All icons gone (desktop & folders) only titles remain

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  1. Posts : 9
    windows 10

    All icons gone (desktop & folders) only titles remain


    After a restart all my icons have disappeared on the Desktop and in all of my folders.
    The titles under the icons remain and are selectable to open programs.
    The taskbar is also affected with only generic icons showing for programs; the Quicklaunch bar shows nothing anymore (though slim small rectangles show up for some of the programs there when I mouseover and their titles pop up, but most are missing).

    When I select a program and right-click for Properties, the Properties box does not show up.

    Also the Desktop icons, such as they are, rearrange themselves into a grid on the left instead of being spread out in my usual configuration.

    I have tried rebuilding the icon cache; no effect.
    Did System File Check, no problems found.
    This is a laptop with no touchscreen and the tablet mode is disabled.


    Thank you.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 43,280
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, unless someone has a specific idea, you could try an in-place upgrade repair install, noting your comment about Properties not appearing.

    This keeps all your programs and most settings.

    Just wondering- when you restarted, was this anything to do with any Windows update, or just a normal restart?

    And which Windows version are you running?
    (Windows key + R, type Winver)

    Info on an in-place upgrade repair install:
    Precede it with this in case sthg has happened to your file system:

    From an admin command prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Make sure the result is clear or fixed.
    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    How do I see the results of a CHKDSK that ran on boot? - Ask Leo!

    An In-place upgrade repair install will fix many things, but not those where the settings are not changed by the procedure.

    For this you need an installation medium with the same base build as you have installed.

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    This will refresh Windows, after the manner of a Windows installation.
    - all/most associations will be unchanged
    - all your programs will be left installed
    - you will lose any custom fonts
    - you will lose any customised system icons
    - you may need to re-establish your Wi-Fi connection
    - you will need to redo Windows updates subsequent to the build you have used for the repair install
    - Windows.old will be created
    - system restore will be turned off- you should turn it on again and I recommend you manually schedule a daily restore point.
    - you will need to redo any language downloads including the display language if you changed that)
    - inactive title bar colouring (if used) will be reset to default
    - if Qttabbar is installed, you need to re-enable it in explorer (Options, check Qttabbar)
    This is one of the better features of Win10: as each major build comes out, that's your updated reference build, and as updates are mostly cumulative, there will be few to do.

    Before you perform this major repair procedure, do create a disk image.

    Please consider using disk imaging regularly. It's a brilliant way to
    - preserve your system (and your sanity)
    - back up your data
    - restore your system to a previously working state in a relatively short time

    Recommended: Macrium Reflect (free/commercial) + boot disk/device + large enough external storage medium.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Looks like someone else had a very similar problem: Windows 10 Forums they found no solution found except to roll back an update.

    I have had this problem before, occurring after a windows update so I installed a backup and turned off updates; this time the problem occurred after a restart where I was testing a program "WakeupOnStandBy" (which didn't work on windows 10 btw).
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 43,280
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    This is the link you posted (without a ; at the end)
    Icons missing (But program text remains) - Windows 10 Forums

    So as you say, assuming your restart was related to an update, try uninstalling that.
    (There has been one update since the anniversary upgrade, assuming you received that).
    Last edited by dalchina; 16 Aug 2016 at 03:29.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Running Windows 10. version 1511.

    Though this has occurred during an update; this time it was NOT associated with an update, just a restart. (correction to original post: it was not a Restart, it was a wake from Hibernation).

    I will give your suggestion of an In-place upgrade repair install a try.

    -- first off; chkdsk C: /F says "Access Denied as you do not have sufficient privileges.
    You have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode.".

    Also, though I imagine that In-place upgrade repair may work, it seems a bit drastic as all upgrades will have to be redone, or left off, as one of those did cause this problem as well.

    I do have a disk image, but would like to find a better solution.
    Last edited by vlinni; 17 Aug 2016 at 03:25.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 43,280
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Ok, before you go that way, as you're running 1511, rather than doing an in-place upgrade to 1511 as of Nov 2015, you could do the anniversary upgrade instead. That would be a big time saver.

    (Corrected my post above- I assumed it was someone else posting- sorry).

    From an admin command prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]

    chkdsk C: /F

    - definitely do this before proceeding just to make sure of basics.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the clarification. I have scheduled a chkdsk C: /F on the next restart.

    I also made a mistake in my description. The problem showed up this time upon a wake from Hibernation, not a Restart; the other times it shows up after a system update/restart.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    So, I restarted, but didn't watch the machine. By the time I got back, it Windows was up; should I have watched Chkdsk?

    I am downloading the latest Win10 to a USB and will run this tomorrow.

    Thank you.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 43,280
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    How do I see the results of a CHKDSK that ran on boot? - Ask Leo!

    - as per original instructions..
      My Computers

  10. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Here are the Chkdsk results:

    Checking file system on C:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.

    A disk check has been scheduled.
    Windows will now check the disk.

    Stage 1: Examining basic file system structure ...
    216576 file records processed. File verification completed.
    6962 large file records processed. 0 bad file records processed.
    Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
    285098 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
    0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered to lost and found.
    Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
    Cleaning up 849 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 849 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 849 unused security descriptors.
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    34262 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    132628832 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.

    Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
    No further action is required.

    116639743 KB total disk space.
    35680932 KB in 175222 files.
    123456 KB in 34263 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    418667 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    80416688 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    29159935 total allocation units on disk.
    20104172 allocation units available on disk.

    Internal Info:
    00 4e 03 00 3a 32 03 00 e4 0f 06 00 00 00 00 00 .N..:2..........
    7a 01 00 00 54 0b 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 z...T...........

    Windows has finished checking your disk.
    Please wait while your computer restarts.
      My Computer


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