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If you have ever right clicked on an item and clicked
"Set as desktop item..." then this may be the problem. You need to make sure that they are not selected.
Do this by right-clicking on the desktop >
Display / Desktop tab / then selecting "Customize Desktop".
Click on the Web tab and make sure none are selected.

Maybe? XP's Tweak UI tool > under The Repair branch
The first item on the list is Repair Icons. To improve performance when loading icons into the user interface, Windows XP keeps track of all the icons currently in use in a special cache file. If this file becomes corrupted, the icons used in the user interface will become scrambled. For example, you or your users may discover that your icons are all black or have mysteriously changed. You can quickly set things straight by choosing Rebuild Icons.
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6329_11-1051444-2.html

Tweak UI for XP(147 KB file)
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

TweakUI for Windows XP - Tips
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/twktips.htm
 
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