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[SOLVED] Icons on desktop have 'missing file icon' instead of shortcut arrow?

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Icons on desktop have 'missing file icon' instead of shortcut arrow? within the Windows 7 Support, Windows Vista Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, a while ago, I was annoyed with having the little shortcut arrows on desktop icons. I decided to try


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Old 08-04-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
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Hi, a while ago, I was annoyed with having the little shortcut arrows on desktop icons. I decided to try to find a way to have them removed, so there would be no arrows for shortcuts, and I looked on the internet for how to do so.

1. One site had me download a registry edit thing, and change my registry.
2. Another site let me download a program that would supposedly remove the shortcut arrows.

And, for a while, one of these methods worked, and I didn't have any arrows on my icons! But then, for some reason, it backfired, and now I have that strange 'unknown program' icon in place of an arrow. Here, http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u...s/Untitled.jpg
(It's a safe image, don't worry)

The problem is, I really don't know which of the two things above made this happen, but I can't get it back. What can I do? I'd be fine with or without the arrows, but just not how it is now!

This happened over a year ago, I do not remember the names of the programs, what I did with the registry, and I cannot use system restore that far. Please help with any solution. I have Windows 7.

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Old 08-04-2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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Well, the first thing I am going to ask is if you backed up your registry (You never should make changes to the registry - especially if its a never heard of online tweak - without backing it up) That's the short fix, if you did not back up your registry then please bare with me.

Please test the following:
-Double click "My Computer"
-Go into your C:// drive
-Enter the "Program Files" folder
-Go into any folder containing an installed program, and right click on the exe file inside
-"Create Shortcut"

If a shortcut is created within the folder without that ugly missing file icon, then you can just simply go and do that with all your other programs, drag the shortcuts to your desktop, and delete the previous shortcuts. (Then you can rename them something more straightforward, instead of shortcut to so and so just so and so)

If that did not work, I would try a registry cleaner. CCleaner is free and has a basic registry optimizer built in, though you could try a more specific program, such as a RegSeeker.

If none of those work, then please get back to me on it. (I'll probably have thought of another fix by then)

By the way, now that you mentioned those shortcut arrows, I'm getting annoyed at the ones on my desktop!

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Old 08-04-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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I tried the first method of creating new shortcuts, but they still had the same problem.
And I tried both Reg Cleaners you recommended, restarted, to no avail.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:04 AM   #4
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Hi, I do not recommend the running of Reg cleaners, they are unnecessary and can and do cause problems, there is an earlier thread with a similiar problem:-
(the comment about shortcuts also applies to you)

http://www.techsupportforum.com/f217...em-488560.html

The post #3 zip is what you need (Usasma's file is the same I just made it easier and included - to remove the old keys).

After running this AND before you restart :- (clearing the Icon cache will be needed as well)


Go to Start all programs accessories and right click on command prompt select “run as administrator”

Code:
type:- taskkill /im explorer.exe /f   press enter
( Your desktop icons will disappear )
Now type each line and press enter after each line. 
Note the spaces.

CD %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local

attrib -h IconCache.db

del IconCache.db

Now type exit and press enter
Reboot to take effect
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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jenae, I cannot thank you enough. I'm not sure what you did for my computer, but you got rid of the ugly missing file shortcut icons!!!
Thank you so much, I have tried so many different thing, but your suggestion worked.

Ran those commands
Restarted
Ran that file in the link
Works

And thanks to DigitalDork for helping as well!
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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If the shortcut arrow is not properly displayed then a generic image appears over the Desktop icon making it almost unrecognisable. How and why this happens is unknown and I found that the numerous registry hacks and other suggested fixes did not help in my case. Alterations through 'View' and icon-size did nothing nor did System Restore or deleting the icon-cache but after much experimentation the fault was eventually overcome as follows:

Go through Control Panel to Display
Reset the size option to "Medium - 125%" and click "Apply"
Once the computer resets itself, visually confirm that the shortcut arrow appears correctly
Then go back through the Control Panel again and reset to "Smaller - 100%"
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenae View Post
Hi, I do not recommend the running of Reg cleaners, they are unnecessary and can and do cause problems, there is an earlier thread with a similiar problem:-
(the comment about shortcuts also applies to you)

http://www.techsupportforum.com/f217...em-488560.html

The post #3 zip is what you need (Usasma's file is the same I just made it easier and included - to remove the old keys).

After running this AND before you restart :- (clearing the Icon cache will be needed as well)


Go to Start all programs accessories and right click on command prompt select “run as administrator”

Code:
type:- taskkill /im explorer.exe /f   press enter
( Your desktop icons will disappear )
Now type each line and press enter after each line. 
Note the spaces.

CD %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local

attrib -h IconCache.db

del IconCache.db

Now type exit and press enter
Reboot to take effect
I'm so glad I came across this.. I hadn't tried to hide shortcut arrows, but suddenly all of my shortcut icons were hiding behind that unknown program image. It happened when I was installing an opensource raytracing renderer. When I uninstalled the renderer after deciding I didn't want to use it, my icons were cowering behind the unknown program images. That program must have stolen some registry information when I tossed it out... Anyway, they're all back to normal now, thanks to you!

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