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My Destop and Progam Icons have blanked out.

Posted on 2011-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Dell Inspiron 1501. OS, Windows XP Home edition
I transferred the content of my Hard Drive  to a larger Hard Drive (using Cloning software). Everything is working including the O.S.
However many of the  Program Icons and File Icons have blanked out (they are still there but have no colour etc). The programs work perfectly, but the Icons are not like they were before.
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Question by:Michael Murphy
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26 Comments
 
LVL 90

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34935088
Probably you need to clear the icon cache and let it rebuild. Take a look at this article to do that:

http://smallvoid.com/article/windows-icon-cache.html

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34935094
Right click on Desktop and try Refresh.  See if that does anything.

Or

Try rebuilding the Icon Cache.  See http://smallvoid.com/article/windows-icon-cache.html

See the section Recreate the Icon-Cache file by deleting it

Try that fix first before anything else.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34935101
Hmm.

Slightly too slow.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34935266
Following the instruction in link above I deleted the file Iconcache.db from my system. I then re-booted. However nothing had changed. You have to talk me through each step. I searched for  explorer.exe with the search button and clicked on it when I found it. But things remain the same. Blanks are still blank icons.
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 63 total points
ID: 34935298
It may br that your cloning failed in some respect - not unknown.

Try the following:

1. Start as administrator, open a command prompt and run SFC /SCANNOW. System File Checker can fix things in the operating system.

2. Try making another profile (userid) and see if the icons are OK in another profile. It may be a corrupted profile and then you would need to make a new profile.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 34936841
Are you sure, your graphics drivers are installed and working. Is the resolution set to less than 32bit - True Color? To check -- Right Click any blank area on your Desktop / Propertiesf / Settings tab  ==
See the values under Color Quality & Screen Resolution.

Post a Screenshot of what you are seeing.

Also post a Screenshot of Device Manager. Windows + R key will bring up the Run Dialog Box. Enter devmgmt.msc and hit Ok. Check For unknown / problem Devices in it. If they exist as Graphics or something, you need to reinstall your Graphics Drivers.

Ravi.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34938509
The Color quality is set to Highest (32 bit) (the only alternative in the drop down box is '16 bit medium'.
The Screen resolution is 1280 by 800 pixels. I am posting a screenshot (which contains both the display and the  Device Manager.

I also have an answer for thinkpads user.
I ran SFC/Scannow .
I got a message saying: 'Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Insert your Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD now.' I do get an option to skip this, but it keeps recurring.
The thing is that my OS is Windows XP Media Center Edition (2002) Service Pack three. I have the original installation disc, but this contains only Service Pack Two and I downloaded Service Pack Three myself from the MS site some years ago.  
When I insert the original installation disc (which is not XP Professional, but XP Media Center), it is rejected.

I was wondering whether I might uninstall Service Pack 3 and re-install it - whether this might solve the problem?
Screenshot..bmp
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34938549
Service Pack 2 for XP pretty much re-writes the entire system. So if you uninstall Service Pack 3, you might try manually re-installing SP2 (download both SP2 and SP3 first).  If SP2 re-installs (it may or may not in this case) then proceed with installing SP3 and see where you stand.

Before you uninstall / reinstall any service packs, make sure all your data and email is backed up in case something goes wrong. .... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34939783
I am a little reluctant to uninstall the Service Packs - because since I did the Clone and installed the content of the old onto the upgraded Hard Drive, I have had problems with a number of programs with regard to activation - and have got on the the companies who, kindly, gave me the opportunity to re-activate. All are now working  I am afraid that if I uninstall the Service Packs I might have programs which again need to be re-activated.

Strangely, too, when I run SFC./Scannow I am asked to insert Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD - whereas the original Installation disk was Windows XP Media Center.

I have to say that while the Icons are not displaying properly, the files and programs which they indicate, open perfectly. I might leave them as they are. At the same time I'd be interested in having a solution - from a technical point of view.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34939808
Some time back here, I asked if you tried a new userid (profile) in Windows. Did you try that?
... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34939848
Also farther back, I suggested that maybe the clone itself failed. Can you comment on that? Are you able to make the clone again?

At the end, the technical solution you seek (given evertyhing else has failed) may be doing a fresh install. Icons are pretty deeply embedded in the operating system, so if they cannot be fixed:

(a) as you suggest, maybe best left alone, or
(b) consider a fresh install

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 34939887
Image file does not contain device manager screenshot.

The image you gave seems ok. I would suspect something wrong with the monitor itself.

Do you have a different monitor to test?

Ravi.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34940068
To Thinkpads.  I am not anxious to make the clone again, as all my programs are now running. I had to get a number of programs re-activated, and that took time, so I dont want to go down that route again.

As for the User Id change , I ran that just now and it made no difference.  I might settle for option a) above which you gave me - leave well alone.  But it is irritating that the problem is so complicated.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34940090
Thank you for the update. Since the new profile made no difference, and since no other test made any difference, I think your clone was somehow damaged. I guess option (a) is all  that is left now.

XP is long in the tooth, and the next step may be a new computer with a new operating system.

... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:Don Thomson
Don Thomson earned 31 total points
ID: 34945395
Have you tried the Obvious - Right mouse on each icon - properties - Change Icon - Then point to the .EXE file that is the main exe  for that program - Choose the  Icon

If you used a regular cloning program such as Ghost or Acronis - This probably wouldn't be a problem
However - other programs sometimes do strange things like getting the Program files folder wrong - It's a reserved name - You can't just do a md "Program Files"  

When you cloned your drive - It's not really looking at your "Program Files" so it can't resolve your icons to the correct exe or dll - If that works - just do each icon

BTW -That would also cause the activation to fail on any program that requires it

Next time you install a new program you may get a new Program Files folder
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34947833
Right clicking  and changing the icon did not work.

I also tried a Recovery repair using the original Installation disk today However that has made matters worse. I think I will have to have another go at transferring the content from the smaller to the new larger disk. How should I go about this? I used XXClone to attempt this first time round - but there are problems as you know. Are any of the good  regular cloning programs Freeware? I may have a go.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34947874
I did not realize you had used a non-standard (or should I say non-commercial) product to make the clone. This increases my overall supicion of a bad clone. I use Ghost for my clients and it works reliably. I understand Acronis works well also but I have not used it. .... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 31 total points
ID: 34947900
You could try Clonezilla http://clonezilla.org/
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Expert Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 34951029
A Couple of suggestions

Insert your original Windows Cd in CD Player
from run type  sfc /scannow

or

Take a copy of Windows explorer.exe from another PC that is running a copy of Windows that is the same type and Service pack level as yours.

Copy it to the C:\windows\ folder
If it gives you a problem with copying ove - try renaming the file that is there first  
If that doesn't work puyt a copy of explorer.exe  in two different folder c:\1  and c:\2

do a start run c:\1\explorer
See if the icons can come back either on theri own or by changing the icon on a shortcut

If that works copy the c:\2\explorer.exe > c:\windows\

Then reboot your system and delete the 2 copies

Don't know if it will work on your system but it's worth a try

In the past, I've found that most of the freeware cloning programs are not worth the money you don't pay for them

If you stil have the original hard drive (smaller one)  then add it to you system as a secondary drive and do a full malwarbytes and virusscan on it before you try to reclone it

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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34952644
I have the re-installation disk (the original one that came with the laptop).
When I click 'Start', 'Run' and type in sfc/scannow I am told that Windows cannot find this.
 I can run sfc/Scannow from the C:\
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Expert Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 34953157
sfc should be on your c: drive - in the windows\system32 folder - It will prompt you for the CD if it needs it - Your CD must be working
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34954440
sfc.exe, sfc.dll  and other sfc files are on the C drive in that folder (window\system32 folder)
However where do I run sfc\scannow from (from the RUN button, bottom left - after START) or from the C;\ prompt (in Programs and Accessories)?
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34957318
Glory, Glory, I think I have it fixed - at 2 am  in Ireland.  I used the program Clonezilla.live. I booted it from USB drive. Everything looks alright (icons etc), but I will check thoroughly tomorrow. Really grateful for Experts Exchange and you Experts for your willingness to stay with me. I will award points etc tomorrow, provided all is well. Now sleep
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34974107
I can confirm now that I have successfully transferred all the content, including the OS, to the larger Hard drive. Everything is working. Thanks to the Experts for assisting me and pointing me in the right direction.  I used the cloning program Clonezilla.live, booting from the USB port. I ran a virus scan on the Source disk before using it and prepared the target hd. .
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Author Closing Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 34974218
Several solutions were offered. I am sure that they would have worked but for my incompetence. However once it became clear to me that a poor cloning operation was at the root of all my problems, I was on the way to a solution. I tried a different cloning program and prepared everything as instructed. It worked.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34974299
Thank you and thanks for all the feedback. ... Thinkpads_User
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