Windows 11- clean install on laptop - delete restored orphaned icons - half of the Windows 10 PC is lost


tfwul

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Yesterday I did a clean Windows 11 install on a formatted C-drive of my laptop.
During the setup I signed on to my Outlook account.
This resulted in program desktop icons from my desktop Windows 10 pc being transferred to the laptop.
Obviously, they were all 'empty/blanc/white' images : the linked programs were not available on my laptop.
(And will not be)

Regretfully, at that point I made a mistake: I deleted them.
Today, after booting my Windows 10 desktop PC, 20 of the 42 desktop icons were gone... !

Great...
Restored todays Windows image: same situation
Restored yesterday's image: still the same
After an hour I gave up. Will try to recreate the shortcuts manually.

All this said, I agree/confess, I shouldn't have done this Windows 11 install.
 

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tfwul

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Later
Just now 'discovered' that the links of the deleted desktop icons most probably were stored within \OneDrive\Desktop, whereas the ones that were not deleted were stored locally, i.e. within C:\Users\Public\Desktop, hence, when deleting desktop icons on my laptop, they were removed from OneDrive and from my desktop PC.

How to 'force' Windows to store them locally?

Thanks.
 

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Haydon

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Did you succeed in recreating the shortcuts manually? Then sync to OneDrive and verify that there is an offline/local copy.

Backups and images usually make a copy of offline/local OneDrive, they do not make a copy of what is in the Cloud.

What I think what happened, is that Cloud OneDrive made the icons available to your laptop > you deleted the icons > the icons are no longer available to your other computer > see top paragraph

IMHO, the mishap has nothing to do with the W11 installation on your laptop (although the blank icons may have confused you) you could have committed the unfortunate deletion with any other computer that accesses your cloud OneDrive.

Anyway, good luck (y)
 

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tfwul

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I did restore them and all looks fine,. However, the .lnk files reside on OneDrive. When creating a shortcut, they are automatically stored there. The shortcuts that were not removed from my desktop PC, they were actually stored on my C: drive, hence there was no way to remove them.
Probably at one point in time Windows started to store them on OneDrive without me knowing.

I have not been able to figure out how to change to storage location of the shortcuts.
 

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johnlgalt

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The way you force them to store locally is to stop allowing OneDrive to share your Desktop folder, on both machines.

Right click OneDrive --> Click the gear icon in top right --> Settings --> Backup tab --> Manage backup button --> uncheck Desktop (Click on it and ht check box should turn to a gray-ish icon).

Then, and only then, will you get only locally stored icons.
 

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    Windows 11 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    HomeBrew
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    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
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  • Operating System
    Windows 10 x64 Pro build 21H1
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    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
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    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
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    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
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    Dell
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    Dell
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glasskuter

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stop allowing OneDrive to share your Desktop folder,
I completely agree and never have any of my machines sync my desktop to onedrive. BUT...so many people store files and folders on their desktop rather than doing it the correct way and using their user folders. Then they can sync their user folders and everything works as it should.
I mean, IMO pictures should be in pictures and documents in documents. If done properly, one can stop syncing their desktop to onedrive and their shortcuts will always work. When one syncs multiple desktops to onedrive, it can cause a real mess. I learned that the hard way.

I've seen desktops where there was so many files and folders on a desktop, I don't see how anyone could find anything. Being a stickler for organization, it makes no sense to me, but most folks do it. In those cases, they have to sync their desktop to have all those files and folders on onedrive. Thus lies the problem.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.739
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    Dell Optiplex 7080
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    i9-10900
    Memory
    32 gb
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    Benq 27
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    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
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    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
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Haydon

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Perhaps the OP can live with the 30 day grace period before things get permanently deleted from OneDrive's recycle bin.

It is perhaps the exception that one's desktop is always 100% tidy.
 

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johnlgalt

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I completely agree and never have any of my machines sync my desktop to onedrive. BUT...so many people store files and folders on their desktop rather than doing it the correct way and using their user folders. Then they can sync their user folders and everything works as it should.
I mean, IMO pictures should be in pictures and documents in documents. If done properly, one can stop syncing their desktop to onedrive and their shortcuts will always work. When one syncs multiple desktops to onedrive, it can cause a real mess. I learned that the hard way.

I've seen desktops where there was so many files and folders on a desktop, I don't see how anyone could find anything. Being a stickler for organization, it makes no sense to me, but most folks do it. In those cases, they have to sync their desktop to have all those files and folders on onedrive. Thus lies the problem.

Lol. My mother is a prime example of this. And she stubbornly refuses to accept any other method of storage / categorization / classification of the files.

To her credit, though, she is we;ll over 70. I'm a lot more 'accepting' of her lack of use of even a basic filing system. Resignedly, for sure, but still, more accepting than I was in the past.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eve Spectrum ES07D02 280 Hz QHD | Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1440p | 4k
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    ZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (3x 120 mm push top) + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    Logitech MX Master 3 for Business
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable),Chrome, Edge/ß/Dev/Canary
    Antivirus
    Defender
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 x64 Pro build 21H1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master (shared) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex
    Browser
    Edge Chromium | Chrome | Firefox Nightly | Brave
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB4
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