Thanks the KB article was very helpful along with the other KB articles
this one references for other Windows types i.e. Win 2K.
I've experienced it on win 2k and win xp but haven't a clue as to why
they disappeared. I've always reinstalled the OS to correct it since
one can't do a properties on these icons to see if they are shortcuts
or where they are in the directory structure. Now I'll know what to
do if it happens again.