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Bruce MORRISFlag for Canada

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Recover Shortcut Icons for desktop in Vista x64

Some time ago, I discovered that almost all of my 85 desktop shortcut icons had changed to a default symbol.  Only 13 have other than the default picture, and most of these are folder shortcuts, or PDF file shortcuts.  I do not recall what action on my part might have triggered this event.  I have already conducted a reinstall-"repair" operation for Vista Home Premium x64 system, but this did not resolve the problem.  Can anyone suggest how to recover the original stylized icons for these "lost" shortcut icons?
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rbredewout

Are the programs local or on Server?
If you click twice on a shotcut.. what does it say?
Please also indicate what sort of shortcuts these are. For instance are they for Microsoft Word or are the Internet Explorer shortcuts.
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The shortcuts are for most of the programs on my laptop.  As far as I can determine, all of the shortcuts work correctly, in that they cause the relevant program to be executed. Attached is a single page MS Word 2003 document with a screen shot of my desktop (HP dv9820us, Vista Home Premuium, 4 GB RAM, External USB Seagate Flex Pro 500 GB for backups, Verizon DSL Internet connection). Arbyem
hp-desktop-icons-problem-110216.doc
Please check the file associations for .lnk filetypes it should be set to unknown.
In Vista click start search for Default Programs
Click Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program
Look for .LNK and tell us what it says.
Hi oneitnz: the .lnk Description is "Shortcut", and the Current Default is "ContextMenu.exe".  I have not yet changed it to "Unknown application" (as is the seting for .liveupdate).  Arbyem
Unknown Application is actually the setting that it needs to be. It appears somehow you've configured a shortcut link to open with the ContextMenu.exe program. Also please check the .desklink File Type as well because that seems to be the Extension for Desktop Shortcuts, that also should be Unknown Application.

Anyway I may have found a solution for you, please be careful when modifying your Registry as it could break something. No thats out of the way open the Registry (Start Run Regedit) and search for this Key. I recommend you backup the key by going File Export and save it to the Desktop in case this doesn't fix it.

You need to delete this key, specifically:
HEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.lnk\UserChoice

Also if you find the .desklink association is wrong too find that in the same place and look for userchoice key there and delete it.
Hi again: Thanks for the expeditious response.  However, it is not obvious to me where to find the "Unknown Application" selection.  I apparently cannot type-in that selection, and it is  not on the list of programs when one executes the "Browse" option.  Please explain how to set the default to "Unknown Application".   I will not attempt the regedit approach until I have completed the file associations change in the Default Programs/Set Associations window. Appreciatively, Arbyem
Hi Bruce

Sorry maybe I didn't explain myself properly, you can't just select unknown application you have to follow the registry change to reset it back to unknown.
Hi oneitnz: The above actions with regedit were completed, and the system was restarted.   The regedit results showed that the UserChoice entry is no longer present!
However, the desktop icons remain uncorrected – i.e. the same as before the regedit actions were duly completed.  Indeed, the Set Associations for .lnk still shows “Contextmenu.exe!  What has gone wrong with my corrective actions? Bruce
Hi Bruce

Please also check under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.lnk\OpenWithList and
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.desklink\OpenWithList

You should probably find something there with ContextMenu.exe.

Failing that could you do a search of the entire registry for "Contextmenu.exe" and let me know what you find.

Regards
Brett
Hi Brett: BTW what is the "HKCU\"?  There is no "Contextmenu.exe" under "openWithList" for either .lnk or .desklink.  A "find" search for Contextmenu.exe turned up Contextmenu.exe in "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\dllfile\shell\IObit Reg\command.  However, I could not locate this registry entry under "regedit" - there is no ".dllfile" entry!  The entry under "Data" was C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare 3\ContextMenu.exe "%1" "actreg".  The next occurrence was "....IObit UnReg\command with the Data entry the same except for the last portion - "actunreg" (vice "actreg").  The next occurence was "...lnkfile\shell\IObit\command with  the Data entry "%1" with no additional content.
The file ContextMenu.exe is indeed in the identified folder (116 KB, 20 Jul 2010, modified 22 Jan 2010, Accessed 24 Dec 2010).  I do have Advanced SystemCare 3 installed and running on my HP laptop under Vista Home Premium x64.
I hope that this helps to resolve my problem - although no resolution still permits me to operate with the minor annoyance of no customized desktop shortcut icons.
Appreciatively, Bruce
Hi Bruce

Firstly HKCU is a shortcut for HKEY_Current_User sorry for the confusion.

I've done a search through my entire registry and I don't have contextmenu.exe listed anywhere so obviously this is something to do with a piece of software you've installed by the looks of it, it's IOBIT Advanced System Care. I've looked it up and it seems to be some kind of registry cleaner or something, claiming to speed up your pc. If you don't use it I would recommend uninstalling it, I never trust any software that claims to be able to speed up my PC it's pure rubbish.

Regards
Brett
Hi again Brett: The Advanced SystemCare3 program was uninstalled using Revo Uninstaller.  The ContextMenu.exe file did not show up on a search of My Computer.  However, a “Find” function search in Registry Editor for “ContextMenu.exe” produced the following results: (no screen shot available here - see the attached document)  
The two screen shots are of the initial portion of the listing and the final portion thereof.
Does this mean that “ContextMenu.exe” exists throughout the “Muicache” regedit entry?
I restarted the system, but the desktop shortcut icons are now blank, including the three at the lower left in the Task Bar (as shown in the screen shot in the attached document)!
Is there any other action required?  Have I inadvertently removed (deleted or otherwise disrupted) one or more relevant files which control the individual icons for the desktop shortcuts?
As a last resort, I guess that I may have to accept those blank icons!
Appreciatively, Bruce

hp-desktop-icons-problem-experts.doc
Please send me a screenshot of what you have under HKEY Local Machine\Software\Classes\.lnk and .desklink if they exist.
Brett:  I have added the relevant screen shots you requested in the attached updated document.  Thanks again, Bruce
hp-desktop-icons-problem-experts.doc
Ok I think we are getting somewhere, Please confirm that under the HKLM\Software\Classes\.Desklink registry key that there is a Default REG_SZ with CLSID\{9E56BE61-C50F-11CF-9A2C-00A0C90A90CE} as the Data.

Second please confirm that your  HKLM\Software\Classes\.lnk\ShellNew registry key is identical to mine. User generated image
Hi Brett: The .desklink Data entry is (value not set); so there is a discrepancy relative to your entry.   The contents of my regedit entry for .lnk\ShellNew appear to be identical to yours (see the screen shot in my attached updated document - I do not know the easiest means of creating a jpg file from a screen shot, as you have done to include the image in this message window!).  So, is my next step to create the identical Data entry in my regedit as you have in yours?  Appreciatively, Bruce
hp-desktop-icons-problem-experts.doc
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Thanks for the patience and forebearance in attempting to resolve this frustrating problem. Appreciatively, Bruce