Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:25 PM
This reminds me of something (a maybe-not-so-nice practical joke) that was described in a thread here at Bleeping Computer, but I just can't find that thread right now.
1. Take a screen snapshot of the normal desktop.
2. Specify the image snapped in 1. above to be the desktop background.
3. Right-click on the desktop, and UNcheck Arrange Icons By, Show Desktop Icons.
I tried this, and it does work. You end up with a desktop that appears to be normal, but none of the shortcuts/icons do anything when you double-click on them (because they are just parts of a large image file)!
So, if you ever encounter what seems to be a non-functioning desktop, right-click on the desktop and make sure that Arrange Icons By, Show Desktop Icons is checked. What happens then is that the desktop is painted with the background image (the "non-functioning" image of itself) and then the functioning icons/shortcuts are displayed on top of that image. If the icons/shortcuts haven't been moved since the original image was snapped, the icons/shortcuts align with their images on the desktop background. Visually, the desktop doesn't look any different, but now it "works" properly when you double-click an icon/shortcut. After that, right-click on the desktop again and select Properties, Desktop to verify/change the background.
I'm using a system with Windows XP Professional SP2, with all updates; I think the same behavior will occur in Vista.