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Any ideas how to change my Icons from Blank to default?

Posted on 2008-10-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am not sure how it happened but my icons all over my Vista PC are just blank Icons.
I tried System Restore to no avail.  I can do them one by one but its way too time consuming.  I was able to restore desktop.ini files and my actual desktop seems ok but when I click on Start->All Programs they are just a blank (or generic windows) icons.
I have attached a couple of screen shots. Its also like this in Start->Computer->C Drive
Any ideas?  
icons.JPG
icons2.JPG
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Question by:drewmorris
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Author Comment

by:drewmorris
ID: 22836254
Also, any ideas how to change my desktop shortcut icons back?
The original icon for this is ok but not the shortcut arrow.
icons3.JPG
icons4.JPG
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 22836547
Thumbnails and live icons can sometimes get corrupted. In Windows XP, you needed to delete a hidden file called thumbs.db, and then redisplay of the folder with the thumbnail view enabled would regenerate this cache. In Windows Vista, there is no thumbs.db file; it has been replaced by others.  This is described here:

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1890

The relevant quotation:

The hidden file "thumbs.db" introduced in previous Windows versions which has been of such interest to investigators over the past few years has also undergone a significant change. In fact this file has been replaced by a number of "thumbcache_xxx.db" files which are now located within a user's profile at

\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

Another change to be aware of is that the Disk Cleanup Wizard included with Vista may be used to delete these thumbnails. [Note: in some cases Microsoft now refers to thumbnails as "icons" or "live icons".]
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Accepted Solution

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TK-77 earned 250 total points
ID: 22836659
I found this in another post with relating to the same problem. This will rebuild your icon cache.

Launch an elevated CMD window, ie Right click, Run as Administrator...
Shutdown Explorer Process from the Task Manager
In the CMD window go to C:\Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Local
Do the following command: attrib -H IconCache.db
Do the following command: del IconCache.db
Do the following command: start explorer

Good luck!
TK
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Author Comment

by:drewmorris
ID: 22842743
LeeTutor: I am not sure what you want me to do, in XP you say to delete thumbs.db, in Vista and I supposed to delete all of the thumbcache_xxx.db files?  If so, i did but it didn't do any thing.

TK-77:  thanks! That worked for my desktop but my "Computer" still shows the blank icons. Is there somewhere else I need to do the deleting?
I tried your solution to the location LeeTutor mentioned but still no luck.
icons5.JPG
icons6.JPG
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Author Comment

by:drewmorris
ID: 22842797
OK, this is odd, when I bring up Computer and show the icons on the left they are blank but on the right they are correct
icons7.JPG
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Author Comment

by:drewmorris
ID: 22842823
"Another change to be aware of is that the Disk Cleanup Wizard included with Vista may be used to delete these thumbnails. [Note: in some cases Microsoft now refers to thumbnails as "icons" or "live icons".] "
I am pretty sure that is what caused it. I do remember running the Disk Cleanup Wizard
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Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 250 total points
ID: 22842920
Well, the instructions on this page are similar to what was given by TK-77 above, but just a bit different, including maybe having to restart the computer once or twice, and also there is a method 2 which you can try:

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/117229-icon-cache-rebuild.html

Note:  if you can't see any of the screen captures in the tutorial, then find the link for becoming a member of the forum, and go ahead and join -- it's free!
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Author Closing Comment

by:drewmorris
ID: 31511453
Both TK-77 and LeeTutor were 100% correct I just needed to reboot to have the cache file rebuilt.  Thank you BOTH!!!!
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