Skip navigation

JSI Tip 2160. Your Windows NT desktop turns gray and the icons disappear?

Your Windows NT (Or Windows 2000) desktop turns grey and the icons may disappear, though the taskbar is still present. If you logoff and logon, your normal desktop reappears.

If your desktop is redirected to a network path, any network interruption will cause this behavior.

There is no standard fix, other than to determine the cause of the network problem, and resolve it.

NOTE: The users desktop is redirected by double-clicking on:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\Desktop and changing the string of this REG_EXPAND_SZ data type to a network path. Since the data type is REG_EXPAND_SZ, environment variables are allowed in the string.
Example of a hidden User Name share: \\ServerName\%UserName%$\Desktop

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.