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Networked drives, Lost in Translation? 5% success rate? Old XP files on HD F, fetched from new Win7 system HD C... is proving a puzzling hit & miss.

If I boot up in XP from my old hard drive, NO PROBLEM, all pics are there in file directory to SEE as thumbnail file icons, and they fly out of the old XP Picasa pic viewer app full form in perfect fashion. BUT booting up from my new hard drive & Win7 OS system, going to my old F hard disk, old XP Library, Pictures folder, only reveals 5% of the .jpg thumbnail file icons viewable in the directory, and those viewable ones take like 60 seconds processing to be viewed in full from the new Win7(?) Picasa pic viewer!

Double clicking on the XP file icon fires up which Picasa app, XP's or Win7's? (I'm ASSUMING it's the system's Win7 C drive Picasa app processing the F drive's .jpg's) ? 95% of the .jpg pics won't even reveal their thumbnail file icons in the XP Library Picture file directory, independent of Picasa. But 5% of .jpg icons do show up! How's that?

Picasa is not the primary riddle. The properties are all there however and looks A-OK. You would think a .jpg is a .jpg so what's the deal with fetching them, from the same file, from my new Win7 system vantage point??? Hit and miss reveal? Same file format. BOTH from the thumbnail file directory reveal AND from Picasa. But even the "good" 5% of pics viewable as thumbnail icons are hard to process from the Win7(??) Picasa app, taking like 60 seconds to render.

Trying to have my old XP computer via its hard drive simply patched and added to my new Win7 power system SEEMED LIKED the best of both (old & new) worlds.

What's the problem... besides my naïveté ???

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Interesting question. Consider breaking up the question into paragraphs to improve readability in the future. – JW8 Sep 2 '11 at 4:05
Thanks. Quick learning curve here. Love the site! – PhxTitan Sep 2 '11 at 16:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's a hidden file in the folder called thumbs.db. This folder caches the thumbnails. It takes a while to build this up, but your windows xp system has already done the work and so it can show the thumbnails quickly. Your windows 7 system tries to use the old thumbnail database, but it's expecting a slightly different format and so it doesn't work well.

To fix it, set the folder to show all files and delete the existing thumbs.db file that is now visible. Close the window and re-open it. It will take a while, but your thumbs.db database will rebuild itself, and after that thumbnails will be fast again.

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Damn, that was a FAST answer! Thanks. Wow. Hope! That accounts for file thumbnail icons. But Picasa too? I'll report back! – PhxTitan Sep 2 '11 at 4:08
OK, followed that, found the hidden "Thumbs" .db file. Nervous about deleting a file! It will simply recreate itself and rebuild itself for a view that works from the Win7 vantage point? Inside the XP hard drive? Or has Win7 taken over both hard drives' data files now? I've never heard of files recreating themselves... but that's not saying anything. The system warned me about the potential to delete critical files once I revealed hidden files. It WILL recreate, rebuild??? – PhxTitan Sep 2 '11 at 4:40
Found independent confirmation via search that you can indeed delete the file. (sorry) But I tried and was denied permission to do so. Went thru the now easy process of granting myself the file privileges, did that. And the thumbs, WITHOUT even deleting the Thumbs.db file, started rebuilding themselves on the fly, automatically. And BOOM, all pics good to go! Great answer. And posted within 3 minutes of me posting the question. THANKS. Now all my hundreds of fab pics even work on my Win7 C drive's screen saver. Beautiful! Super Joel! – PhxTitan Sep 2 '11 at 5:03
This Superuser forum is a great find. One problem (broken into two diff questions) led to two different acquired skills rather pronto. Granting access permissions... and the recreating of thumbs.db files... and regaining my vast pic file from the old system. Happy, happy. THANKS! – PhxTitan Sep 2 '11 at 5:09
@PhyxTitan, glad to hear that it worked out. – JW8 Sep 2 '11 at 6:22

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