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I found some thumbnails of jpegs and even folders containing them looking kind of destroyed. What is this? A sign that my hard disk is near of its end?

thumbnails

I also realized that changing the size of the thumbnails shows them just normal. But changing back to the size given in the picture and change the folder and come back let them appear as before: destroyed.

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This seems like normal behavior: "changing the size of the thumbnails shows them just normal." You could keep them at their original resolution, or delete the image cache and it will be rebuilt in the current resolution when you open the folder. To delete it and to set the thumbnail size, see http://www.winability.com/how-to-erase-icon-thumbnail-cache-windows-8/ and http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/11738-thumbnail-previews-enable-disable.html.

You might want to pick a single thumbnail size for each folder and stay with it.

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There is absolutely no correlation to the preview being displayed for a file within a explorer window and how long a HDD will last.

It appears your image cache should simply be rebuilt.

  1. Open Folder Options in Windows 7 or Windows 8, and click/tap on the View tab.
  2. To Turn Off Thumbnails
    • Check Always show icons, never thumbnails, and click/tap on OK. (See screenshot above)
  3. Reboot
  4. To Turn On Thumbnails
    • Uncheck Always show icons, never thumbnails, and click/tap on OK.

Source

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  • I am going to leave this as a comment. It appears this might not actually rebuild the cache file. I will investigate and provide an update if necessary. – Ramhound Jan 14 '15 at 17:29

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