I am having two separate, but possibly related issues with the Windows 7 taskbar (and desktop).
First, my user pinned taskbar is missing some icons. Unless I manually drag them to the taskbar, they do not appear.
(Note that windows explorer appears on the taskbar because the program is open. If the shortcut was appearing, it would be a white icon.)
This did not used to be the case; I have definitely previously added icons to the Taskbar using the %appdata% location. Dragging a folder or shortcut to explorer.exe to the taskbar does not work. Windows instead tries to pin it to windows explorer. While I'm aware that this problem could be fixed by making a Toolbar for the Task bar, the toolbars "iconize" the shortcuts (rollover highlighting) and do not group open programs into their icons as the taskbar does.
Secondly, as you can see I have changed some icons. I have been having a problem with getting the recycle bin icon to automatically refresh. However, this is quickly fixed by hitting F5. The same is not true, however, for the recycle bin icon on my task bar.
The icon in the taskbar stays full without refreshing for an extended period of time. I do not know what triggers this refresh. I can, of course, restart explorer.exe and it will refresh. I should note that this problem of the recycle bin icon not refreshing is addressed in this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968873 for Windows Vista/XP. I ran the script for Vista, and it did indeed reset my recycle bin icon to the default icon, and fixed it's behavior. However, changing the icon to my custom icon again immediately caused the behavior to revert.
I have run chkdisk, sfc, ccleaner for registry, MSE and avast! for viruses. I do not have any group policies that would lock the taskbar in this manner.
Is there a way to manually force a refresh of the taskbar/start menu?
What could be causing (and how could I fix) my windows explorer shortcut to not appear in the task bar?
What could be causing (and how could I fix) my recycle bin's inability to automatically refresh.