Change when the computer sleeps problems - desktop icons disappear on wake up! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have recently changed from Vista to Win 7 which was done by my computer tech. I was used to having the display go to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity. It would wake with the touch of a key or mouse move. Under Win 7 I seem to have to leave the 'Change when the computer sleeps ' settings - turn off display' and 'Put computer to sleep - at NEVER & NEVER. If I select any other option when I move the mouse or touch a key to wake and resume the desktop image I have set returns but my desktop icons have disappeared. The only way to restore them is a forced shutdown and restart. This is crazy and most frustrating. Can anyone help with this as my tech is unsure and was going to search the net for a solution. I am trying the same right here. 
    Thursday, May 27, 2010 3:30 AM

All replies

  • Hi Paul,


    When the issue occurs, please right click on the desktop, click View -> Show desktop icons, and see if the issue can be resolved.


    If the issue persists, access Clean Boot to check the issue. If the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, you can continue to narrow down which entry is causing the issue.


    What is the result?


    Friday, May 28, 2010 5:40 AM
  • Thanks Linda I will give it a try on the weekend and see how it goes. Cheers Paul
    Friday, May 28, 2010 6:37 AM
  • G'day Linda. I have just tried your suggestion. In retrospect I have tried this before in my attempts to reactivate the system. I set the 'turn off display' to a simple one minute turn-off for the test. It went to sleep on cue. On my reactivation the desktop image was there but no icons. As I mentioned earlier I had noticed that there was no sign of my cursor and therefore I was unable to click view etc as you suggested. Back to you again if you are game! Cheers Paul 
    Friday, May 28, 2010 10:27 AM
  • Paul,

    I have been experiencing the same problem, then today found that all of my desktop items were actually still there, but have shifted extremely far to the left side of the screen, and out of sight.  I could see the edge of a window and grabbed and dragged it to the right.  Then I found that on my keyboard I have a function key with a picture of a quarter moon.  If I activate this function key, the monitor goes to sleep and then after about a minute turns back on and the icons are present again.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:05 PM
  • Hi Paul,


    Please update the device drivers to the latest version and see if it can be resolved.


    Also, when the issue occurs, please try the following suggestions and see if the desktop icon can be brought back:


    1.     Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on the keyboard to bring up Task Manager.

    2.     Click Processes tab and check if explorer.exe is listed.

    3.     If so, End the process.

    4.     If not, click File -> New Task (Run…).

    5.     Type exporer.exe and then click OK.


    Besides, you can run the power troubleshooting tool by going to Start -> Control Panel -> Troubleshooting -> View all -> Power.



    Thursday, June 3, 2010 5:17 AM
  • G'day Linda Thanks again for your support. No good though. Ta jrepoter as well but this is crazy. there is nothing I can drag from the edges. If I have my two settings Display and When computer sleeps on NEVER the issue does not occur - but I have to turn the screen off otherwise it will run constantly as the computer does never sleeping not good or desirable. Linda your offering didn't get past 1. as the PC&ESC did nothing at all.

    Tried Troubleshooter and it ran a check saying that 'the two problem settings' were too long - I know... It changed them to 10 and 30 minutes as default ...as I would like them to be set at. After 10 minutes it went blank but when I woke it the same issue was evident. This does not sound right hey? There must be a solution. Paul

    Sunday, June 6, 2010 1:52 AM
  • Hi Paul,

    Just to let you know I am having the same issue, I also posted a thread today.  

    Windows 7 - Wake Up From Sleep, No Icons, No Taskbar, No Nothing!

    The only difference is I get a useless cursor!  Right clicking on desktop brings me to View - Show desktop icons and it's checked, so I uncheck and recheck and nothing. I have a XPS 8100, NVIDIA GeForce G310 DDR3 Video card, and a Dell Touchscreen SX2210T monitor. Do you have a touchscreen? I would love to know in what component/driver the issue resides?

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:11 PM
  • So frustrating!!! this just started happening to me. I bought a new HP computer and it was working fine with OS windows 7.   However, the same issues occur as mentioned and I need to manually shut off and reboot. I hope someone finds a solution to this... I have no "modifications" to this computer. I have not downloaded apps either. HELP!!!!
    Monday, October 25, 2010 8:17 AM
  • Here's something to try.  I think your computer thinks it has two monitors and only one woke up or they did not wake up at the same time.  What is happenbing is that all your icons are off to the left but you can't reach them.  I discovered this when I pressed the "home" button on my keyboard that normally brings up my internet homepage (it is on most keyboards a little picture of a house in the upper right or left).  I saw a small movement on the left of my screen -- which had been completely blank except for the wallpaper and unresponsive up to that moment -- and realized it was the very right hand edge of my home page.  I was able to drag it to the right so I could see it.  I thus realized my computer was up and running but all the icons, taskbars etc were shifted left, off to an imaginary screen on the left.

    Next time you are rebooted and running, go to your display control center (you may be able to get it by right clicking on the desktop).  If you see two monitors shown as running and you only have one monitor, this is probably why you are having the problem.  Make the changes and apply so that you only have one monitor recognized by your computer. 

    I think my computer believed I had two because my monitor came with two cables (a VGA and some other type).  I hooked them both up, so the computer sees two output lines and doesn't know they go the same screen.  The problem has occurred with a number of gateway computers from looking at the verious discussion sites and forums; I know the Gateway comes with two cables and doesn't tell you which one is the right one for your screen, so a lot of people may be connecting both cables to the same screen.

    See if this works.

    • Proposed as answer by Pippymint Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:18 PM
    Saturday, December 4, 2010 7:17 PM
  • there might be two video cables connected (i.e dvi and vga) so remove vga sure it would be working

    • Proposed as answer by stripesplace Thursday, July 14, 2011 8:48 PM
    Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:22 PM
  • Stephen Sailas - You ARE a STAR!!  I have had a similar problem since setting up my computer 2 days ago.  I have an HP running Windows 7.  My icons, task bar......everything would disappear leaving only the HP screen saver pic with absolutely no option but to shut down incorrectly and restart - with all the resulting problems.  I was on the phone with Sams Club tech support and HP India for hours and hours.  This continually had me do a clean boot, one Sams Club tech person told me I was running too many items and had allowed the computer to go to sleep......he was quite arrogant about the issue and very very wrong. 

    The HP instructions are hazy at best - my cat could compose clearer instructions:)  Needless to say, the computer came with 3 cords to the monitor.  I used both the DVI-D and the HDMI cords.  The instructions did not say I shouldn't - they didn't really say anything at all.  When at first I tried two I though perhaps there was one too many and thus yanked the HMI cord.  Instantly the power was cut to the screen and I hurriedly replugged thinking I goofed.

    Upon reading your simple explanation just moments ago, I again pulled the second plug (HDMI) and again the screen turned off.  I was just about to replug and decided to wait 30 seconds......and what do you know? - The screen came back on again - using just the one cord.

    I want you to know I'm not a fool.  I searched MS but to no avail.  HP couldn't help, Sams Club couldn't help - their tech is lousy by the way.  I only came across your answer after performing a Google search.  If I had not filed to the very bottom of this page I would still be searching - perhaps returning the computer.  Thank you, thank you very much.

    Now if I could only find better instruction for the supposed "EASY Transfer" (not)

    Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:01 PM
  • After a few weeks of aggravation, Thanks! This seemed to be our problem too, on an HP complete package from Costco.

    This site is good to identify which cable is which: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32524/whats-the-difference-between-hdmi-and-dvi-which-is-better/

     It recommends  removing the DVI cable, and using the HDMI as the latest and best as summed up:

    So Which Digital Cable is Best?

    In our opinion, HDMI is the cable and connector to stick with.  It’s the default connector on most devices and screens, compatible with HD content including HDCP protected Blu-ray, and can carry video, audio, and more all on one cable.  One cable and you’re done.  For now, it’s the cable and connector we recommend you standardize on.

    Friday, July 15, 2011 4:29 PM