proof of the real problem
Eureka! I can prove why some desktop shortcuts in Win7 get deleted (at least for one cause). I think I know how to prevent the shortcuts from getting removed, though I can't fix this bug by MS. The problem isn't related to networks or user accounts - it's more fundamental to Win7.
The problem: Win7 has a bug that incorrectly thinks some desktop shortcuts are broken, then when System Maintenance cleans up your desktop (often while you aren't using your computer), it removes those supposedly broken shortcuts.
The proof, and how to check at-risk shortcuts: create several desktop shortcuts that have been removed in the past (or make shortcuts by right-clicking items in the Control Panel while in Small/Large icons view). After shortcuts are created, while in Small/Large icons view in the Control Panel, select Action Center | Troubleshooting | System and Security | System Maintenance, and select Advanced. Uncheck Apply repairs automatically, hit Next, click View detailed information. Select the blue Broken shortcuts to display the desktop shortcuts that Win7 believes are broken. (If there are only a few shortcuts, it will detect them but won't flag them as an issue that should be fixed.)
Preventing shortcut removal: (I haven't tested this, but I believe this will prevent System Maintenance from running to remove shortcuts) - goto Control Panel | Action Center | Troubleshooting | Change settings (on left panel), then turn Off the Computer Maintenance. Unfortunately, this will turn off all of the other maintenance checkups (bad!), not just the removal of broken desktop shortcuts; it's probably best to keep it 'On' and to not place any at-risk shortcuts on the desktop -- some shortcuts aren't at risk, for some reason. I hate to lose my shortcuts, but I also hate not having my computer maintained!
Someone should check to see if there's a registry setting to turn off just the broken-shortcut checking. I know nothing about registries, and it's risky.
My 3-week old ZT AMD FX8120 computer has almost no software installed on it, and I don't have InfraRecorder, which I've read is a possible suspect. The internet is my only network connection.
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