That's a good idea, except I haven't been able to find the "Show Desktop Icons" item.
So far I figured out that when i change the "show desktop icons" option then the following registry entry gets modified.
Unfortunately, when modify this value from 0 to 1, nothing occurs. I will keep thinking about this.
The first reply pointed to a program that did this, but honestly, I am bit paranoid, why the application for this simple task would be 176kb. I thinking a simple batch file change the right registry files and then forcing a refresh would do it.