christy, Right click your Desktop>Arrange icons by and checkmark "Show desktop icons". Right click your Desktop, choose Properties under the Desktop tab click the Customize Desktop button, under the General tab checkmark which icons you want to show, click OK/Apply/OK.
I just did a full reinstallation of Win XP Pro SP2. I was surprised to find that, when first booted up to the desktop, there was the wall paper with only the Recycle Bin icon at the bottom right corner. Where are the other "default" icons like My Computer, My Docements, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Windows media Player, etc. ? Or am I mistaken ?