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Can't Click on Desktop Icons & More Troubles

I should start by mentioning that I run Vista, have it all updated, have a Nvidia Geforce 9600 GT video card installed in my computer.  That is the only thing that did not come originally with the computer.  My husband put that in about a year ago, & I have had no troubles until recently.

I re-installed the OS (following these instructions: 

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?docid=339949  )

and now I am having all sorts of problems with the computer that I'd never had before.

1.  My desktop icons stop functioning.  They are like part of the background picture and you can't click on them.

2.  Internet explorer & Firefox keep freezing up (with the latest explorer downloads)

3.  The Sims 3 game keeps having houses disappear & a few other games crash now.


This isn't the first time I've re-installed the OS.  The last time was because of these same reasons though I didn't have other games crashing last time.  I have no viruses on the computer.  This occurred the first time after install & I had yet to go online.  I have everything kept up to date.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do or why this might be occurring?  Thanks!

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2 Replies
6 Gallium

Re: Can't Click on Desktop Icons & More Troubles

I have no viruses on the computer.
How do you know that?

Windows Insider MVP 2016 -

Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security 2006-2016

Social Media and Community Professional

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1 Nickel

Re: Can't Click on Desktop Icons & More Troubles

First let me say that I do have the answer, and no I'm not that smart that I know this off the top of my head but my friends's computer did the same thing so I asked another friend of mine who runs his own network and is a network admin for several large companies,,,so without further ado I copy and pasted his answer below....it solved the problem for me I hope it helps

After reinstalling Vista OS a lot of users are experiencing a weird issue. In fact, all of a sudden all the icons on the computer desktop stop working, preventing people from starting the programs those icons represent. There are a couple of tricks to solve this issue. The first one lets you solve it once for all, the second one is a temporary fix and it is meant to let you understand if the video card is not up-to-date as you might think.

First Method

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Program.
  3. Click Accessories and right click on the Command Prompt.
  4. Select the Security Tab and choose “Run as Administrator”
  5. Click on Command Prompt and gain access to the DOS.
  6. Type SFC /SCANNOW This will scan and fix corrupted operating system files

Second Method

This method lets you understand if the issue you are experiencing has to do with the video driver which is not updated for you Windows Vista. It is not a permanent fix but just a temporary solution to the problem. Next time the icons on your desktop stop working press ctrl+shift+escape, click “Start Task Manager” and kill the explorer.exe on the processes tab. Then on the applications tab click File and choose ‘new task’, type explorer.exe and click ‘ok’ to restart it without having to restart the entire system. If this fixes your issue, you’d better start looking for the updated driver of your video card.