I am an IT director for a company in VA. I ran across the exact same problem you did and did a two hour search on the net trying to find an answer. Everyone said display settings or you need to boot into safe mode, spyware/virus issue or "you're going to have to start over"...I hate that as a default answer to everything...
Trust me...for anyone that has this problem, this is NOT a spyware or virus issue...every thing I've read (the others that have this issue) have all said the same thing: "I ran anti-vius programs and spyware programs and I still have the problem...." (I did this too, so I know)
Turns out I chanced up on this site: http://www.kellys-ko...m/xp_tweaks.htm
Do a search on that page for this: Restore Desktop Icons and Taskbar
It's going to be a link to a .vbs file that you open and run. It will tell you the program is going to need to close the explorer shell and it will not harm your computer. Click ok. It's quick and the program will come back and say "complete or done" (or whatever).
I didn't think it worked (especially since this is a Windows 2000 machine and the VBS script is made for "XP". I rebooted and it turns out EVERYTHING CAME BACK TO NORMAL!!!! Unbelievable.
As an FYI - there was also a post that mentioned deleting the "ShellIconCache" file in c:\windows. Windows will recreate the file when you reboot. This seemed to work, but I can't recommend it as I didn't do it this way.
I figured I could at least pass this on and hopefully this will help someone else someday. I'm not a subscriber to this board, but if you would like, you may e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd like to know if it was able to help you...
Good luck to all that come upon this thread...
Edited by cem1234, 26 August 2005 - 01:13 PM.