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Windows 7: Desktop Icon Graphics Missing

17 May 2016   #1
willum08

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Desktop Icon Graphics Missing

Hi,
I posted sometime ago about this problem and never received a suggested solution, so I am trying again in case some kind person may have the answer.....

I have a recurring problem on my Acer Travelmate P253 Laptop which is running Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1 OS with 4GB RAM.

Every now and then when booting up, the desktop Icon graphics are missing. The Icon text is present and also the Icons in the Quick Launch bar are missing although if I float the mouse pointer in the Quick Launch bar, I can see small transparent boxes where the icons would normally be. If I click on the Icon text on the desktop, or the transparent boxes in the Quick Launch bar, the actions start as normal. Also, when viewing a folder such as C: again any icons which would normally be displayed, are absent but clicking on the Icon text, opens the target file or folder. Clicking on the Windows Orb, instead of opening the Start Menu, does nothing.

I've carried out virus and Malware searches using AVG and Malwarebytes and run CCleaner - no viruses or Malware were found.

From some research I've done in the past, I understand that this may have something to do with 'explorer.exe' so I opened Task Manager (via CTRL/ALT/DEL) and under the Processes tab, I ended the 'explorer.exe' process and then restarted it but this did not fix the problem. I've carried out a 'sfc /scannow' but it did not report any errors.

Having done some further research, I did the following :
Rebuilt the Icon cache using a program called 'Icon Cache Re-builder.
Running Microsoft Fixit Center.
Restoring to an earlier point.
Starting in Safe Mode.
Using the Recovery option on a Windows 7 Pro CD.

None of these actions fixed the problem....

The only solution I have is to restore the C: drive from an image on an external USB drive. However this means that I have lost some files..... I normally create a C: Drive image about once a month.

I would really appreciate some help to find a solution to this annoying problem, before I tear out the little hair I have left on my head


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
18 May 2016   #2
cflusflwfl

Windows 7 64 bit Professional
 
 

Create another admin account on the computer and log on with that account. Let us know if the issue carries over to the new account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2016   #3
willum08

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for your reply - Much appreciated However, because I needed to use my laptop, I had to boot from a Win 7 rescue CD and restore the C: drive from a recent Image. So applying your check would be pointless.... Should the fault occur again (which from past experience I expect it will....) I will try your suggestion and report back on this forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 May 2016   #4
Keager

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

sounds like explorer.exe isn't starting. Do a ctrl-alt-del, bring up task manger, see if explorer.exe is running, or start it (File - New Task, type in explorer.exe)

if that is the issue, bring up an administrative command prompt, type in: (between the quotes)
"SFC /SCANNOW"
it will find windows errors, if any. Your HDD could also be failing, where that part of your windows is at could have a bad sector, worse case scenario. Would do a disk check.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2016   #5
willum08

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Hi Keager and thanks for your reply

As I stated in my original post, I carried out your suggested process re. explorer.exe but it did not cure the problem. I also carried out SFC /SCANNOW and CHKDSK C: /R but neither reported any problems. Virus and Malware scans reported nothing on every occasion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2016   #6
Keager

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

so you have no desktop icons. Try right click on the desktop, go to view -> and verify there is a check by view desktop icons.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2016   #7
willum08

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for your further observation... I believe the problem was due to a setting in the Registry which limited the size of the Icon Cache and has been solved...........
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2016   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

How did the registry get changed in the first place is the question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2016   #9
willum08

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

The setting in the Registry did not get "changed"... The setting in question was : "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MaxCachedIcons" which was set at a value of 500.
This was limiting the size of the Icon Cache file (IconCache.db) and because I had a large number of Icons on my desktop, I believe the IconCache.db file was overflowing and causing the corruption. I subsequently changed this value to 8192 which increases the IconCache.db file size limit to 8Mb and the problem has disappeared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2016   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you for your answer. That is a lot of icons. I understand better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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