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Exe Icons Not Displaying


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#1 JGM

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:46 PM

I uninstalled several programs recently including a corrupt Windowblinds applications. When I rebooted the pc *none* of my executable programs show the right icon. They all are displaying the empty or unknow file type icon. The difference with my issue compared to most other searches I did on the forums/internet, is thay my exe files open fine. They are not corrupted, etc. They just don't display the proper icon for the program - they all display the unknown file type icon.

This is for all my exe files (desktop, Start menu, etc). If I right click on the icon and then select Properties and click on Change Icon the right icon is there and I click on it and Ok out of the properties window and then it displays fine. I was hoping to find a simpler way to fix them all and also determine if I have a bigger issue that needs fixed.

I went to Doug Knox's site and ran the EXE File fix program, I have tried importing a couple different xp file extension .reg files from the internet, I have gone into the Folder Options and added the Exe and Lnk file associations (Application, Shortcut respectively). But nothing seems to fix the issue. I even deleted the iconcache.db and rebooted but still no luck.

I also ran a couple different virus scans (trend housecall, AVG, Spy-bot SD, Spyware Terminator) with no issues detected. Overall the system is working fine, except all the exe programs/icons are displaying the unknown file type icon.

As you can see I have researched this issue and tried to repair it but to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any inputs,
JGM

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 05:22 PM

Repair install of XP...35 minutes.

How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=917964

That should give you a repaired registry and new system files that function properly.

Louis

#3 kalmly

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:35 AM

I was going to post my own question but saw what JGM had written. I have the same problem. First, start menu icons disappeared, reverting to a generic icon and some of the icons in Windows Explorer did the same thing. These were icons that identified which application they were associated with. Only a few still survived. I made attempts to get them back using the Folder Options applet. No luck, but at least the exe file icons remained. I tried a suggestion, found on another forum, to delete the iconcache.db. That didn't work because it doesn't exist on my XP SP2 system. Then I tried another suggestion, downloaded Tweak UI and used the Repair Icons option. The result is that I have now lost every Icon in my system for every application I have. I now can't even put a recognizable shortcut Icon on my desktop the way I used to, right-clicking on the exe file in Explorer, and choosing "Create Shortcut". That method gets me the same ugly generic icon. I have been able to restore the correct icons to my desktop by opening the properties box and choosing "Change Icon". I have to choose it twice and open the Advanced Tab also, even though it doesn't allow me any options. Still, those are the only ones I've been able to fix. All my Icons in Windows Explorer are gone. Even the application icons, even for Microsoft applications. I even tried restoring the registry from the day before the big disaster but it didn't help.

So - A few days ago I had an irritating problem that I couldn't fix. Now I have a BIG problem and not only do I not know what to do about it, I'm afraid to try out hamluis' solution. I wonder if you could give me a little more information about what the repair installation entails. Why must I have Explorer 7 installed. I do, but I wonder what that has to do with it. Also will be checking back to see how JGM fares if he/she tries it.

While I was writing this, I opened Control Panel. In that folder all the icons are there.

Thanks.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:19 AM

Generally speaking...when systems start doing strange things...I would first consider basics.

Run chkdsk /r, defrag, run sfc /scannow to replace any missing or damaged system files, eliminate the possibility of malware by doing thorough malware checks and ensuring that your firewall is operative.

After eliminating the "easy" culprits, I believe that real troubleshooting can begin.

Louis

#5 JGM

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for your help and advice - but unfortunately the repair wouldn't work for me. It required me to make a slipstream disk since I only had my original Windows XP disks from years ago (no SP2) and once I did that, I was still getting an error during the repair that I couldn't merge an updated version or something like that - I don't remember exactly.

In the end I came across a post on the Microsoft web forums about renaming the .exe key reference to exefile and and exefile key itself in the registry. Basically I went into the .exe key and renamed exefile to exephile and then created a duplicate exefile key and named it exephile. It worked. If anyone else has this problem this is a workaround but ultimately it is not the best option (changing registry entries/references).

I am in the process of backing up all my data as I have decided to reinstall XP in the next few weeks - I haven't done it in over 4 years so I think it's time.

Thanks again for your help.

JGM

Edited by JGM, 22 March 2008 - 12:53 PM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:22 PM

Glad you solved it, feedback appreciated, happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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