Icon Images Not Showing Correctly

I have a Windows 7 machine that I am having trouble with the icon images not showing.  I just rebuilt my laptop and everything was fine until sometime yesterday when this issue started.  I have even restored to a checkpoint before this problem started and it didn't do any good.  It seems to be very random in when it applies.  For example, it will apply to some Word Docs but not others in the same folder.  See image 1 below.

It also seems to change when I change the size of the items on my desktop.  Image 2 shows what 2 icons look like when my desktop is set to medium size icons.  Image 3 shows what the same 2 icons look like when the icon size is set to small icons.

Also, image 4 shows my taskbar with standard size icons.  Image 5 shows the taskbar with small icons.  The third icon on the taskbar is for Microsoft One Note but the icons shows up correctly in my tray - image 6.

This is getting very annoying.  I just lost a whole day rebuilding my system.   I really don't want to have to go through that again but I cannot seem to find a solution to this problem.  If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it.
Paul CahoonAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Are these icons pointing to locations on remote shares? if so it is quite likely a netork issue with the images not loading up, does a F5 type refresh work?
Paul CahoonAuthor Commented:
No, these are local shortcuts/files.  No F5 does not help.
Hi, try switching over to Aero.

Goto: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\Appearance and Personalization

and click on Aero.  This will run through some troubleshooting and fix your issue automatically.  When you run apps like firefox with backwards compatibility for older CSS stuff it switches your desktop into basic compatibility mode.  This may be what is happening.  I can clearly see that you do not have Aero enabled.

Try that out.

10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

Paul CahoonAuthor Commented:
That didn't change anything.  I have had Aero turned off for years just because I am more interested in performance than appearance but I've never had this problem before.  Is it possible that this is a security issue?  I had changed ownership on my c drive to myself because I was constantly being told that I didn't have permission to change certain files.  I don't remember how I fixed that problem when I first installed Win 7 but evidently that wasn't it because it didn't change anything.  I did go back and set all the permissions to the default but I am still listed as the owner.
That is UAC doing that.

You can turn down UAC by typing UAC in search and hit enter.  This will bring you to the slider scale.  

You shouldn't have to take ownership of the files on your machine as their are really dual permissions within win 7.  One with semi access to all files and one with immediate administrative access to all files and settings.  You will see a shield next to an icon that REQUIRES administrative rights to the box.  

Try adjusting the slider down or just turn UAC off by sliding it all the way down.

Another thing you can try is to copy / recreate your IconCache.db file.

You will find it located in C:\downloads\Windows 7 backup\AppData\Local

You can rename the old one, or copy it from another profile.
Discovered this on another forum:

"The take ownership thing didn't work, BUT I did just make a shortcut from the original steam.exe on the desktop and pinned the shortcut to the taskbar and the image shows up. I deleted the shortcut and relogged my account and the image on the taskbar stays.

Creating a shortcut on the desktop from the original application and copying it to the start menu also works"

Sounds like you will have to delete the old icons and recreate them from the original applications under explorer. (my computer, actual .exe file shortcuts).

Paul CahoonAuthor Commented:
I did discover the same thing that if I recreate the shortcut it works fine.  That works fine for most things but what is annoying is that when I look at the files themselves, I can't tell the difference between them when I look at them.  Most of them look the same because most of them don't show the icon.
again, did you clear your icon cache db?

Look two posts up.

You will have to delete that file and then reboot.  It will recreate when you login.

This seems to be a but with windows 7.  Many people have this issue.
Also,  Set Folder Options to Don't Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
Paul CahoonAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I forgot to respond to that suggestion but I had already tried that to no avail.  I really don't like hiding hidden files because I tend to need to see those a lot.  I will try to see if that makes a difference though.
Try creating another profile, sign in and see if the issue goes away.  If that is the case then there really isn't a whole lot you can do but do what you were doing before.  Just targeting the exact .exe file.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Paul CahoonAuthor Commented:
Still unresolved.  I'm just dealing with it.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.