Eliminate Common Tasks Pane

If a blue blue bar with headings like "Folder Tasks" and "Make A New Folder" appears on your Desktop when you install Windows XP, What you're seeing is the Common Tasks Pane. It's a normal part of Window Explorer, optionally appearing on the left in place of the folder tree, but it doesn't belong on the desktop. To add insult to injury, some of those suffering this unwanted desktop invader report that its links don't even work. Fixing it requires some careful tweaking in the Registry. Launch RegEdit from the Start menu's Run dialog and navigate to this key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021400-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\shellex\ ExtShellFolderViews\{5984FFE0-28D4-11CF-AE66-08002B2E1262}

Look in the right-hand pane for a value named 'PersistMoniker'. If it's not there, right-click in the right-hand pane and select 'New->String Value' from the pop-up menu, then name the new value 'PersistMoniker'. Double-click the 'Persist Moniker' value and set its data to:

file://%userappdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop.htt

Click 'OK' and restart Windows. That should get rid of the unwanted desktop invader.