Which icons? I believe that icons for things that may come and go, like hard drives, are arranged automatically. If you're seeing files themselves moving around, you may have a corrupt .DS_Store file in your desktop folder. Try pasting this command in the terminal:
rm -f ~/Desktop/.DS_Store
Be sure to copy and paste rather than trying to re-type it... the rm command is dangerous - it deletes files immediately, do not pass through the trash, do not collect $200 - and if you don't type it exactly right, you could have disastrous consequences.
By desktop icons I mean the ones that I created or that came over when I migrated from my iBook a couple of weeks ago when I set up the MBP.
Actually Iv been to the Genius bar at the suggestion of Applecare. Applecare thought that maybe the new MBP was getting confused with the old plists, etc from the G4 iBook (10.4) and the 10.6 that I have now.
The Genius bar did remove some old files and plists, but in the couple of week since the MBP is staring to do the same thing again. With the desktop icons (including the Mac HD) moving around. So far it's only after I shut down and start up again the next day or next time I use the MBP.
I move them back to the position where I want, but eventually they go back to either the right side in random order or jumble up.
Does that give more information?
PS. I think the migration from the iBook working with one system and over to intel and MBP doesn't go quite as smoothly as they think it does.
I deleted the hidden .DS_Store file on the desktop, using Onyx, a few days ago.
I changed the view options to Arrange by: NONE. Previously it was to "Snap to grid".
Unfortunately after a few days, the problem came back.
Since the icons on the desktop are being rearranged, I believe the problem lies in the finder window view. When you change the view (list, column or cover flow) inside a finder window, it seems that at this time something will go wrong on next login. Notice that if you change a view in one finder folder. When you go into a new finder window, the last change applies on previous window. There must be a conflict there, that affects the desktop icons.
Hope Apple find the problem...
P.S.: Strange that this problem does not exist in 10.5 (Leopard).
I confirm this issue. This has been driving my girlfriend crazy since the launch of Snow Leopard.
Display Settings on her Desktop are set to "Snap to Grid". I have deleted ~/Desktop/.DS_Store several times, this did not solve the issue.
I really hope Apple will solve this bug quickly.
I have the same problem and it is REALLY annoying since I keep about 60 icons on my desktop in tidy order and have done so for several years, but when I upgraded to 10.6.4 last weekend this problem appeared.
I have tried everything I can come up with, but the icons move to the right side regardless, after every cold reboot.
It is really hampering my professional work since I´ve worked with this same setup for so long using all the shortcuts to my production resources.
So Apple please give this bug high priority
Message was edited by: Stranded Starfish
I have the problem too. I'm a Mac user since back in the nineties and always appreciated that on a Mac, that icons and windows always remain where you leave them. It's very frustrating to see your desktop files bunched up randomly on the right side of the screen after a reboot. This is violating the spatial organization principles the Mac was built on.
Apple: PLEASE fix this bug!
The problem still persist in 10.6.4. About once every month for me.
Deleting the DS hidden files does not solve the problem.
I noticed that it seems to happen when you get a finder popup, when for example uploading a file in safari, from the Desktop. This, only when you change the view (column, list, cover flow), in this finder popup, then you get the problem the next time you startup the Mac.
Still not 100% sure about the cause.
Just hope 10.6.5 will solve the problem...
The problem still persist in 10.6.5.
The problem starts when for example:
1. Safari: Get the popup window to upload a file from desktop.
2. iPhoto: Get the popup window when importing photos
...then the icons will be sorted alphabetically on desktop, and therefore "destroy" the manual organization of these.