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Windows file icons broken and not correct

Posted on 2013-06-22
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Last Modified: 2013-07-22
After a Blue Screen Of Death moment on a Windows 7 workstation, there are the following problems for all users that use the machine.
1) The icons (e.g. MS Visio, MS Word, Adaptec Storage Manager, MS Excel... Adobe this and that...) that appear on the task bar, in Explorer, in the start menu are ALL broken or wrong.
2) It hasn't been possible to use the control panel -> programs uninstaller for a number of applications. It seems that the uninstaller can't find the location containing the installer information.

I have deleted the C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\IconCache.db file for all users and rebooted the maching. The IconCache is rebuilt but it doesn't fix the problem.

If I can't uninstall an application I use http://support.microsoft.com/mats/program_install_and_uninstall/ and that does uninstall the selected problem program which I can then reinstall and the icons work fine then.

Is there any way I can fix the problem for all applications without having to uninstall and reinstall all of them? You might imagine, there are quite a lot on this workstation, many with activation keys :-(
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Question by:MarcusN
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 39268332
No backup?  I think you will be well servered to verify you have all the keys then format and reinstall Windows and the apps.  Usually this takes less time than trying to fix something that is (apparently) this broken.

However, try chkdsk and malwarebytes first.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 39268416
MarcusN--
Try a System Restore.
If no help run a Repair Install.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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by:nobus
ID: 39268980
what was the BSOD?  can you post the minidmp here for more info?
find it in windows\minidumps, and attach as file
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by:MarcusN
ID: 39269206
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Here's a little more information.

I do have a system backup but there's a problem. The backup is from before the BSOD (good!). However, the Workstation was moved to a different domain between the backup creation and the BSOD event (bad). The BSOD happened shortly after the transfer from one domain to the other.

The result is that the current system has a det of users and SIDs that are not the same as the SIDs associaed with the files and data on the backup.

The upshot is that I don't want to restore from the backup unless there is no other choice.

Also, I don't want to reinstall Windows unless there is no other choice. You see, all the applications work and they work perfectly, it's just the icons and the install folders are broken.

If there are no easy ways to repair the icons and the install folder paths (perhaps by making changes to the registry) then I'll selectively uninstall each of the applications with broken icons using the MS FixIt tool and reinstall them one by one.

It strikes me that this has to be sometihng within the registry somewhere. Any thoughts?
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Accepted Solution

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MarcusN earned 0 total points
ID: 39269454
OK, think I solved this myself. Here's how.

1) As a domain Administrator I restored the c:\windows\installer folder from the backup to a a new location, say, c:\windows\installer-old
2) I copied the new folders in c:\windows\installer to the ...\installer-old folder saying "yes" to any overwriting of existing folders.
3) I renamed ...\installer to ..\installer-new and ...\installer-old to ..\installer
4) Reboot

Problem with icons and uninsall now seems fixed.

So far no signs of any instability. The domain Administrator SID is applied to the ACL for the ...\installer folder and all the contents. So far, so good.
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by:nobus
ID: 39269543
tx for feedback
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