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Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-07-03
Hey All,

I'm having an issue with a laptop running Windows 7.  The issue is within all folders that have picture files.  They are regular JPEG's with Windows Photo Viewer as the default program.  The issue is, the pictures are in 'medium thumbnail' view, but are only showing a generic jpeg icon, not a preview of the picture.  I have first checked my Folder & Search Options under Organize and confirmed that 'Always Show Icons, Never Thumbnails' is UNCHECKED.  I tried checking it, applying it, and then unchecking it but I still have no image preview.  I then navigated to the Performance Options of Windows 7 and under the Visual Effects tab I confirmed that 'Show Thumbnails Instead of Icons' is checked.   Finally I switched around the views from Small, Medium and Large and noticed that upon refreshing the previews show for a split second, but are immediately replaced by the generic jpeg icon.  This also seems to happen when  I open up my pictures folder for the first time.... They show for a second and then are replaced by the damn icon.  

If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.  I've been googlin' all morning.

Thank You,
Billy Higdon
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Question by:BillyHigdon
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9 Comments
 
LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36567219
Try deleting the hidden Thumbs.db in the root of the pictures folder. May as well delete the Desktop.ini as well (or at least rename it to Desktop.OLD).... Then close/reopen the folder....
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 36567259
To add (and somewhat modify) to johnb6767's post above:

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 In Windows Vista (and Windows 7), there is no thumbs.db file; it has been replaced by others.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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Author Comment

by:BillyHigdon
ID: 36567364
I attempted to delete the hidden Desktop.ini but the issue was not resolved after reopening the folder which contained it.  I noticed there were no hidden Thumbs.db, confirming what LeeTutor stated.  

A quick question for Lee;  your last statement concerning the Disk Cleanup Wizard confused me a bit.  Are you suggestions I run the Wizard to remove the thumbcache_xxx.db files, or could running the Wizard in the past have corrupted my thumbnails?  

Could deleting the user profile potentially resolve the issue?

Thank You
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 36567391
To add to johnb6767's post.
Try search for Thumbs.db and Desktop.ini and then select all and delete all. (assuming you have multiple folders containing pictures)
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LVL 59

Accepted Solution

by:
LeeTutor earned 500 total points
ID: 36567683
One of the things that you can use the Disk Cleanup wizard to clean up is the thumbnail files.  I think this probably would solve your problem about corrupt thumbnail images.  See the attached screenshot for what the Disk Cleanup wizard screen looks like for selecting what you want to clean: Disk Cleanup Wizard screen
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Run5k
ID: 36568279
Lee, great info at (http:#36567259)

I was under the impression that the thumbs.db file still existed within Windows 7.  I have always recommended that end-users utilize the Disk Cleanup GUI to delete them, and it never occurred to me that the file name/location may have changed.

Thanks for the tip!
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Author Closing Comment

by:BillyHigdon
ID: 36568849
Ran the Disc Cleanup for Windows 7 Wizard, selected only thumbnails and voilà, upon opening any pictures folder the previews are there as a thumbnail.  It seems those thumbcache files may have been corrupted.  Thank you Lee and everybody else who helped me along with this.  You're the best!
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36571116
New one for me too.... I know it still creates them in the same folder, but is there a master cache? Or does it recursively delete them all?
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Expert Comment

by:Datadaily
ID: 38151039
Still didn't work on my Windows 7 64 bit with Office 2007. this is crazy!
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