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Can't create shortcuts for programs on my desktop

I can't figure out what happened with my desktop icons and shortcuts. I can not create shortcuts for programs, it will not allow me to click on them once they are done being linked, and also the icon does not display the one I chose. Any idea how to fix this?
There's a good chance the Registry entries that control the behavior of shortcuts has somehow become damaged. A badly-written third-party program might have caused this to happen, but it's entirely possible that this behavior occurred on its own. Fortunately, it isn't difficult to repair -- Microsoft Knowledge Base article 177909 describes in detail how to do this. It involves changes to the Registry, which can be done either by hand or by creating a .REG file with the following contents and double-clicking it to integrate it into the Registry:



AppWiz.Cpl,NewLinkHere %1"

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