Concerning the Windows Updates, just something to consider. Depending on how many updates are available, let's say 4 or less, just do one update at a time. Set a restore point, install the update, see if the computer and icon are stable. If yes, do the next update, and so on. If the icon disappears or if the computer starts to act wonky you'll know exactly which update is the culprit.
If you have many updates, consider installing just a few at a time (making sure you have a restore point prior to installing them.) If the icon disappears again you'll be able to narrow it down to those last 3 updates.