You didn't tell what OS since with each version the fix, workaround or OS feature could differ.
For instance, in Windows 2000 and XP I could use CACLS or XCACLS to set the ownership and permissions of the shortcuts on the Desktop so they can't be deleted. That's pretty specific to 2000/XP (and 2003), but shows that the OS already provided the needed controls.
For the DOS windows, the workarounds are just that. Workarounds. You play games with startup scripts to recreate what you want.
I live in a complex that has a computer room. Unfortunately, one or two people will delete icons so others (older people) won't be playing on the computers when they want to get on it. Is there a way or are there any programs that will lock access to removing icons or getting inside the computer? I maintain the computers and only want the residents to be able to access programs through the desktop icons or maybe through the Start-Programs mode? I know public libraries computers are like this. Thanks in advance for your help.