Desktop trash icon not truly gone


October 08, 2001|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I've lost the Recycle icon on my desktop. I can still delete items to the recycle bin, but then cannot clean out the recycle bin. How do I get the icon back?

Since Windows code does not permit the trash icon to be deleted or moved into another folder, yours probably got moved until it is hanging by a single pixel off the edge of your monitor display and thus seems to have disappeared. A feature called Auto Arrange will both show you what happened and restore your trash can to a prominent spot on the desktop.

Right-click on the desktop and click on the choice Arrange Icons in the box that comes up. Pick Auto Arrange in the next menu, and all of the icons on your desktop will snap to an invisible grid and line up on the left-hand side of the screen. You will find that the Recycle icon is among them.

I have Windows 98 and cannot open a file (photograph slide show) sent to me. The file shows as a "Zip," and when I try to open it I get a message stating something to the effect of "Accessibility Wizard" not available. Is this a problem with my Internet provider (AT&T) or my system?

I have received photo slides from this same person before and had no problem, but they didn't say "Zip."

When you encounter those files with .zip at the end, it means they have been archived using a system called PKZip that is used by some to compress files as small as possible in order to make them move faster over the Internet than they would in their unshrunken state.

The vast majority of photo files are compressed into formats like .jpg or .gif, so it is fairly rare to need an unzip utility for them. But your case is different, it would seem.

The easiest fix is to download an evaluation copy of the elegant WinZip program and use it in the rare cases you will encounter.

Go to and you will find a simple download waiting.

How long should I wait to buy a new computer, given the new Microsoft operating system, and how debugged should I expect the initial release to be?

I can report that the so-called gold code that Microsoft sent out to reviewers about three weeks ago is rock solid and seems to be as bug-free as an anteater's nightmare.

In fact, bug-free is the largest driving force behind the new consumer version of the Windows operating system because it uses the same core software as does Microsoft's extremely stable Windows 2000 (also NT) commercial-strength code.

When programs running in XP crash, the core operating system does not freeze up.

Keep in mind that your question was about buying a computer with XP loaded onto it by the manufacturer. I would expect those machines to be extremely stable, and thus a joy to get a chance at using.

James Coates writes about technology at the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached via e-mail at

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