resolved! ty! so, i stumbleupon'd a blog telling me about productivity apps. I thought one of them sounded good but wasn't convinced so i searched for it on a torrent search engine to "try-before-buy." i picked from a few sources and downloaded 3 torrents. one of them stuck on my desktop and won't go away. if i try to open it: if i try to rename it: if i try to delete it: so, there it sits. ugly, unwanted, a zero-byte .torrent file without it's U icon. a constant reminder of a piece of software so insignificant i couldn't even find a seeded source. i have tried a few different anti-malware programs to move/rename/delete-on-boot which have all failed. i read a few postings on forums which say that illegal characters in the filename may be the cause. i did as they recommended, such as opening the file with notepad. notepad then says it can't find the file and asks you if you'd like to create a new one by the same name. you say yes, enter a random string of text, and save it. it saves a new file to the desktop with the same name. then you can delete the old file...but the new file is now the immortal one. microsoft's website is as helpful as should be expected. it says that the file is either in use or corrupt. it says i should restart my computer, it wants me to run chkdsk /f. it doesn't know what it's talking about and it doesn't care about my problem. i use xp professional.