninstall the program that contains the code
    used to open the file you can't delete. For example, if you can't delet
    a .mov file, uninstall Quicktime and try deleting again. You ca
    reinstall the program when the unwanted file is gone

    Finally, a strange solution, one that saved me very recently: try t
    delete the file, and wait for the "recycling" window to appear. Whil
    it's up, press CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the Task Manager. Disable th
    task explorer.exe and wait a moment; your desktop will disappear
    Reinable explorer.exe (click File, New Task, and type explorer.exe) an
    your desktop will reappear. Right-click the desktop and choose refres
    (just to be sure). Now try to delete the file again. It worked for me

    Good luck
    bjg123, Aug 26, 2008
  7. SpiderRIDER

    Bev Long Guest

    Bev Long, Aug 26, 2008
  8. SpiderRIDER

    Lelixir Guest

    I think the biggest problem is that no one really understands what th
    problem is because it is too hard to believe that something like this i
    possible in 2009 to exist, especially with Vista the most sophisticate
    software program of our generation.

    Actually the problem is that even though the icon(s) shows on you
    desktop, it really does not register to your operating system that it i
    there. It is a ghost icon. You can see it but in most cases it is jus
    the empty shell of a program/application that was deleted or otherwis
    not available through that shortcut.

    I have had that problem so I understand where you are coming from. I'v
    tried the regedit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE tip, DelinvFile 3.03 program
    Unlocker program (Which Vista refuse
    to open after installation), Move on Boot program, also th
    Disable/restart the
    task explorer.exe and all the other ideas talked about which are to
    many to list.

    I could still not remove the icon because no program could see it an
    if they did recognize it was there they would only tell you they coul
    not perform any task you requested because the folder was empty. Then i
    you repopulate the icon, only the contents (original or not) get
    deleted. The icon(s) still remains.

    I would like to imagine that someday someone would understand what th
    problem actually is and be able to correct it. As of now, there are onl
    limited success results due to differing situations involved in th
    creation of each ghost icon.

    I've come to the conclusion that since people really don't understan
    how annoying it is or what you are trying to relay to them, the
    conclude you are some kind of wacko that understands almost nothin
    about operating systems.

    The best fix I have come up with is to open a new logon account. Thi
    is a pain but once it is set up the way you want it, delete the use
    account that has the ghost icons that are beyond understanding.

    End of ghosts and end of problem.

    It's just too bad that you have to recreate a new logon account t
    correct a problem that should be easy to correct.

    I know it gets you angry enough to reformat your drive but opening
    new login account is much less painful
    Lelixir, Jan 6, 2009
  9. SpiderRIDER

    wizz Guest

    Hi....First post ! New to this Forum...... but not to Forum'

    Just wanted to add my comments to this thread to help anyone who come
    along after me

    I had exactly the same problem with one file on my Vista Ultimate 32bi
    desktop as *SpiderRider

    The solution was in the post by *bjg123*. *Lelixir* also metioned i

    -Unlocker- was the program that worked for me. Got rid of that pesk
    file that had (embarassingly) been hanging around for weeks !

    Thanks for the info......
    wizz, Feb 6, 2009
  10. SpiderRIDER

    henry2304 Guest

    Hi all,

    I think I have a solution to the problem. It worked for my machine a
    least. Hope it works for you too. I had a file on my desktop like yo
    had, say abc.ext, that I could not delete/rename/modify/etc becaus
    Vista said it did not exist. To fix the problem, I created a new tex
    file on my desktop and renamed it to the same name, abc.ext . Eve
    though the name was the same as the un-deletable file on my desktop
    Vista did not complain, and showed two files on the desktop with th
    same name. Now, with this new file in place, if you rename the ol
    un-deletable file to something new like "test", you can delete it!! (I
    you just try to remove the old un-deletable file, it causes the *new
    file you just created to be deleted oddly enough, so one is still lef
    with the un-deletable file). This solution worked for me, and hope i
    works for you too! Let me know if it does,

    henry2304, Mar 6, 2009
  11. SpiderRIDER

    Pauli Taglia Guest

    The person you replied to left the room seven months ago.
    Pauli Taglia, Mar 6, 2009
  12. SpiderRIDER

    davidpsr Guest

    I had the same problem when I uninstalled a program which did not delet
    the desktop icon. Right-clip properties of the icon indicated that i
    was in desktop folder, but it wasn't there

    Look on the Start Menu (Programs/YourProgramFolder) and see if it'
    there. If it is, you should be able to delete it simply b
    right-clicking its icon and select delete, or delete the entire progra
    folder if it's in a folder that the uninstaller should have deleted bu

    The icon probably resides in the folder C:\Progra
    Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\YourProgramFolder
    YourProgramFolder is the name of the folder that the icon relates to. T
    get there, run Windows Explorer in administrator mode (right click o
    Explorer and choose 'Run as Administrator'). Delete the entir
    YourProgramFolder and the icon should be deleted from the Start Menu an
    the Desktop. You may have to reboot for it to take effect

    It was driving me NUTS till I figured it out, but I KNEW there had t
    be a way short completely reinstalling the O/S. My problem originated b
    an older program with an uninstall routine that is not fully compatibl
    with Windows Vista. Hope this helps
    davidpsr, Mar 18, 2009
  13. SpiderRIDER

    franknark Guest

    Several days ago I had a desktop with 9 live, working icons at the
    bottom of the desktop. ie: recycle bin, computer, network, control
    panel, etc. The 9th icon was a folder called 'powershell'.

    Several days ago I deleted the 'powershell' folder, and, underneath
    that folder, was surprised to find a dead copy of the 'powershell'
    folder. The deleted 'powershell' folder was in the recycle bin, and an
    undeleted copy on the desktop.

    This dead copy cannot be accessed with selection, left-click, or
    right-click operations - so the 'Properties' info cannot be displayed.

    Left, right, up, down arrow keys cannot move an icon selection area to
    this dead icon.

    A desktop refresh has no affect - a restart has no affect.

    The C:\Users\frank\Desktop directory list does not show the dead

    Creating a new desktop folder with the same name 'powershell' does not
    upset vista.

    This can be done either on top of the dead folder or somewhere else on
    the desktop. Deleting the live 'powershell' has no affect on the dead
    'powershell' folder.

    It turns out that all 9 live icons were covering 9 dead icons.
    When a selection area is drawn around the 9 icons, and the area with 9
    icons moved up to the middle of the screen, the 9 dead icons remain.
    None of them can be accessed or deleted.

    The live icons all work normally.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    franknark, May 12, 2009
  14. are we talking about 2 icons or 9 icons????

    show the hidden and system files. Look on your desktop for a 'desktop.ini'
    file look at it should be simple for the desktop
    on mine:
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21769

    also check the /users/public/public desktop for possible items

    Michael Walraven, May 12, 2009
  15. SpiderRIDER

    franknark Guest

    Michael - thanks for your quick reply.

    In my case I have 9 dead icons that are hiding beneath 9 normal icons.
    I can select the 9 normal icons and move them up and then see the 9 dead
    copies that remain and don't move.

    I went to 'folder options' and am now displaying the system files.

    Very interesting. I now see two desktop.ini files on my desktop and
    one desktop.ini file in C:\Users\frank\Desktop.

    The desktop.ini file in C:\Users\frank\Desktop has 17 lines of code, as
    does one of the ini files on the desktop.

    The second desktop.ini file on the desktop has only 2 lines of code,
    and doesn't have a matching file in C:\Users\frank\Desktop.
    the 2 lines of code:
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21799

    Public\desktop has a desktop.ini file with the following 2 lines of
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21799

    The larger desktop.ini file on frank\Desktop:
    [email protected],-21779

    your data:
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell 32.dll,-21769

    The desktop.ini with only two lines of code and no IconResource line is
    maybe suspect.

    But I think I'll sleep on it before I do any experiments.

    Thanks again for your help.
    franknark, May 12, 2009
  16. To clarify, I also have two desktop.ini

    C:\Users\Walraven\Desktop\desktop.ini is
    <<blank line>>
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21769

    C:\Users\Public\Desktop\desktop.ini is
    <<blank line>>
    [email protected]%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21799

    I THINK the public one is done first then the logged in user one.
    the .ini file can be used to create desktop icons, rename files (that
    confused me a whole lot on one problem) and lots of stuff in the appearance
    realm. Be sure to back up the .ini file (s) before you set them to a default
    so effects can be changed. I think you will need to reboot (at least log
    out/in) for the changes to be effective.

    For instance the LocalizedFileNames allow the displayed name for a file to
    be different (the name for the actual 'Pictures.lnk" may be display
    differently based on the language used). (If you use non-english setup then
    extra entries in .ini would be normal.)


    Michael Walraven, May 12, 2009
  17. SpiderRIDER

    jsmonu Guest

    I'd like to add and update the rest of the world that for me too it was
    the faithful "Unlocker" that helped solve this crappy problem for me

    I faced this issue with 5 PDF file icons that just won't let go of my
    desktop, and remained sticky like ghost icons - can't delete, can't
    rename.. if i tried downloading and overwriting with the original
    content or creating a new file with same name, deleting one would still
    leave one ghost icon always..

    So finally, it was just the Unlocker tool that came to my rescue and
    after weeks, finally got rid of those icons..! :) kudos..
    jsmonu, Sep 18, 2009
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