Have you tried doing a right click on the program then selecting "send to the desktop as a shortcut"? That has always worked for me. If these problems have started recently, it might be wise to run scans for spyware, viruses and other parasites.
When I try to create shortcuts from program files using cut-n-paste or drag, I get generic shortcut icons with the correct label, and if I left click on them nothing happens. With right click/properties I get "Invalid shortcut", and these icons can neither be deleted from nor moved from the desk top. I would please like to know how to remove and how not to create these invalid shortcuts. They are not causing any problems that I'm aware of other than taking up space on the desk top.
Also, "add/remove programs" has disappeared from control panel. How can I get it back?
Any assistance offered is greatly appreciated.