This is driving me nuts! . Using Windows XP, I want to disable/kill the Auto Arrange function in My Pictures (and all sub-folders). Unticking it in context menu (right click) makes no difference nor (anymore) does editing the Registry Entry (ie, HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Windows NT/Current Settings/Program Manager/Settings/Auto-Arrange/Edit D Word Value, etc.
One suggestion I have read is to change the view to Icons and not details and then disable Auto Arrange. After you have disabled it this way you can change your view back to the one of your choice and Auto Arrange should be disabled.