Having troubles with tray icons disappearing after a reboot? You’re not the only one. This is a very common problem in Windows XP and has been known for a long time, but for some reason Microsoft never figured it was worth fixing, so even in Service Pack 3 you’ll have to live with this… Or do you?
There are tons of bogus fixes for this problem that requires your to disable services etc.
One of the most common semi-working fix out there is to get a program like Startup-Delayer to delay the starting of certain chosen programs and services to make sure they don’t all start at the same time. And if they don’t all start at the same time, you’ll have a perfect tray with all the wanted icons. I have found this to at best be a partial solution, since the speed of starting the different programs and services varies and thus the delay you set for each program won’t always be what’s needed.
What works for me is to use a very nifty program called PS Tray Factory. It has the ability to restore system tray icons, other tray icons and can even sort tray icons if you wish. You can also use it to minimize certain programs to tray, hide chosen programs from tray, etc, etc.
I have found the sorting and minimizing features to be a bit buggy myself, but that might be because the software was last developed back in 2006 and is not used to some things that programs do today. Regardless, it handles the thing I care about really well. It successfully restores missing tray icons after a reboot or an explorer.exe crash.
The only downside with this program (besides the fact that it isn’t being developed anymore) is that it isn’t free, but if this is something that is really bugging you, then it might be worth your money. Check it out.
The best fix would of course if Microsoft got off their asses and did their job by fixing this age-old bug and stop messing about with ridiculous operative systems like Vista. But for now, this is a working solution.
… Or if you really know what you’re doing, you could check out tasmanians patch that fixes the core of this problem.