Windows 7 Desktop Icons Obscured

Discussion in 'Desktop Customization' started by richpikl, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Yep...that's the program I was going to point you to. Glad you got it sorted out, and of course, glad we could be of some help.
     
  2. vman

    vman New Member

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    Same problem here

    I am having the same problem here. While I appreciate the work-around of eliminating the arrow overlay using the Vista tool (thanks, at least my desktop looks decent again), it would be nice to fix the actual problem. So far all my googling has provided is the same "fix" of turning off the overlay or trying to rebuild the icon cache. How did you hear this was a registry issue? If so, it would be nice to try to figure out the actual registry repair to fix the problem. Anyone have any ideas?

    Currently having the problem on an OCZ DIY gamer laptop with dual Radeon 3870 video. Started very shortly after install (but not immediately).

    Thanks!

    Verle
     
  3. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    The problem occurs because a program, script or imported registry file, adds an additional key to the registry here [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons] this key does not exist in a clean install of Windows 7 (see attachment), I have found that simply deleting this key "Shell Icons" will return your desktop to normally displaying shortcuts with the arrow in place as God and Bill Gates intended. I am not suggesting that you edit your registry....but if you do be sure to back it up first. Hope this helps
     
  4. Jolinerichard

    Jolinerichard New Member

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    I believe I'm having a similar problem but the above solution does not work. The icon has either a small double arrow in blue or a check mark in green. I do not know where these have come from but they also show up in Windows Explorer and will obscure file names or pictures. I have re-installed Windows 7 twice on Windows Vista and get the same result. They were also on Windows Vista. Anyone have any idea where they came from?

    View attachment 4207
     
  5. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Was unable to view your attachment, but try this link and see if it explains any of your issues.
    http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2009/12/09/9934348.aspx
     
  6. Jolinerichard

    Jolinerichard New Member

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    I read through the blog and it did not list the "short-cut arrows" that I have. I have re-attached the jpg to this post. Other than system icons; shortcuts, file (MS Office, pictures, PDF) have a small blue square with 2 arrows in it at the bottom left corner of the icon (in the same place the shortcut arrow use to be). I have tried Tweaku and Vista Shortcut Manager and neither worked. What is most irrating about this is that it covers up about half of a thumbnail picture in Windows Explorer. I have to look through many pictures for my job and do not want to open every picture fully to find the one I need.
    View attachment 4208
     
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Very cool...haven't seen that particular one before, perhaps some other members may have some insight and experience, but if I had to bet, I would think that perhaps, some third party application, like a media viewer or something similar has decided that it should by default be associated with all those files and links. Just a guess, sorry I couldn't be of more help.
     
  8. vman

    vman New Member

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    Try a clean reinstall?

    Sounds like the icons are probably coming over from your Vista install - sounds like you are doing an upgrade from Vista to 7? I would recommend trying a clean install of Win 7 instead of an upgrade from Vista (you have already upgraded so your Vista key should have been deactivated, so this really shouldn't be a legal issue). To do a clean install from normal upgrade media (if it is a laptop or some kind of company specific disk like Dell, this may not work), follow the advice on the link provided (I used the first 4 steps to do the install (don't try to activate it yet), then used the workaround #3 to activate it and it worked like a charm.):

    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/10/27/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-and-product-key-on-formatted-or-empty-blank-hard-drive/

    I had a hardware issue right after I installed and needed to reinstall, and I didn't want to have to install my old OS first. It was after that that I had my problem with the icons, but the Vista icon program worked as a pretty good 'fix' - not the original shortcut icons, but I now have a choice of two different shortcut arrows (or none at all, but I personally like the distinction between a shortcut and an actual program, so I use the small arrow).

    Hope this helps.

    Edit - forgot that this wasn't the thread with the 'fix' - here is a link to a Vista Shortcut Overlay Remover utility that gives you three options, and works with Windows 7 (has both a 32 and 64 bit version). This might work for you without reinstalling at all.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-shortcut-icon-arrow-overlay-in-windows-vista/
     
    #28 vman, Dec 21, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  9. Jolinerichard

    Jolinerichard New Member

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    Your second item works on just the shortcut icons. My problem exists on all icons used as shortcuts or files whether on my desktop or in Windows Explorer. The first option sounds like something I will try but it will take a lot of time. Yes, I upgraded from Vista. The first time I started it like a regular installation. All my Vista problems followed the installation and I gained nothing. I tried again by doing a clean re-install of Vista completing all updates and then upgrading to Windows 7. That seemed to fixed the Vista problems but the icon issue re-surfaced. It does not effect operation but is irrating when they cover thumbnails. I would like to get rid of the partition on my laptop that has the Vista Recovery. I assume that Windows 7 Recovery will be from the disc. Question pertaining to the clean install, on step 3 it states Do Not Enter product key. The Tip states enter serial number to see if it is accepted. Is serial number and product key the same? In checking the "Serial number", is it just to see if the "check Mark" appears?
     

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