Why does my desktop do a slow refresh when booting after initally displaying?

March 20, 2014
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Window 7 64-bit Home Premium. When starting the computer the desktop icon appear w/their symbols, the internet connects (my weather bug gadget shows up to confirm the connection). Then the computer ‘blinks’ all the desktop icons lose their symbols and become plain folders symbols and after a few seconds they begin returning to their normal symbols again. The HD seems to be working a lot during this process (light is on solid). Got any help to stop this second ‘boot’ at start up?

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  1. Jim Whitworth
    March 25, 2014 at 5:21 am

    I'll give both of those items a look-see. Not too thrilled with messing with Windows runs in start-up. Drop out the wrong one(s) and things can get really fouled up in a hurry and are hard to recover from. Some of the things that have been sent in response to my question have seemed to improve the process some. It's still re-doing the symbols on the short-cuts (like a small re-boot, but just of the desk top). The hard drive seems very busy (solid light on), but as been mentioned there are a lot of things getting into the game at startup. I want to thank all for their help and say that I'm just going to live with what I have until I step up to the next 'new brave world', Windows 8.1. Thanks again to all.

    • Hovsep A
      April 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      one thing you can do is to scan for malware, it is normal procedure, there are live cd with antimalware included it will be better to boot on one of them and scan.

  2. Jim Whitworth
    March 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Hovsep, The apps/programs I removed (and do this periodically) had already been done. So I guess the answer is no.
    Dalsan, There no short cuts on the desktop that are not truly short cuts. They all have arrows and lead to the loading of a program or application. I may have too many, but that I don't think is the reason that they become ready to use and then the system reacts as if were re-booting itself at some level and clearing all the symbols from the short cuts, (they are folders again) then one-by one putting the proper symbol back in place and overriding the folder symbol. After this second pas thru the desktop load the computer works fine. If I try to use a short cut prior to this second load it will fail to engage whatever app that I try.

  3. Jim Whitworth
    March 22, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Dalsan M. I have 4GB of RAM. I have look thru the applications/programs installed and have removed all those I feel comfortable doing. Thanks for the input.

    • Hovsep A
      March 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      did removing application fixed the problem?

    • Dalsan M
      March 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Are there any items or icons on the desktop that do not have arrows on them? If so, they may not be shortcuts, but actual files or folders. Right-click on these items and select Properties to find out what kind of files they are. Ideally, you only want shortcuts on the desktop, so move any files, especially large files, to one of the folders in your library, such as Documents or Downloads. Large files or many files that are on your desktop may cause performance issues, but many users download files to the desktop often instead of using the Download folder.

  4. Dalsan M
    March 21, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Quick question, how much memory (RAM) is installed on your computer? If it is below or around 2GB, then I would suggest upgrading to 4GB to see if it helps. Also, check to see if you have any unwanted or unused programs installed and try uninstalling them, but make sure that they are not necessary programs for your computer.

    You may want to go to the manufacturer's website abd check for software and driver updates as this may help your system. Check to make sure you have Windows Updated as well. There are plenty of areas to check and try before installing an SSD, including making sure to remove any downloaded files from the desktop and placing them in the Download/Documents/Pictures, etc., folder(s). Large files that are placed onto the desktop instead of creating a shortcut to the file can cause performance issues.

    If you need any other help, feel free to ask.

  5. Jim Whitworth
    March 21, 2014 at 4:32 am

    First a thank you both for your efforts on my behalf.
    Hovsep A
    I tried the Microsoft 'Maintenance for Windows' and it stopped saying it couldn't connect to the server, there is no server, just my desktop. So that didn't work. Next I followed the instruction for running good ole 'check disk' and it wouldn't run saying it couldn't gain control of the hd. so it stopped too.
    Jeff F.
    I will certainly look into the SSD drive as an answer and a neat storage device and upgrade to my desktop. Like improving it. Newegg prices seemed a bit better than Tiger Direct for same small SSD. I skimmed the articles but will read in more depth tomorrow or Saturday. Biggest concern is moving the OS to the SSD but I fought thru this type upgrade before, some times a bit on the frustrating side but in the end satisfying.

  6. Jim Whitworth
    March 21, 2014 at 4:31 am

    First a thank you both for your efforts on my behalf.
    Hovsep A
    I tried the Microsoft 'Maintenance for Windows' and it stopped saying it couldn't connect to the server, there is no server, just my desktop. So that didn't work. Next I followed the instruction for running good ole 'check disk' and it wouldn't run saying it couldn't gain control of the hd. so it stopped too.
    Jeff F.
    I will certainly look into the SSD drive as an answer and a neat storage device and upgrade to my desktop. Like improving it. Newegg prices seemed a bit better than Tiger Direct for same small SSD. I skimmed the articles but will read in more depth tomorrow or Saturday. Biggest concern is moving the OS to the SSD but I fought thru this type upgrade before, some times a bit on the frustrating side but in the end satisfying.

  7. Jim Whitworth
    March 21, 2014 at 4:30 am

    First a thank you both for your efforts on my behalf.
    Hovsep A
    I tried the Microsoft 'Maintenance for Windows' and it stopped saying it couldn't connect to the server, there is no server, just my desktop. So that didn't work. Next I followed the instruction for running good ole 'check disk' and it wouldn't run saying it couldn't gain control of the hd. so it stopped too.
    Jeff F.
    I will certainly look into the SSD drive as an answer and a neat storage device and upgrade to my desktop. Like improving it. Newegg prices seemed a bit better than Tiger Direct for same small SSD. I skimmed the articles but will read in more depth tomorrow or Saturday. Biggest concern is moving the OS to the SSD but I fought thru this type upgrade before, some times a bit on the frustrating side but in the end satisfying.

    • Hovsep A
      March 21, 2014 at 7:42 am

      well if your pc is infected then first do repair windows and then move the operating system to SSD if interested. Are you sure that your Windows is not infected?

      concerning cant connect to server, microsoft fix it should be allowed to connect to internet and to microsoft server, perhaps your firewall is causing this problem, so just disable it.

      Unable to run CHKDSK
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555484
      Such locking of the drive partition may be due to third party virus checker or disk monitor tool.
      disable your antimalware solutions and try again

      you can try also sfc /scannow to repair system files
      Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833

      How to resolve an issue where all Windows 7 desktop icons have become blank? (Easy Fix Articles)
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2635447
      1) "Start" button and then type %UserProfile%AppdataLocal . Once done, press the Enter key on the keyboard.
      2) right click on "IconCache.db" and then click "Delete". Restart your computer

  8. Hovsep A
    March 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

    try this microsoft fix it
    http://support.microsoft.com/mats/system_maintenance_for_windows/en-us

    Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833

    1.Go to run and type cmd, right click and choose run as administrator
    2.On the cmd black screen type: chkdsk /r and hit enter
    3.Wait the scan to finish and reboot

    update drivers if necessary check Slimdrivers
    http://www.driverupdate.net/

  9. Jeff F
    March 20, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Hi Jim,

    You can disable unnecessary startup items and features in Windows 7 fairly easily. I think you would greatly increase performance by installing your operating system on a solid state drive. I've provided you with some information about SSD's below.

    Guide To Solid State Drives
    How Do Solid-State Drives Work? [MakeUseOf Explains]
    The Complete Guide On Installing A Solid State Hard Drive In Your PC
    Shop Solid State Drives at TigerDirect
    Shop Solid State Drives at NewEgg

  10. Jim Whitworth
    March 20, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Thanks I guess I'll just be happy that there are no 'Blue' screens of death anymore. W7 seems to have done away with those. When I posed the question I was thinking that there might be something in 'start-up' that could be dumped and smooth out the initial boot. But it seem that I should be happy and just sit back and wait a bit for all the apps to get settled into place. Thanks I can wait for the system, at 73 I'm don't go any where very fast anymore.. And there are 72 icons on the desktop, so there might be some thing running in the background from startup besides the required system processes. Thanks again. Jim.

  11. Bruce E
    March 20, 2014 at 4:42 am

    There is a lot going on during the initial system boot. The hard disk is being hit hard to load all of the software, the CPU is craning away to start the background processes, set up devices connected to the computer, reading the registry into memory, building the initial disk caches the system will use to enhance the effective speed of other programs later on, re-examining the prefetch data for optimization, initializing hardware and software drivers that were not immediately necessary to get the system running, etc. The system is extremely busy during this time. Programs that are starting later in the load process, especially those that end up in the notification area, may be sending a signal to the OS that the entire desktop needs to be refreshed, so it drops all of the information it has about what icons are on the desktop and and reads All UsersDesktop and currentuserDesktop to rebuild the icon list and refresh the entire screen. Since the CPU is already loaded down with all of the other tasks it needs to carry out to provide a usable environment, it takes longer for the screen to re-read this information and refresh the desktop so it appears as you describe: the screen "blinks" and all of the icons are rebuilt to refresh the entire visible desktop. This is extremely common and most of the time is caused by a video driver "control panel" (Catalyst Control Panel, NVIDIA Control Panel) showing up in the notification area. As part of its initialization, it will frequently issue a reset signal to the video card that causes a full-screen desktop refresh.

    It can also happen if the video driver crashes and the system reloads it. You will have entries in the System log if this is the case. There should also be an on-screen message saying that the system has recovered from a video driver crash.

    • Jim Whitworth
      April 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      I don't get any messages during, before or after the desktop icon symbol re-build. I didn't see any reference to a problem in the log file either. I can only come to the same conclusion as you that the video driver/card has 'arrived' in the boot up sequence after it was already there and has issues the re-boot of the card. In any case I've tried almost everything that all the kind folks here at 'MakeUsOf' have offered and I still get the re-build. I think I will just ignore it as I had for months before thinking I might like to correct it. Instead time is nearing in this PCs life to be replaced with new box running W 8.1. Until then I 'll survive. Thank you for your help and explanation.

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