Where have all my desktop icons gone?

Windows offers the facility to hide all the icons on your desktop. The default option is to show all desktop icons, but this may be switched off either by accident or on purpose. To change this setting simply right-click on the desktop and a menu will appear.

On Windows XP you need to open up the 'Arrange icons by' sub-menu and then either tick or untick 'Show Desktop Icons'.
On Windows Vista and 7 the option is available in the 'View' menu.