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Windows 7: Icon problem after Windows 7 in-place upgrade

17 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Icon problem after Windows 7 in-place upgrade

Ever after having done an in-place upgrade of my Windows 7 x64 installation, I've been having some strange icon issues...

This does not impact all of my icons, but it impacted some of my desktop short cuts and some of the items in the Start menu. These aren't too difficult to fix either by creating new short cuts, or by right-clicking -> Properties -> Short Cut tab -> Change Icon. From there I can point it to look in the right place for the icon.

The pattern I've observed is that Windows will default to looking in the wrong place for the icon. When I click on the "Change Icon" option in the Properties window, it will show an erroneous path to the file in which to look for the icon. For example, it will have something like "%Program Files%\..." when it should be looking in "C:\Program Files (x86)\..." Something like that.

And I just installed a mouse driver which has a tray icon. And the tray icon now appears as a generic white rectangle with the upper right corner turned down [blank sheet of paper icon, I think]. I know that's not right. Not a huge deal obviously, but the kind of thing that bothers me

So my questions are: 1) how can I correct a tray icon?, and 2) how can I get my new Windows 7 installation to automatically look in the right place for icons, without all of this manual intervention?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 ultimate x64

Hi Gumby,

Follow this article. Icon Cache - Rebuild
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, rebuilding the icon cache has worked for me with things like this in the past.

But this is apparently a different issue. The rebuild icon cache did not fix my tray icon. And the generic icons also may appear with new applications I install, which I haven't experienced before.

Any more thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 ultimate x64

Check out the page
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

That is interesting, but I'm not sure if that is my problem. My programs all work, it is just that Windows seems to look in the wrong path for the icons... In any case, if the path environment variable is my problem, I'm not quite sure how to fix it. On my machine, the path variable is a long string [see below]. The missing tray icon is for a Razer Copperhead mouse, and I don't see any reference to Razer in the string. Do I need to add it? I never needed to do that before. So I'm not sure what really needs to be in that variable and why.

I did find someone else who experienced this issue [see link] also with a Razer mouse tray icon interestingly enough. Unfortunately, their solution was to revert to a System Restore point prior to the problem. I can't do that because this problem arose after an in-place upgrade of Windows 7.

Blank (generic) tray icon

Let me know if you have any more guidance. And thanks again.

Environment Path Variable:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\iCLS Client\;C:\Program Files\Intel\iCLS Client\;C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Common;%CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.5\bin;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.5\libnvvp;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.0\bin\;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.0\libnvvp\;C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\system32\wbem;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.0\bin;C:\Program Files\NVIDIA GPU Computing Toolkit\CUDA\v5.0\libnvvp;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn;F:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Common;F:\Program Files (x86)\SINOSUN\TPM Secure Tools\Common;C:\Program Files (x86)\SINOSUN\TPM Secure Tools\Common;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\SnapAPI;C:\Program Files\Windows Imaging;C:\Program Files (x86)\Smart Projects\IsoBuster;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn;C:\Program Files\SlikSvn\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft ASP.NET\ASP.NET Web Pages\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Windows Performance Toolkit\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Web Platform Installer\;C:\Program Files (x86)\QuickTime\QTSystem\;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\W indowsPowerShell\v1.0\"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
When I click on the "Change Icon" option in the Properties window, it will show an erroneous path to the file in which to look for the icon. For example, it will have something like "%Program Files%\..." when it should be looking in "C:\Program Files (x86)\..." Something like that.
I have no solution for you, just trying to explain this "erroneous path" thing:

Windows uses so called environment variables to store various data. For example all Windows system folders can be found either by using an absolute path like C:\Windows or its environment variable value like in Windows folder's case %windir%. Some system folders have more than one environment variable pointing to them, as for instance Windows folder which can not only be found using the mentioned %windir% but also with %systemroot%.

Test yourself with these few examples. Open Windows Explorer and type following environment variables to its addresbar and press Enter:
  • %windir% or %systemroot% > to open the Windows folder
  • %programdata% or %allusersprofile% > to open the ProgramData folder
  • %programfiles% > to open the Program Files folder
  • %programfiles(x86)% > to open the Program Files (x86) folder
  • %userprofile% > to open your own user profile folder
  • %temp% > to open the Temp folder
  • %appdata% > to open the Roaming subfolder in AppData
  • %localappdata% > to open the Local subfolder in AppData
That being said, a path like %programfiles(x86)%\MyProgram is the same as C:\Program Files (x86)\MyProgram. There's nothing erroneous in the path written using an environment variable instead of absolute path.

This is very practical especially for programmers, but also a normal user might learn to like these shortcuts. A very typical and practical example is browsing the contents of AppData; most private users keep the hidden system files and folders setting enabled, meaning if they want to enter the AppData folder they usually first disable hide system files and folders setting in Folder Options. With an environmet variable this is an unnecessary step as you can enter AppData\Roaming directly by entering %appdata% in Explorer's addressbar even if it's hidden, respectively %localappdata% to enter AppData\Local.

Windows 7 Environment Variables List

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for the info, that is helpful. That was essentially my understanding of environment variables, but I didn't know all of the details nor understand the practicality aspect of them.

That being said, when I say I found an erroneous path to the file, I mean it was "%Program Files%\..." referring to "C:\Program Files\..." instead of "C:\Program Files (x86)\..." (or "%Program Files (x86)%\..."). The difference in this case is the Program Files vs Program Files (x86) directories.

That's one example I found in the icon path that was easily corrected... But I'm not sure why Windows is looking for some icons in the wrong paths now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Icon problem after Windows 7 in-place upgrade

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