Here's a possible answer to the question of whether one can force Windows to save desktop icon positions:
A way to force Windows to save desktop icon positions:
- Open Notepad and enter some text, so that if you were to close it, it would show a confirmation dialog.
- Attempt to log off.
- Notepad (and possibly other applications) will ask you whether you want to save changes.
- Click Cancel. This will prevent Windows from logging off.
The desktop icon positions are now saved. It happens because it's one of the things that Windows does when logging off, and it happens before actually logging off.
This may be helpful when you have just tidied up your desktop, because if Windows Explorer crashes, modifications to the desktop icon positions are lost.