This was the 2nd or 3rd time i encountered this problem !!
Problem: The icons in the notification area of my taskbar did not “appear” !!
For example the SOUND ICON (among a lot of others) !! It was random… sometimes a few of those ‘missing’ icons would appear and at times they wont !! Log Off the user (just log off… do not RESTART) and log in again and voila… 99% chance was that the icons “re-appeared” … it was damn annoying !!
======== Solution that is NOT recommended by me: I was googling around and found a number of 3rd party softwares that bragged about “fixing” this problem !! what they did… delayed the time when the icons (and their corresponding services) loaded !!
WHY i do not recommend it ?? 2 reasons…
Number 1: You just cant trust every other software because it “supposedly” *FIXES* your problems !!
Number 2: Try to tweak the windows settings yourself instead of making your system even heavier with 3rd party tools !! The other *solution* was to DISABLE the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) service !! which is again NOT a good idea… You use flash drives (aka USB or Pen Drives) ?? you just plug in your monitor and start using it ?? thats because UPnP is at work !! you disable it and you have to go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Refresh All this hassle every time you plug in your USB etc. !! UPnP *IS* to blame for this “disappearing / missing” system tray icons BUT the problem can be solved w/o disabling the service !!
======== RECOMMENDED SOLUTION (which i used myself):
1. Open My Network Places.
2. in the “Tasks” area in the left pane click on the option “Hide icons for networked UPnP devices” And you are done !! 😛 restart the computer and all the system tray icons will appear AND you will be able to enjoy the facility of Plug n Play service too !!
======== FOR VISTA USERS:
1. Start -> Run -> type “regedit” (w/o hte quotes) and hit enter.
2. Navigate to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionTrayNotify.
3. Delete both keys named: IconStreams and PastIconsStream.
4. Restart Computer (or if you are comfortable with it… end the explorer.exe process and run it again) ========
Hope that helps out a lot of other ppl !! 🙂