Where does XP store desktop display settings?

By Knot2Brite
Apr 24, 2009
  1. hello,

    Periodically following a reboot Windows tells me it turned off my desktop. When I clicked to restore my desktop Windows tells me there's a problem in what turns out to be a non-existent file. It refers to folder.htt stored in a hidden system folder but the file does not exist.

    After I run CHKDSK my desktop with the appropriate pictures, colors, screen resolution is restored. I conclude that the settings are stored in some other file but I do not know how to find it.

    I will appreciate any information you can provide.

    Thank you
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    If you start Control panel and click on folder settings, panel 'view' you will find the option which controls Hidden files and folders. And other things MS does not consider you should see and 'mess with' (probably wisely so in most cases).

    Once you can see these hidden folders, you will find in Windows explorer there is a 'documents and settings' folder right at the root of the C: drive. The subfolders for this are for 'all users', 'default user' and whatever other users you have, including yourself.

    Futher explore under your own user folder and you will find folders for 'desktop', 'start menu' and loads of other personal settings. Now you see where the icons present on your desktop come from.......but not all of them by a long margin. Whenever you install an application (well newer ones anyway), one of the questions will be 'install for all users, or just for me?' When there is no question, install is for 'all users' by default.

    So what ? well, there is ANOTHER desktop folder, that lives under 'all users' folder. What you actually see on the screen is the sum of the two 'desktop' folders.

    All of the above may have no relevance to your problem, which is not particularly easy to visualise from your description. Are you running an active desktop ? If you are complaining about desktop resolution, colour depth and so on, they are registry entries not in a file. BTW folder.htt is something from the dark ages - Internet Explorer 4 !!
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