Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

System Icons Replaced by Black Square Icons

  1. #1

    System Icons Replaced by Black Square Icons

    I have a weird issue that is becoming a frustration on my system. Some of my icons are being replaced by a black square icon. I have flushed icon cache, rebuilt icon cache, ran SFC, tried to re-assign the icon and a few other things, but they still exist.
    It seems to happens with the smaller sized icon because if I view in medium or larger size icon view they appear correct. I also tried viewing them through a program called Real World Cursor Editor and they appear fine. It is only in the Win 8.1 explorer that they appear to be black squares. If I am not mistaken, they also seem to be increasing in numbers when displaying. So I am not sure if there is an issue with explorer displaying a certain size icon or not. I have checked my system thoroughly with anti-virus programs and this is a well guarded system, I found none.
    The system is a very well maintain one and used daily for many different uses from gaming, graphics to research. I don't see anything out of the norm in the events either about this icon issue and I have come to a bit of confusion why it is happening. As well as, only in certain viewing sizes. I will post an image below that shows 2 views of the same folder using MS Win 8.1 browser and also the Real World Cursor Editor program view. The icons are showing black squares only in MS browser. Any help would be greatly appreciated if anyone has had this issue and has repaired it.
    Click image for larger version

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Try rebuilding your Icon cache, see here: How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows

    Says it's for Windows 7 but also works with Windows 8/8.1.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Ok, I completed the request and also went the extra steps and downloaded the reg pack to merge the file extension "FOLDER" into the registry. The reason for that is that I noticed a pattern with this icon issue and it seems to only be certain Folders that are having problems. The problem still exist after completing all the task and 2 reboots. One other strange thing is that when I try to open these black block icon folders, I receive this message...
    Click image for larger version
    When I check the security on the particular folder, I have total access and all the check boxes are marked, yet it still will not allow me to view.

    I researched some other post in the Microsoft tech forums about this problem and I read something about re-creating a new user because there was some type of corruption in the present user setup. I have not attempted yet to try and recreate a new user and verify if this works. I was not sure what type of repercussion may happen by doing this and if I may lose access to settings I have made with the original user I am using now. If I remember correctly, I made a user change in an older windows op. sys. years ago and after rebooting the system setting went all back to a default setting and I spent a day fixing it to my prior settings. I also would hate to lose all my program ID's and have to reinstall programs for the new user name created.

    Anyway, that is my status at this time. I will check back tonight after I take care of a few things I have scheduled for today.

    Thank you Rich
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Not sure what your response has to do with the tutorial I linked you to. It has two straight forward ways to delete and rebuild the Icon cache. Is that what you did?

    Have you run virus scans? Also try installing Malware Bytes Anti Malware free and run it's scan, see if it finds anything.

    As far as a new user account, creating one won't cause any other problems. When you login to the new account it will be pretty empty, it will not look anything like your current account. The purpose is simply to test to see uif the icon corruption shows up there as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    Agree with the Ztrucker, something is wrong with the integrity of your OS.

    Run a sfc /scannow in addition to what he already said. SFC /SCANNOW Command - Run in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    I have done icon tutorial, if you look at the link you sent me, it has an additional step that follows the first step if the first step, you had me do does not work. I did the icon cache and the icons remained the same. So, the additional step was to merge an extension fix to the registry that would repair a corrupted extension registry. This did not work either, so I reported back here.

    Has anyone taken a look at the Microsoft Tech forum like I mentioned about this? Is it possible it is a user problem or corruption in the user file. I am leaning in that direction more then rebuilding my icon cache that has no effect on repairing. Also I mentioned that it is only effecting certain folders, not every folder.
    In addition with the icon cache if it was an icon cache issue, the image I posted above would have the black block Icons in both displays. This would also cover any messed icon assignment of the FOLDER extension. This shows to be proven that it is not a cache problem or corruption of the icon cache.

    I have run SFC if you read my first posting thoroughly you would have noticed this information. In addition to this, I run malware bytes continuously and run regular scans of Spybot + Antivirus, SO, there is no virus on this system.

    I am pretty experienced with my system and have done my virus checks and checked the typical icon corruptions in cache and assignments, I guarantee this is not what is causing this problem. It is something possibly that needs more experience in diagnosing the reason perhaps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Easy way to see if it's a user problem, create a new account and test. If okay then you can copy everything from the old to the new account and delete the old account (and files) once you are sure everything is working right.

    Fix a corrupted user profile

    I also tested this method several years ago and it worked:
    You can use the Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your profiles and settings to a new account:
    1. Go to Start �> type Easy Transfer �> Click Windows Easy Transfer in the search results.
    2. You will get a welcome message to Windows Easy Transfer. Click Next.
    3. Choose a different partition or internal hard drive, external hard disk or USB flash drive. Can't be the same drive you are transferring from (the "old computer").
    4. Select This is my old computer.
    5. Check the box before your current user account, and click Next.
    6. You can input a password if you want.
    7. Click Save to save the transfer file. The transfer file will be a single file with the extension .MIG. Please remember the location.
    8. Create a new account via Control Panel - User Accounts.
    9. Log off the current account and log on the new account.
    10. Open Windows Easy transfer again and click This is my New Computer.
    11. Choose "Yes, open the file" to navigate to the .MIG file.
    12. Check the box before your old account, then click the Advanced Options above the Transfer button, then you choose which user account you want to transfer.
    13. Click Save and Transfer. Now, you can see what are the files that were transferred.

    Test if everything works correctly in the new account now. If yes you can delete the old account via User Accounts.

    If not, please delete the new account via User Accounts. Go back to step 8, and repeat the step 9 and 10, then check the box before your old account, and click on the Customize button next to this old account, and uncheck the box before Windows Settings, then click the Transfer button.

    I seem to have lost the site this came from originally, sorry.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    I have noticed that it is a shortcut folder icon corruption. I have always used shortcuts without the small arrow shown, just my preference to not have the arrow displayed. Well, it must of finally caused some type of problem somewhere and what is happening is that the arrow alpha mask file is covering the shortcut icons with a black box icon.
    So what I might try first is to set the arrow to show on shortcut file folders and see if this repairs the problem. If not, I will use a icon program to examine the arrow alpha mask and see if it is corrupted or just missing. I hope this fixes the problem since going through a making of a new user would be a bit more work to perform.
    I appreciate your posting about creating a new user and thank you. I hope that will be a last resort if I have to create one for this problem. I will try the couple things I mentioned above and if that repairs the problem I will repost with the solved information. If not, I will need to go with the new user creating and see if that does the trick.
    I may be a while before I repost since my time is busy right now, but it is in my schedule and like I said, I will repost on my status until I resolve this little problem.

    Thanks Again
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Ok, after re-initializing to the visible shortcut arrow on shortcut icons, the problem has now stopped and problem solved. There must be a corruption on the shortcut arrow alpha mask or something to make the icons on shortcut folders all black.
    I guess I will just let the arrow on shortcut folder been seen. I did remove the assigning of the "shortcut to" placed on shortcuts when created.

    Thanks all that put in help, it is appreciated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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