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Windows 7 has a large icon above the username on the right-hand pane of the Start menu. By default it is a faceless torso in a blue collarless shirt that I call the "zombie icon". (I don't know the icon's real name: it's so useless that Microsoft doesn't even discuss it when describing the Start menu. (Although "Molly Clark" has a zinnia icon instead of a zombie icon.)

The zombie icon fades from one pointless icon to another as you move your mouse over "Documents", "Computer", "Devices and Printers" etc. This icon is a waste of space and the fades are distracting.

How do I make it go away?

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OK, I figured out how to replace the zombie with a blank png. Now I have an icon that looks like a powered-off classic iMac. I'd still prefer the whole thing to go away. –  Robert Calhoun Aug 11 '10 at 15:08
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You can use Group Policy settings to remove your name from the start menu. I think this makes the "zombie" go away. –  Borealid Aug 11 '10 at 15:09
    
I'm not on a domain so I needed this link sevenforums.com/tutorials/… to open the Local Group Policy Editor. Removing name from Start menu is XP/2003 only; removing the user directory link (newer OS equiv) does get rid of the menu item, but it doesn't get rid of the icon! Thanks, though, I am more inclined to try something that uses built-in MS tools. –  Robert Calhoun Aug 11 '10 at 16:10
    
Replace zombie icon with a vampire icon... a vampire sucking up all that useful space! –  Jeff Bridgman Jun 13 at 20:10
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Try one of those:

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Thanks! These may require more hacking then I can justify doing (it's a development box...I need to avoid unnecessary OS modifications) but you definitely got me on the right track on what needs to be done. Other useful links: Windows style builder (vistastylebuilder.com/index.html) and PandaX's list of required changes (stylehacks.deviantart.com/art/…) –  Robert Calhoun Aug 11 '10 at 15:48
    
True, I tried to stay away from external software as those might increase resource usage. –  Tom Wijsman Aug 11 '10 at 20:08
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