Thursday, April 19, 2012

WINXP - Corrupted Icon-Cache UPDATED

At work there was a WinXP Pro SP3 system that had the wrong icon for C:

After much hair-pulling I found the cause was the user had placed Setup.exe AND an Autorun.inf file in the root. This caused the C: icon to change to the icon for Setup. Deleting both files from the root was the main fix, but had to also fix the Icon-Cache file.

Also, the Icon cache can be corrupted by other causes that the one above.

IMPORTANT: The Icon-Cache is NOT actually needed! My home and work WinXP desktops to not have one and they work just fine.

Here's how to get rid of the need for the Icon-Cache:

You disable the offline file replication in Windows XP

Open My Computer, select [Tools], [Folder Options], [Offline Files] tab, then UNCHECK the Enable Offline Files check box.

(click for better view)

Here's how to rebuild your Icon-Cache if you have wrong desktop/Favorites icons:

Rebuild the Icon-Cache file by deleting it
  1. Delete the hidden file Iconcache.db

  2. WinXP each user has their own file
    C:\Documents and Settings\User-Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Iconcache.db

    Win7 and Vista, see

  3. IMPORTANT - Close down all explorer.exe processes using the Task Manager
  4. (Or else it will create a faulty file during logoff/restart)

  5. Use the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) to launch the explorer.exe again
  6. (Or press CTRL+ALT+DEL to perform a restart/logoff)

  7. When the Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) starts again, it will recreate a correct Icon-Cache file

Also note that Icon Phile, mentioned in previous article, will work for changing individual Desktop Icons. It also includes a tool to rebuild the Icon-Cache.

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