How can I save and recover the position of icons and folders?
They get wiped every time I patch Android.
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If you're using LauncherPro go to your home screen, press
Menu -> Preferences ->Backup homescreen & settings to backup and
Restore backup is in the same place. This can't restore your widgets but remembers their places though. Also some app-specific shortcuts need to be recreated (in my case, shortcuts to K-9 Mail mailboxes).
I am using Go Launcher Ex Home launcher which saves the current configuration and we can restore it whenever we need. If you have a different launcher check for Backup/Restore configuration settings.