Windows 7

Question

Folder icon is broken in all file explorers *except* WE

by DerellLicht / September 5, 2013 2:18 AM PDT

My system:
Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
8GB RAM

I use various file explorers on my machine, primarily to gain ability to specify different file colors by extension. I primarily use Cubic Explorer, but also installed NexusFile and Q-Dir to test this issue.

What I find is that the Folder icon is showing up as a unknown icon (same icon as a file with no extension). However, this only happens with the freeware explorers listed above; it does not happen with the official Windows Explorer, which displays this icon just fine!!

Also, I use two other machines (at home and elsewhere) with the same OS, and generally the same applications running, and they do *not* manifest this issue...

I tried flushing the icon cache (by deleting the hidden file IconCache.db, as recommended elsewhere) and rebooting the machine, but that had no effect on the symptoms.

Does anyone know how this could occur, and how I could fix it?

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All Answers

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Answer
This is a good question
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2013 2:30 AM PDT

To put to the authors of Nexusfile and Q.

While my suspicion is ownership and permissions, the fact that automatic icon generation is a bit like bomb defusing and is not a sure thing.

-> You bring up a good point here. Such as should the next Windows OS be without such flaws? That is, should it get locked down like an iPad or Windows 8 RT?
Bob

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Folder icon is broken in all file explorers *except* WE
by DerellLicht / September 5, 2013 5:06 AM PDT

I actually did discuss the issue with the Cubic Explorer support forum. Ultimately, their take on the situation was that since several unrelated programs had the same issue (even though Windows Explorer does not!), it was unlikely to be a program-specific issue; it's hard to argue with that reasoning!!

It does, indeed, feel like a permissions issue, but I've never heard of any way to set permissions on individual system icons... note that most file-type icons are displaying properly in all of these programs; only a couple, including the Folder icon, are broken.

The purpose of your final statement eludes me completely, I'm afraid... how would "locking down the machine" provide any benefit here? The only difference that Win8RT would make here, is that I couldn't run these programs at all - which would solve the problem, I guess, but I'm running these programs for a reason... if I didn't want to use them, I wouldn't.

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That's exactly what I meant.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2013 5:39 AM PDT
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Folder icon is broken in all file explorers *except* WE
by DerellLicht / September 5, 2013 6:50 AM PDT

Well, that link was discussing the opposite of my problem - That poster had broken links in Windows Explorer, whereas I don't have broken links in Windows Explorer, only in all other explorer programs!! So in this case, I suspect that imageres.dll is fine (or WE would be broken as well).

I went ahead and tried "sfc /scannow", from a command prompt which was opened as administrator, but sadly it found no issues.

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It contained steps besides permissions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2013 8:53 AM PDT

Does this happen in your spare admin capable account?

And before you write "I'm the only user" the CORRUPT PROFILE issue is still here. So we always have a spare.
Bob

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It contained steps besides permissions
by DerellLicht / September 5, 2013 10:10 AM PDT

Ummm... I didn't actually try logging in to the Admin account; I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know how to do that!

However, I did start Cubic Explorer via "Run as Administrator", and it still had the same issue. Does that have the same effect?

Derell

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I'd try another account.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2013 2:19 PM PDT

And not the default admin. Again, the CORRUPT PROFILE issue is still a problem. We must have a spare account.
Bob

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tried with a separate root account
by DerellLicht / September 6, 2013 2:02 AM PDT

Okay, I created a new Admin account, and logged in via that. In the Admin account, WE still shows folder icons correctly, and everyone else still shows them wrong... sigh...

(BTW, sorry for duplicate-posting my previous message, the browser got a little hung up, and I clicked Submit twice...)

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So Microsoft's own works?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 3:14 AM PDT

When apps fail, we deal with the maker of the apps.

Here when I need another file browser I use Gyulas Navigator since those icons can be trouble when dealing with folders with JPEGs and video files.

All this brings us back to an OS that isn't quite there. Did you expect MSFT and app authors to correct this old issue?
Bob

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Folder icon is broken in all file explorers *except* WE
by DerellLicht / September 6, 2013 4:11 AM PDT

Yes, MSFT's Explorer displays Folder (and all other) icons properly, as I think I expressed previously. Only the non-MSFT explorers have this Folder problem; that is what makes researching this so difficult... all other sources discuss what to do (such as removing IconCache.db) if Windows Explorer is broken, but in my case it is not...

BTW, I tried Gyula's Navigator as well, on your suggestion, but it apparently uses its own icons for everything, so I can't compare it with others.

Frankly, since *all* apps except Windows Explorer are broken, I don't see how I can even ask them to fix this; and of course, MS isn't going to fix *anything* in Windows 7 at this point...

Sounds like I'm just stuck with this issue for now...

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Until there are more clues
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 4:19 AM PDT

You've stumped me. And I don't see why I would not ask the authors about it as they would be getting such questions and be the right folk to ask. That is, if anyone can guess with the limited details, they would.

-> Here's what I do when I find an odd issue like this.

I use Grif's advice to see if there are pests on the machine. I also take a look at the machine with HIJACKTHIS as well as common infection points such as torrents and those clients that download movies. You know they bring in the strangest of pests.
Bob

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It contained steps besides permissions
by DerellLicht / September 5, 2013 10:11 AM PDT

Ummm... I didn't actually try logging in to the Admin account; I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know how to do that!

However, I did start Cubic Explorer via "Run as Administrator", and it still had the same issue. Does that have the same effect?

Derell

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Answer
Here's a thought
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 4:21 AM PDT

If any of those remote access apps are enabled or installed many drop the color count back to get more speed.

Keep in mind this is a long shot but all these posts and we don't know much about what's installed, running or settings. Then again, the old client with the registry cleaner will always keep my friends in pizza and a nice roof over their heads.
Bob

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Answer
Here's an idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 4:24 AM PDT

"NexusFile doesn't use registry or any system folders. Download zip version if you want to carry NexusFile in your USB."

So does that work?

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Okay, I solved this problem !!
by DerellLicht / September 6, 2013 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's an idea.

First, to answer an earlier question of yours, I had already scanned my machine for bugs, with MSE and also with MalwareBytes; that was my first suspicion when things started going strange. The machine is clean.

Also, NexusFile is one of the file explorers that I was trying previously; it had the same problem as the others.

Anyway, what I did to fix it is to scan the web for a program which SETS the system icons; there's probably one in Windows, but I don't know where to look for it. I found AdSevenIconChanger; I ran it as Administrator, told it to change the Open Folder and Closed Folder icons, to appropriate icons in syswow64\imageres.dll, then logged out and back in (as it told me to), and both of those icons now work fine, in all of the file explorers... don't know why I didn't think of this in the first place...

Thanks for all your help and ideas!!

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Very odd issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 5:37 AM PDT

Sorry but i didn't suspect that as I make some assumptions that it's a stock setup. That is, no one has been tampering with the defaults. If someone had written "I skinned the OS" then my thoughts turn to how to get it back to default.

Yes, such is boring but in computing, boring is good.
Bob

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