Missing desktop icons on boot-up

Last year sometime I created a bootable USB stick with Zorin on it and I occasionally boot up from it (mostly for testing stuff).

My desktop usually shows just the default icons - my home folder and my recycle bin. But this morning it's booting up with nothing on my desktop for some reason (except for the launch bar - which still works).

In fact, it's as if the desktop's become 'locked' somehow. e.g. if I try to drag something to the desktop it just floats back to its original location. I found another thread here which suggests that the solution is to change my settings under 'Zorin->Appearance'. But they seem to be okay and they can't be changed anyway (they also seem to be locked). Anyone else ever seen this and is it fixable?

@johne53 Hi and welcome to the forum.
So if you created your Live USB last year, can we can assume Z15.3, but which flavour Core, Lite?
Was your USB setup to include persistence i.e. to enable you to store settings etc?

Thanks @zabadabadoo. I'm not sure where to find that info but I installed the version from about September of last year. And yes, persistence had been working fine up until today.

I've managed to find an old backup of a file called casper-rw so I can easily replace that if necessary. I'm just curious to know what might've gone wrong. It kinda "feels like" there's some setting that's gotten changed somehow. Or maybe there's a leftover 'lock file' somewhere that I'll need to delete to bring things back again?

Do you have gnome or xfce desktop environment? as that distinguishes between Core or Lite.

I do not know what may have caused the issue you are seeing, but running Zorin from a Live USB is only good for a distro try out, not for proper use. I would have little faith in the USB stick over time.

If you do not have any significant settings etc stored in USB persistemce, I would simply create a new Zorin Live USB.

If you are thinking to try Z16Beta on Live USB with persistence, be warned that persistence does not seem to work on Z16Alpha or Z16Beta.

I swapped casper-rw and it seems to be working now but for future reference, is there a way I can tell whether I'm using gnome or xfce?

[Edit...] Good grief - I just found the installer and it was actually dated Jan 2020!! Anyway, it seems to be called Zorin-OS-15-Core-64-bit-r1.iso

Looking at your download file is the quickest way to find out, or by existence of gnome desktop features.
You can see which version of Z15 Core you have from lokking at: Settings>Details.

Thanks @zabadabadoo - 'Settings->Details->About' just shows me Zorin OS 15

Like I said though, it's all working again (now that I've replaced casper-rw)