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black square folder icons in windows explorer


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#1 bludshot

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:54 PM

In windows explorer, a bunch of folder icons, and internet shortcut icons, are showing as just black squares.

 

Aside from the internet shortcuts, most of the black folders are ones I don't have permission to view, but some of them I do have permission to view.

 

It only affects the smallest size of icon, not the medium or large ones. EDIT: Actually, the large ones show their icon, but they have a black square in the lower left.

 

Sometimes the black squares (all kinds) in the right pane of explorer flicker, but the ones in the left tree view pane do not flicker.

 

 

These persist through reboots.



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#2 dc3

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:01 AM

A picture being worth a thousand words, please make a screen shot of this and post it here.

 

1. Download and run A Thousand Words .
 
2. Follow the wizard to capture a screenshot
 
3. Use the built-in editor to resize, edit, or re-capture your screen shot. 
 
4. Your screen shot will be saved to your desktop when you finish the wizard.
 
You can post the screenshot in your next post as an attachment.  
 
Just below the area where you write text in a post there is the Post button, to the right of this is More Reply Options
 
Post2_zpsf05c0430.png
 
When you click on More Relpy Options  you will see Attach Files and Browse, click on Browse, this will open Pictures on your computer, click on the image you made with the, then click on Attach This File, then Add Reply.
 
BCreply1_zpsc36d42fc.png 

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#3 bludshot

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:26 PM

Here's some screenshots

 

Attached File  shot1.png   15.42KB   3 downloads

Attached File  shot2.png   26.81KB   1 downloads

Attached File  shot3.png   57.57KB   2 downloads

 



#4 dc3

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:52 AM

Let's rebuild the icon cache.
 
1)  Restart your computer, click on Start to open the Start menu, click on All Programs, then Accessories.  You will now see Command Prompt, click on this to open the Elevated Command Prompt.  You will see an image like the one below.
 
commandprompt_zps212bc71a.png
 
2)  In the Command Prompt, copy and then paste each of the following commands one at a time and then press Enter after each command. 
 
ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache
 
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
 
DEL "%localappdata%\IconCache.db" /A
 
shutdown /r /f /t 00    Notice:  This command will close Explorer and restart the computer when complete.
 
3)  The IconCache.db should now be rebuilt 

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#5 bludshot

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 11:01 PM

Thanks, that solved the problem in the tree view (as seen in my 2nd screenshot) but not in the main area (as seen in my 1st and 3rd screenshots). The problem is still there. Weird.


Edited by bludshot, 11 April 2014 - 11:02 PM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:23 AM

Where are the other icons located?


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 bludshot

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

The affected icons (the ones in screenshots 1 and 3) are located in C:\Users\me\Documents

 

Also, all shortcuts to folders and shortcuts websites, located anywhere in the entire computer, are all black squares. Even if I create a brand new shortcut to a folder, it will be a black square.

 

Question: in Vista do all shortcuts to folders and websites normally have that little arrow in the corner?


Edited by bludshot, 13 April 2014 - 03:27 PM.


#8 bludshot

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:47 PM

It's very strange. (As I already mentioned; musing aloud here), rebuilding the icon cache fixed the icons in the tree view on the left side of explorer, but not the icons anywhere else (like in the right side panel of explorer).

 

I had used Ultimate Windows Tweaker to "Remove arrows from Shortcut icons", which seems to be causing the problem, so I don't see how the above fix would have fixed the icons with shortcut arrows in the list view and not the other ones but it did.

 

I suspect that the Ultimate Windows Tweaker uses its own transparent icon to replace the arrow icon, perhaps in the registry, and that that transparent icon needs to be rebuilt too and the icon cache rebuild didn't rebuild it.  Either that, or my custom dpi settings break the hide arrow hack and make black squares.

 

Do you know where I can find the registry entry (assuming it exists) for the arrow overlay?? Maybe I could see where the broken transparent icon is and fix it.

 

(and obviously I could just give up and go back to having arrows, but I'm interested in solving this if I can)



#9 bludshot

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 05:17 PM

The whole problem was caused by Ultimate Windows Tweaker, possibly in conjunction with a non standard DPI setting, I'm not sure.

 

Here's the solution:

 

(1. fixed the list list view icons using dc3's instructions)

 

2. went into Ultimate Windows Tweaker -> Additional Tweaks, and unchecked "Remove arrows from shortcut icons", applied and logged out. (this removes the remaining black square icons)

 

3. To then remove the shortcut arrows successfully: used the solution here: http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/windows-7-management-support/33169-vista-shortcut-overlayer-error.html#post162227

 

Now everything looks great!

 

 

PS: I also tried to use a software called "Vista Shortcut Manager" (FxVisor64.msi) to remove the icons. It would crash, but actually did 'succeed' in making the changes, the crash didn't matter. However, all it succeeds in is the same broken black icons that Ultimate Windows Tweaker does.


Edited by bludshot, 13 April 2014 - 05:18 PM.


#10 dc3

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:28 AM

There are nine post in this topic, and you wait until the eighth post to let others know that you are using Ultimate Windows Tweaker?  

 

 The following was originally posted by Animal, one of our Site Administrators.

 
Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
 
Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
 
Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
 
Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
 
The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in unpredictable results.
 
Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

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#11 bludshot

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:41 PM

Most of the posts in this thread are by me, including the one where I post the full solution. It's not like there is 9 posts of 9 guys trying to help me without the vital news that I'm using UWT. I didn't clean or optimize my registry with Ultimate Windows Tweaker. I tweaked a few things, because XP's awesome TweakUI isn't available in Vista. That paste doesn't really apply to me.

 

Anyhow, thank you very much for your help, the UWT thing didn't really occur to me at the time.


Edited by bludshot, 15 April 2014 - 01:27 AM.


#12 dc3

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:24 AM

Being as this is your topic, I certainly would hope that most of the posts here are yours. :thumbup2:

 

As for the warning regarding the use of registry cleaners and optimizers, this isn't for your benefit alone.  Bleeping Computer enjoys a very large readership, there are times when suggestions like this are meant for the others reading this as well so that they are aware of the potential inherent problems.


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#13 bludshot

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 03:09 PM

Yeah, I agree. To the others reading: Careful using Ultimate Windows Tweaker, if you must use it. First of all, half of it doesn't even work, and it crashes. And it changes registry values so back up your registry before using it (if you are adamant about using it).



#14 Rusty.Not

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:05 PM

I had this problem too. It started when I used "WindowsShortcutArrowEditor" I fixed it by resetting the arrow to the default arrow, then reran the editor to custom arrow. This apparently reset the cache. It's been fine since. WIN8.1

#15 Agouti

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:19 PM

Yeah, I agree. To the others reading: Careful using Ultimate Windows Tweaker, if you must use it. First of all, half of it doesn't even work, and it crashes. And it changes registry values so back up your registry before using it (if you are adamant about using it).

I tried UWT too and I'd agree with that.  I ended up hacking the registry.  Nevertheless, to anyone tampering with the registry - backup, backup, backup!!






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