I installed iTunes and all appears normal.
Thank you very much for your help.
It was not necessary to restore the defaults.
I am not sure what made the difference.
This time I downloaded iTunes from FileHippo.
I had removed Digsby because the icon replacement happened just after the latest beta was installed. ?
I removed PicLens CoolIris for Internet Explorer because it suddenly opened all by itself.
I have done several things, so maybe one was the difference.
I ran Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner and PC Pitstop’s PC Matic, as well as Registry Mechanic and CCleaner. I also deleted my Windows.old folders.
I have disabled iTunes helper.exe and Quick Time Task at boot time using WinPatrol/Plus.
I am able to start iTunes and it is working.
This is offered as feedback to help others.
I was going to send you this information before I did anything. This may be too much information, but I believe it shows that the icons were shortcuts.
The only icons visible on my desktop are in the taskbar and in the notification area of the system tray. I would guess that the items pinned to the taskbar would be shortcut icons. Right-clicking on them displays only the program’s name and the options of unpinning the item from the taskbar or closing the window.
The start menu icons all change to iTunes, even the ones nested in folders. Right-clicking on one of those and then clicking on properties shows that it is a shortcut (.lnk) type of file.
To determine whether I understand your instructions, please verify if this is the correct sequence to follow.
Beginning with the correct icons displayed and iTunes is not installed,
Install iTunes. If all icons change to iTunes, download and merge the LNK download in the tutorial and restart.
Would you allow iTunes helper and Quick Time Task to load at startup?
This may not matter. I could disable them using WinPatrol/Plus before I restart if it might make a difference. Note: They are now disabled as mentioned above.