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Where are desktop file icons stored in Windows 7?

I have three rogue icons which I can't delete, move or rename in any way - a file not found error is reported and the file size is 0 bytes. Searching for them results in nothing found.

The only thing I'm able to do is move them around on the desktop but not to any other folder. The icon names are:

  • IBrokenheartDogfacePizza
  • right-arrow-header-image
  • leasing-options-notebook

Searching the registry results in nothing. Any ideas?

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Does this persist after you reboot your machine? –  jtbandes Jun 29 '11 at 3:16
    
Check your wallpaper image for fake icons -- someone could be playing a trick on you. –  Randolf Richardson Jun 29 '11 at 3:19
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@Randolf: If they were part of the wallpaper, he wouldn't be able to move them around... –  camster342 Jun 29 '11 at 3:20
    
@camster342: Ah, yes, good catch! You're right (+1). –  Randolf Richardson Jun 29 '11 at 3:26
    
Also... do you remember putting them there, or did they appear as part of an install of a program you initiated? Or did they just appear out of the blue one day. If they appeared out of the blue for no discernable reason, they may be representative of malware or a virus... –  camster342 Jun 29 '11 at 3:27

1 Answer 1

The desktop folder is a combination of your desktop folder and the desktop folder for "all users". You can find these at :

C:\Users\username\Desktop
C:\Users\Public\Desktop

(replace username with the name you log into windows with)

Maybe your rogue icons are in the Public Desktop Folder?

Also, it might be possible that you don't have full access to those icons/files/links. If you find the icons in either of these folders and still can't do anything with them there, try logging in under safe mode as an administrator, and see if you can remove them then.

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One more important path to add to that list: C:/Users/All Users/Desktop/ –  Randolf Richardson Jun 29 '11 at 3:27
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@Randolf: C:\Users\All Users\Desktop is a junction to C:\Users\Public\Desktop. Try {Dir /al "c:\Users\All Users"}to see what I mean :). I.e. in the end, it's the same folder. –  camster342 Jun 29 '11 at 4:32
    
On my computer the "C:/Users/All Users/" path a junction to the C:/ProgramData/ folder (I'm using 64-bit Windows 7 OEM which has some customization from the vendor from before-hand). From there the "Desktop" folder is a SymLink to C:/Users/Public/Desktop/ so in the end you're right (+1). (Wow! What a mess this is getting to be, especially considering that "C:/Documents and Settings/" is a junction to the "C:/Users/" directory. I wonder what surprises Microsoft will have in store for us with the next version of Windows?) –  Randolf Richardson Jun 29 '11 at 6:34

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