I am having the same issue, but the difficulty with the answer is that you leave your system vulnerable for maybe hours of surfing. There are days that there is no issue. It appears that the time this occurs on my system is after the computer goes into power
saving mode, but not all the time. It also occurs on resume, but not all the time. All of the tray icons work fine as do those in the All Programs menu. A reboot always fixes the issue.
EeePC Newtbook, Windows 7 Premium.
Additional: I have been watching more closely when the icons quit working. It only occurs, for me, from a hibernation wake-up. A wake-up from short naps doesn't cause the disappearance.
Was able to find what is causing the problem. If IE8 is open when the system goes into power-down of some kind there is a second process that shows in TaskManager when it wakes up. Do the old Ctl-Alt-Del and close one of tne IE processes and the desktop icons
return to normal usage. Have verified this several times in a row now = without a reboot.
More late breaking news ...
Twice now with no IE8 open pages the icons would not work after a wake-up. I went directly to TaskManager and there were two iexplore.exe processes still running. One was about 148,000k and the other was 9,000k. I closed the big one and the desktop icons
worked and the smaller process closed itself. The problem seems to be that IE8 does not close in a tidy manner.
Looks like MS should be providing fix.
Problem Solved :)
Not sure why, but the problem has been solved. No way for me to pinpoint the reason for the fix. It could have been the result of a recent Win7 update, or ... I have not installed any new software. I really wish that there could have been a concrete solution,
but in my case that didn't happen.