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Desktop Icons Flickering


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#1 Lysander

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:14 PM

When I click on a window or close a window, sometimes, but not always, the icons on my desktop will flicker. I changed from the Windows XP Theme back to the classic theme hoping that would help, but the problem is still occuring. I have contacted Dell support, and they just had me change resolution settings and things, which did not help. I have also put the laptop back to its factory state, which did not help either. I have had the laptop since August, but the problem started in April. I suspect it is some kind of windows software problem, but I don't have enough knowledge or expertise to figure it out, which is why I am posting here.

I have a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a GeForce 6800 video card. I am running Windows XP. I have 1 gig of ram.

If anyone can help me with this problem or know where to direct me, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:07 PM

Have you tried updating the drivers for your video card?

#3 Lysander

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:22 PM

Yes. I have gone to the Dell website and updated all drivers for everything that I could, including the BIOS.

#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:26 PM

Do you have another monitor you can try?

#5 usasma

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:40 PM

The Desktop will refresh itself occasionally. If the computer is occupied with other stuff at the same time, this may cause the flickering.

How much RAM do you have, and how many icons are in your Notification Area (also called the System Tray - the area where the time is displayed)?
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#6 Lysander

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 01:48 AM

I have 10 icons in the system tray:
1) virus program
2) wireless adapter
3) wireless network connection
4) another virus program function
5) touch pad
6) volume control
7) AC power
8) Dell Quickset
9) Dell Support
10) Bluetooth Manager

I have 1 gig of RAM.

Sorry to be such a newbie at this, but I really appreciate the comments and questions.

I was wondering if it was a power supply problem--silly idea probably, but when it flickers it reminds me of when lightning flashes in the house and everything turns off and on very quickly.

The problem seems more pronounced when using the Windows XP Desktop theme as opposed to the classic theme.

I only have 1 refresh rate that I can choose, which is 60 hertz.

Unfortunately, no, I do not have another monitor to use. I will work on finding one to test it with if you think that will help.

#7 usasma

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:35 AM

I've got 13 icons in the system tray on my Toshiba laptop with only 512 mB of RAM - so it's probably not your memory. You can double check by going into Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and looking at the Processes and Perormance tabs.

Any computer monitor will do - but read up on the connections in your manual first. This should only take a few minutes to do, so you can go to a friends house, or if you've got computers at work - ask the boss if you can try it for a little bit.

Next thing that I'd try would be removing and then updating the video drivers for the nVidia graphics card. I generally recommend that you update drivers from the manufacturer of the component rather than the manufacturer of the computer because of changes that the computer makers often make to the drivers. You can obtain the latest drivers from here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_2k_84.21.html

One final question - once you restored it to factory settings did it flicker before you installed any programs/drivers? If this is the case, there may be a hardware problem involved here.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 HitSquad

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:17 AM

The Desktop will refresh itself occasionally. If the computer is occupied with other stuff at the same time, this may cause the flickering.

This seems the most likely cause. Updating video drivers will have no effect as icon refreshment (icon cache) is borrowed from main memory. By default, XP reserves very little memory for icon cache but that can be changed via the reg.
Click Start>Run. Type regedit in the run dialog box and click ok.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer.
With 'Explorer" selected, look in the right pane for a string value named "Max Cached Icons".
If you see it, double click it and change the value to 2000. (default is 500) Exit the reg and reboot your system. If you don't see it, and you may not, you'll want to create it.
With the "Explorer" key still selected, place your cursor in the right pane then right click and select New>String Value. Right click the newly created key and select "rename".
Name it "Max Cached Icons" (no quotes, use the spaces).
Double click the new Max Cached Icons key and enter 2000 in the value data box.
Close the reg and reboot. The higher the number, the faster the refresh rate. 8000 is the limit.

#9 Lysander

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 05:21 PM

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions!

I had to create the registry string for Max Cached Icons. At first, I put it at 2000, but I noticed that when the computer is starting up and the start programs were coming on that the icons would sort of flicker a little bit. I increased the value to 4000, but they are still flickering, however, all the icons appear as icons and not as white squares when it first boots up. Is the flickering normal when the start programs are coming on?

I have not had the computer on long enough today to see if the flickering is still going on just from regular use of the computer.

After the factory re-set that I did, the icons were still flickering.

Usasma, I used the nvidia link that you gave me here. It said it could not find any drivers compatible with my system. I believe those drivers were for the Geforce 7600 and so on. Mine is 6800. On the nvidia website, I found no drivers for the 6800. But as I said, Dell had a driver update on their website that I was unable to find just by clicking on the Geforce thingy and doing "update driver."

#10 Lysander

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 06:02 PM

It still flickers even after adding that registry for Max Cached Icons.

Specifically, this time I noticed the flickering when I was changing the screen saver. When I clicked ok, the system hung for a few seconds, then the window closed, and as it closed, the icons flickered.

This is just one example that I can specifically pinpoint.

#11 medab1

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:57 PM

Perhaps your Virtual Memory is a factor.
Maybe set it to System Managed Size or double it.
You can always reset it if it doesn't help.

Learn to take screenshots & add them to your posts. :thumbup2:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43088/how-to-capture-and-edit-a-screen-shot/#entry4532851

Learn to use Google Search.  :busy:

Make full system images to restore to if your computer goes bonkers.


#12 Lysander

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 10:50 PM

Ok. I changed the virtual memory to where it is system managed.

Still not helping :thumbsup:

#13 Lysander

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:12 AM

It seems as if it is doing a "refresh" when I close other windows. I right-clicked on the desktop and did "refresh" and that seems to mimic the behavior I am getting. Does this sound feasible?




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