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Windows 7: Many desktop icons gone and wallpaper no longer displaying?

07 Nov 2016   #1
Mr Davo

Windows 7 (XP, by Virtualization)
Many desktop icons gone and wallpaper no longer displaying?

Hi All,

I am facing a strange issue in Windows 7. This morning when I turned my computer on the background wallpaper was missing, and most (but not all) desktop icons were missing.

The desktop icons in question include recent Excel and Word documents that I have not backed up elsewhere!

I first performed a System Restore in the hope of getting everything back to normal. However unfortunately this did not help.

After this I checked the Recycle Bin and found a number of files which had originally come from the desktop. I clicked on these and selected 'Restore', doing so presented a message to the affect of "The Desktop already has this file, do you want to replace it''; to which I responded with 'Do not copy' (or similar) - in essence cancelling the Restore operation.

Strangely now when I look at the desktop I see the files that I restored from the Recycle Bin. But I am still not seeing many of the files that seemed to have 'disappeared' (which primarily consists of more recent files that I never sent to the Recycle Bin).

I have removed the hard drive and connected it to a second computer in order to scan for viruses; so far AVG Ultimate has found none, and MalwareBytes is a fair way through scanning without yet detecting any threats.

Assuming that the issue I am presented with is not being caused by a virus can anybody offer any other possible causes and / or ways to fix the issue?

Kind Regards,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2016   #2

Windows 7 32 bit

This free utility may be worth a try. The UI is similar to an undelete program, but it looks through your Restore Points and presents a tree of the files. There is a chance you may be able to dig out some copies of the files that were on the desktop. - About
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2016   #3

Windows 7 HP 64

Are you logged to the same user? As your wall paper and some icons are missing, it seems that you are logged as a different user.
On Windows, you have two Desktop folders. One is a All Users (C:\Users\Public\Desktop) and the other is the user (private) desktop C:\Users\<user name>\Desktop. They are combined to show as one.
Go to Control Panel - Folder option - View
- Hidden files and folders = Show hidden files and folders
- Uncheck Hide extensions for know file types (for security it SHOULD always be unchecked)

Reopen Explorer and look at C:\Users to see the tree. Is there a new user?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Nov 2016   #4

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Are you logged to the same user? As your wall paper and some icons are missing, it seems that you are logged as a different user.
I had the same idea (or a corrupt user profile).

This free utility may be worth a try.
Good tip - I had not heard of that utility. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Many desktop icons gone and wallpaper no longer displaying?

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