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On a computer running Windows 7, your desktop icons may be moved to random positions when selecting a different monitor as your primary display.
Icon positions are based on the current resolution and changing the primary monitor can be interpreted as changing the resolution.
If after changing the primary display your desktop icons are not in your preferred positions, drag them to where you prefer.
Attach an external monitor, right click on the desktop, select screen resolution, change to multiple displays, select "Extend these displays" from the Multiple Displays dropbox, highlight the external monitor, make this monitor your primary display. These steps move the desktop and icons to the external monitor.
This operation can also be performed in Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Screen Resolution.
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