?? command to Redraw Entire Desktop in XP ??


OSNN Addict
12 Jan 2002
I have kind of a strange request. Does anyone know of a command I can use to completely redraw/reset the entire Desktop and Taskbar in Windows XP??

I have an installation of XP that I cannot (for the next 6 months or so) get rid of--due to special programs that cannot be replaced at this time. The problem I am having is that when I start the computer it does not completely draw/include all the Icons in the Taskbar near the clock..and I often need to access those active programs.
For example the "safely remove hardware", the Antivirus, etc. do not show up, yet I know they are active and running.
(The missing Safely remove hardware icon is particularly problematic, as I need it frequently to prevent data corruption when I remove USB drives--which has happened--and I am not sure of an alternative method)

If I do a system Restore all of the icons show perfectly after the restore (until I do a reboot). If I somehow get a "glitch" that causes the computer to completely redraw the desktop then POOF-- the Icons all reappear.
I am wondering if any of you know a command I can use to FORCE the desktop to redraw...much as windows uses to restore the desktop after a glitch.

I have tried many things, including a Repair Install of windows, but nothing has solved this particular problem for any length of time. Short of a complete Clean install (which I will eventually do) is there anyone with any ideas?

When I do a simple REFRESH the Desktop icons redraw, but not the taskbar, nor the Icons by the clock.

The problem is with the taskbar and the active icons by the clock (and I have it set to show all icons, including inactive).

I figure there must be some sort of Completely redraw desktop routine that windows follows when it handles a windows glitch during its error routine.
Whatever that command is during the error routine causes everything to Redraw and suddenly appear.

Guess I am just going to have to deal with it for the next 6 months, after which I can drop XP on this computer and either completely reinstall or upgrade to Win7. Just that I need to use several programs which will not run on Windows 7, and there are 2 that I would be unable to reinstall anyway.

Time to move on.

Thanks for the Help...ALWAYS appreciated.
This probably isn't what you're looking for either, but if you go into the task manager and kill the "explorer.exe" process. Then again in the task manager in the File menu choose "New Task (Run)" and enter "explorer.exe" to reload it and remake the taskbar and everything on the screen. Maybe you can make a batch command to kill and reload the process as well???

Just tested in XP in VMWare Workstation (running it to run one program that I use which doesn't behave as well in Vista or 7).
Thanks roirraW "edor" ehT That worked, good enough anyway. Basically it forced the redraw/reset and looks like it recovered the missing items.

I was so frustrated with this thing that I needed someone to think "outside the box" that I was stuck in.

Appreciate all of your help.


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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
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Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
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Rest in peace my friend, been trying to find you and finally did in the worst way imaginable.

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