My laptop harddisk crashed. However, since I use a backup solution (HP Autonomy), I managed to restore most of the documents and files that had been backed up, after reinstalling the operating system, i.e. Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit on the new hard-disk.

However, I realized just now that I was backing up even application data, and even that has been restored. Since my backup restoration took much longer (about half a day), I had already reinstalled my software packages. After the backup restoration was complete, I noticed that I can no longer see icons for many applications. The icons for these applications were visible in the taskbar and the start menu earlier, but now I see generic "missing icon" symbol.

Here are some screen shots. Right clicking on the icons to bring up their properties, I see that the shortcuts have "(1)", "(2)" suffixes, indicating that either during installation or data restore, duplicates were created.

Startmenu icon mess


How can I solve/fix this issue and get of the application icons to show properly ?

PS> I love the Windows Classic look-n-feel and find that it has better performance, so don't be surprised and suspect that this is not a Windows 7 setup. Just to clarify.


Two things to try:

  1. Rebuild Windows Icon Cache, either by simply deleting the DB or following the directions for CMD use.

  2. You wrote "I love the Windows Classic look-n-feel," so I assume you use Classic Shell and Classic Start Menu, which has a setting to "pre-cache" icons. If that cache is corrupted, it might need to be reloaded. In the Classic Start Menu settings dialog, on the General Behavior tab of the dialog, uncheck "Pre-cache icons". After rebooting, it can be turned on again if desired.

Another possibility is that the actual file association with applications have been lost, which may take a bit of work to fix for each application; use the *Open with..." dialogs to fix that.

  • Step 1 worked wonderfully well, and all icons are restored. Noted the information in point #2 as well. Does turning off "pre-caching" (I presume that's what that setting checkbox means) have any effect on performance ? – bdutta74 Jan 30 '15 at 3:45
  • Classic Shell hints indicate pre-caching speeds startup, though I have not tested running with it off [it is on by default]. – DrMoishe Pippik Feb 1 '15 at 2:47

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