OK, first, there is no IE shortcut to "uncheck", I looked there several times to try that before looking online for a solution to this. I currently do not have the Internet Exporer icon on my desktop, but it keeps reappearing on the Toolbar every time I delete it. Usually after a reboot, or because I "hide" my taskbar, it will sink down, and disappear, then when I pop it back up, there is IE shortcut again. It's ridiculous. Maybe a registry edit for this? I have no idea where to look to change this.
As far as the desktop folder, the My Computer, Documents, Network icons are not in the folder, and there is no "do not sort" option, to allow me to drag and arrange the icons along the toolbar in the order I want them. I was able to drag, and arrange my icons in preferential order in 98. The Quicklaunch bar will allow re-orginization of shortcuts by dragging them into place easily.
Advanced Appearance- I already used this feature. It is how I got my colors adjusted in the first place, but Vista uses the same color for both the window, and menubar. I was able to choose grey for my windows/dialog boxes, and have the menu toolbar in black on my old OS. Is this feature broken? It still won't do it.
The extensions feature was removed in Vista? Why on Earth would they do that? I used that feature in Windows alot, to change the icons of many extension types.
For the HDD icon-I didn't know it would require registry editing to change those icons, and I couldn't find that in the tutorial itself when I looked, I appreciate the link. I used that information, and was able to get exactly what I was looking for.
For Folder Icons- I am not going to click properties on hundreds of folder icons in my computer and change them all to the one Icon I want to represent a folder. I am talking about changing the icon the system uses to show an open or closed folder. I imagine it will require registry changes similar to that used for the HDD.
I will try this 3rd party software you reccomend, I didn't know it took 3rd party software to adjust windows settings anymore. This seems like a convoluted way to do something that was simple in old versions of Windows.
I appreciate the help here, Microsoft made everything more convoluted than it was before, and those of us that know how to do these things in past versions are pretty much lost on this new "organization" they threw at us. It seems that every time they make a new OS, more and more of the customization options available to us gets smaller and smaller. I just want a simple old school windows look, without all that aero stuff.