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Windows 7: Why did this icon solution work where others did not?

26 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Why did this icon solution work where others did not?

I sent the user Legand this PM to thank him for his solution to my icon issues. I thought I might post that PM here as well, to see if the community might be willing to explain to a novice why this worked where other similar, but not exactly the same, instructions did not.

Also, I would like an explanation why some third party icons seemed to be broken by relocating their shortcuts while others did not. I assume those that switched over to the generic windows icon were somehow broken by moving the icon to a different area other than that which some associated registry entry was pointed to in order to provide the proper icon. Yet other icons did not display this error, so, is it possible that some third party programs account for the possibility that shortcut icons will be moved and thus they change the registry entry for the shortcut icon allocation on the fly? Am I completely off base in my conjectures?

Here is the PM:

"I was having problems with a number of third party program icons only showing up as generic icons. I had tried most versions of disk cleanup/ delete the icons.db combinations I could find, with no success, doing the latter step both manually, and by administrative use of the command prompt.

I do not understand why, but this advice of yours, fixed the problem perfectly:

'Try rebuilding your icon cache and thumbnails database.

To clean the thumbnails database run Disk Cleanup utility

Then do the following
1: Next open a command prompt with admin privileges, to do this type in cmd into the search box on the start menu, right click over cmd.exe and run as admin.
2: after cmd is open, run task manager and end all explorer.exe processes. (this bit is imperative)
3: Now back to the cmd shell type in the following exactly but without the quotes "del /AH %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Iconcache.db"

then ctrl alt del to restart the computer, your Icon caches will rebuild and hopefully all will be fixed.'

It appears that you added an additional command in the command prompt instructions typically used for this procedure. Most just have the "A" command whereas you also have the "H" command. I do not have an expert grasp of the usage of the command prompt by any means. Could you tell me what the "A" and the "H" commands add in addition to the delete command?

Also, I hadn't ever killed the explorer.exe process while attempting to rebuild the icon cache. Most instructions suggest simply deleting the icon database file and executing various methods of a soft reboot. I had wondered how successful deleting the icon cache might be while icons were still in memory, or might still need to be called for by the OS. I thought possibly windows might attempt to rebuild certain aspects of the cache immediately upon its deletion, and that that may lead to a reproduction of the problem if the problem consists somehow of invalid associations between certain registry entries and the affected shortcuts. My icons had broken after moving the shortcuts from the desktop to a directory and subdirectories I had created for them in order to use all of the shortcuts as organized toolbars on the taskbar.

I thought possibly my problem had to do with a registry entry looking to point each problematic icon to a particular area where the shortcut no longer resided. Did the process you provided, both the command prompt instructions and killing the explorer.exe process work upon some line of logic similar to the above, or does it work for some other reason entirely?

Regardless, thank you very much for this solution and have a good day."

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #2

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE

enter del /? into Command Prompt and it will give you the description of all of the switches available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Ahh. Thanks again seekermeister. I truly appreciate the times you have taken to assist me. I haven't yet downloaded Opera, as I am fiddling with various personal aesthetic and organizational improvements with my OS (and temporarily destroying icons in the process ), but, when I do, it is good to know where to find you.

Edit: "switches" That was the word that was evading me. Thanks for the vocabulary refresher as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Why did this icon solution work where others did not?

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