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I think the messing around with your icons may have something do do with your remote setup having a lower screen resolution than your desktop.

Not a lower resolution - just a different format. One computer has a wide screen monitor, one has the older 4:3 ratio.

If this issue is unchanged from XP (and I'm pretty sure it is unchanged), the problem is that every time you change screen resolution, the icons are re-arranged, even if you have auto-arrange turned off. To some extent, that makes sense, as Windows tries to make sure all of your icons are accessible. When you use remote desktop, the remote computer works like you attached a different monitor, therefore changing the icon arrangement.

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