Sometimes Windows XP “arbitrarily” adds a shadow behind the title of icons on the desktop. This can be annoying, and ugly. To remove the shadow and make your icon names appear on a transparent backdrop do the following:
1) Open the Control Panel.
2) Double-click on the System icon.
3) In the System Properties window click the Advanced tab.
4) In Advanced click the Settings button under the Performance section.
5) In the Performance Options window scroll down to "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop" and uncheck the option and click Ok.
6)Once completed you should no longer have the drop shadow.
The above generally corrects the issue. If it does not, do the following:
1) Right-Click on a blank are of the desktop.
2) Select Properties.
3) Click the Desktop tab.
4) Click the Customize Desktop button.
5) Click the Web tab.
6) Uncheck any checked boxes.
7) Click OK.
8) Click Apply
This should make your desktop icons look good again.