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Icons missing in start menu and quick launch

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi,

I've got a problem with Windows XP that I've had for a while now. My PC sometimes reboots itself (I suspect dodgy RAM), and when it starts back up again all of the icons in the start menu are missing. On the All Programs menu, there are no icons next to the app name, and there isn't even a space where they should go. Also, on the Quick Launch bar, all of the icons disappear on there as well. When I hover over where the buttons should be, all there is is a tiny square where the icon would have been, except that the square is a lot smaller. The program still runs when I click on its icon, though.
In folders in Explorer, they too don't have any icons on them. If I change the view to Icon view, the icons appear. However, even when changing the view to tile view or any other view except Icon view, the icons still appear as if I had selected Icon view.
On the desktop, normally my icons have transparent backgrounds behind the text. But now, the icons have the background color of my desktop instead. Also there is no alpha blending on the icons themselves, so they have a white halo around them.
Also some of the Windows XP dialogs do not appear in Windows XP style, such as the screensaver tab in Display Properties. The rest of Display Properties is unaffected.

Please help as this problem has occured before, and the only way I found to fix it was to reinstall Windows XP and I do not want to go through this again. I have looked in many places before now to find a solution, but I couldn't find anyone else who has got this problem. I have searched Experts Exchange and no-one on there seems to have this problem either.
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Question by:alexsilcock
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
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Run these commands ..

Goto Start --> run --> type sfc /scannow and enter   "You will be prompted to insert your XP CD, Insert and wait, when the box disppears, Go back to Start --> run --> Type msconfig and enter.

Goto Start up Items and disable all.

Again goto Start --> Run --> type chkdsk /r /f and enter, answear by YES then restart
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by:Mohammed Hamada
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by:Mohammed Hamada
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I guess the resolution is here, by editing and deleting the 2 registries everything will work fine.. But also apply the above commands to make sure your system is healthy and have no changes..

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/startmfu.htm
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Author Comment

by:alexsilcock
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I've tried both of those and neither of those work. The items appear on the MFU list do appear, but the icons don't appear. It's like that on the All Programs menu as well. I think that all the problems I mentioned are linked, as when this problem occurs all of the symptoms appear.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mohammed Hamada
Mohammed Hamada earned 20 total points
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Right click Start menu --> click explore all users, copy the programs folder to a different location.

Restart your computer to recovery console and Delete this folder, then restart and windows will create this folder again with the default applications installed on your system, then copy the other folder to the same location without overwriting files/folders.

You will probably have a denied access message when you try to delete the folder on RC, So you might try using a bootable floppy disc or CD..

There's some utilities that will allow you to boox to xp using CD, or floppy to access your drive in case it was un-accessable, this only happens on an NTFS file system so if you are using a FAT32 then it shouldn't be a problem to delete the programs directory ..

Good luck
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by:alexsilcock
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Unfortunately, I don't have access to the recovery console so it's no luck for that. The main problem that I have is the desktop and the icons in Windows explorer. I would have thought that all of the problems were linked as they are all to do with icons. I wondered if the DLL that rendered the icons onto the screen was corrupt or something, but I did an SFC and it still didn't fix it.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
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I'll try to look for a utility that lets you delete the programs folder, as i'm sure this will do it coz i already have this done be4.

Try to register the following file.

Goto Start --> Run -> Type regsvr32 shell32.dll and enter
You should get a message of " DLLregisterServer in shell32.dll succeeded.

Restart the computer and check?
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Accepted Solution

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FriarTuk earned 330 total points
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download & install tweakui for xp, then in the repair section - rebuild icons
http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/c/a/fca6767b-9ed9-45a6-b352-839afb2a2679/TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe
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by:alexsilcock
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I've tried re-registering shell32.dll, which unfortunately didn't work, and neither did rebuilding the icons with TweakUI. I'm just about to try the deleting the programs folder. Hopefully that will work!
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by:FriarTuk
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try #121 on left side        http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
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by:FriarTuk
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by:alexsilcock
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I've tried all of the things that you have mentioned and none have worked. Does anyone else have any ideas?
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by:FriarTuk
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rclk the taskbar - click properties - start menu tab
 - try selecting classic & click ok, post results

if that doesn't work
 - select start menu - then customize - on general tab - select small icon, post results
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Author Comment

by:alexsilcock
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I did both of those, and neither worked. I have included screenshots of what the start menu looked like after I had done each one:

Classic style start menu (before changing to small icons)
http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/6690/classicstartmenunormalicons0bv.jpg

Classic style start menu (after changing to small icons)
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/529/classicstartmenusmallicons0ai.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:FriarTuk
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rclk desktop - prop's:
settings - check color & resolution
appearance - advanced - item = 3d object (color = not black)
themes - try another them

delete or rename possible corrupted icon cache, then reboot:
C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data
(note: for win98 - c:\windows\shelliconcache)

remove ie6, reboot, add ie6

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by:FriarTuk
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by:alexsilcock
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Sorry, I was on holiday at the time. I'll test out those things in a bit, when I have more time.
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by:FriarTuk
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any luck alex?
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by:alexsilcock
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Not yet, sorry... any ideas?
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by:FriarTuk
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most times i've seen this it was usually due to a DLL associated with IE
did you try removing IE6 & reinstalling it?

reregister IE dlls
"c:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe" /rereg


reregister o/s dlls
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Internet-Explorer-corrupted-fix.html
copy & paste script into a new text filed & save as fixie.bat, then run it
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Expert Comment

by:FriarTuk
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http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315341      "xp in place upgrade/reinstall (method 2 using repair)"

http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printableArticle.jhtml?articleID=189400897      (XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option)
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by:alexsilcock
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The second link looks promising, but the only problem is that I don't have the original Windows XP CD. I've just got a modified Ghost CD that wipes over the hard drive, which also installs software that came with the PC. Is it possible to repair without using the CD?
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by:FriarTuk
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i don't think so, as the repair option in xp knows where to get certain o/s files from their location on the cd, located mostly the i386 folder & for your version of xp either sp1 or sp2, in order to restore the system files.  i'd suggest borrowing one from someone.
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by:alexsilcock
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OK then, I'll see what I can do. I'm running XP Home SP2 if that helps at all. If I can get hold of an XP Pro no-service-pack disc, would that work? Or does it need to be a slipstreamed Home disc?
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by:FriarTuk
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if needs to match you o/s & svc pak lvl - ie xp home sp2

if you use a home sp1, you'll need to reinstall sp2 & other updates

xp pro will upgrade your o/s whereas your original cd key won't be usable as it is for home not pro version
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by:alexsilcock
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OK then i'll try and find an XP home SP2 disc
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by:FriarTuk
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any luck alex?
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by:alexsilcock
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Nope, no luck yet... I'm still asking around friends to see if they've got an XP disc I can borrow.
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by:FriarTuk
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any status updates?
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by:alexsilcock
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Nope, but I've pretty much given up as I haven't been able to solve it, so I've just reformatted my hard drive (again). I'll give you all the points as you have been the most helpful. Thanks very much for your time.
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