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Windows 7: Explorer Window folder thumbnails disappearing


13 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit
 
 
Explorer Window folder thumbnails disappearing

This started suddenly after I turned my desktop pc off before going away for a week. When I came home and turned it back on, it hasn't been "normal" since.

When I start my computer, go to my user folder, documents etc., all appears fine. Folders/thumbnails and images within the folder appear as normal.

However, if I open (for instance) my "downloads" folder, the folder icons and associated icons are initially displayed as "normal", but I see that the explorer bar (where I see C:/user/downloads, etc) is "computing items" but it never stops. A green "progress bar" SLOWLY moves across that "text window" and then it stays green. As if the pc is having trouble reading what is in the folder.

Once that happens, if I back out of the folder and then go back in to it, most of the folder icons/thumbnails/pictures are no longer visible. If I navigate to other folders, it's the same thing; many (but not all) of the folder icons and the thumbnails within are not displayed. Example: in my "user file" the AppData and Tracing folders, the icon is non existant....yet my Contacts, Desktop, Favorites, Documents etc. are shown as standard windows "yellow folders" but not the thumbnails that I have associated with them. Also, the file info (if I highlight a file name) does not appear at the bottom of the explorer window, as it normally would for me.

I have run my anti-virus, malwarebytes, which are showing no problems and I have also tried "indexing" but no luck.

I do have an external drive that is close to full, but it is disconnected. My C drive is
currently 873gb full of 1.35tb. Recovery partition is 1.63gb free of 13.2gb - which I have never "messed with", though I have previously done 2 "reset to factory settings"

I have taken some screen shots to illustrate. If they might help, I can add them here.

Anyone have an idea of what is going on? I'd rather not do another restore if I can avoid it.

Thanks!!!

edit: I have also just noticed that when I go to start/control panel, computer, network etc. the windows are completely blank. No icons, no file names displayed.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Sep 2012   #2

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Launch an elevated command prompt and type "sfc /scannow" to see if there are corrupt Windows files preventing windows/items from properly displaying.

Elevated Command Prompt
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks FliGi7,

While waiting for a response, I restarted my system in safe mode. It still did the same thing, however when I tried to restart in "normal mode" I received a windows start up error. It ran some repair scan and restarted normally after that.

I then read your message and ran the scan as you suggested. It did not show any errors.

So far, the behavior hasn't repeated itself. Maybe the start up error scan has repaired the issue? I'll give it some time before assuming it is fixed.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Sep 2012   #4

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

In that case the Startup Repair has probably fixed what the SFC scan would have as well, so you probably killed two birds with one stone there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit
 
 

Edit: I spoke to soon! It appears to be an issue with my downloads folder specifically (or just coincidence?). Opening other folders was fine, files were read instantly (no green bar). Downloads folder, green bar appeared and thumbnails/folders disappear.

Should I attempt to delete the folder and create a new one?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #6

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

So no other folders that were previously exhibiting this behavior are doing the same? It's just your Downloads folder? It's possible that there's a file in there that is causing the thumbnailing process to freeze up. What happens if you put it into list view?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit
 
 

That appears to be correct, but I am not 100% sure. I am only noticing the problem when/after opening the downloads folder.

If I put it into list view, I can see the standard yellow windows folders, etc. And when in thumbnail view, if I click on a where the folder/file icon should be (above the file name), it opens without problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #8

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

If there are no problems in list view, then it appears something is awry with the thumbnailing process. Have you installed any third party codecs or video/picturing viewing applications?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 Bit
 
 

It hasn't done it again in the past hour. But I think you're on the right track. Seems to be thumbnails in that downloads folder.
I haven't added any codecs or programs recently, everything has been on this pc for several months. I have divx, quicktime, real player installed and the K-Lite video codec pack.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #10

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

From my experience on the forums here, K-Lite seems to be notorious for causing issues on Windows. That codec pack interfaces with the Windows thumbnailing process and has caused issues like this in the past. Personally, I would completely uninstall the K-Lite codec pack and install something like Shark007's codecs. Those are what I, and many others, run with much less issue than the K-Lite pack. It wouldn't surprise me if your issue went away once you did that. It's just a hypothesis, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Explorer Window folder thumbnails disappearing




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