New subscriber Joe Dobrovolny wrote recently with an unusual icon problem with multiple versions of Windows:
I just subscribed to your newsletter and am testing your invitation to send you a question…
When installing Windows 7 (I have done them all — from Starter Edition to the Enterprise) invariably I do experience that some desktop icons lose their regular graphic. The picture is replaced by generic Windows desktop icon that suggests that Windows lost the link to the program. However, the always link works.
This is happening not all that often, usually after fresh install but often enough to be annoying. To add insult to injury, I by chance discovered that the proper icon can be replaced by right-clicking Properties selecting the icon and applying the change — twice. Only by repeating the exact steps the second time, the original icon gets put back.
Over the years I have realized that some programs are more prone to the malady than others. From my repertoire it happens to Acronis (and other disk backups), Ashampoo, Powerdesk but also to MS Word! At one time the original icon was not even available in the icon properties window and I simply lost it and had the non-descript replacement replaced by more suitable Windows icon.
Microsoft seems to ignore the issue as I can’t find anything about it. Any idea?
I wrote back to Joe to tell him that I enjoy getting questions..
I understand his problem to occur when he installs a new operating system as a clean install, and then installs the application, with a result that some application icons don’t show up. Fortunately, I haven’t seen the problem.
If you’re talking about installing the new Operating System ("OS") as an upgrade over an existing OS, I have to say that I don’t do that.
I always install a new OS as a new install. Windows 98 broke me of installing upgrades over prior versions. I fought a problem for a long time before I found that it was an old Windows driver that was somehow affecting one of my programs.
A couple years ago, my resistance broke down and I did an upgrade installation of 32-bit Windows 7 over 32-bit Windows XP — and I loved it. Unfortunately, it was stable for about 2 weeks. I reinstalled as a clean install and had no further problem with it.
As far as the Word icons go, with Office 2007 under Windows 7, there are a number of Word icons
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE
as shown below:
As you can see from this example, program icons are often stored in the program itself. That way, if you need to change an icon for a shortcut, you can easily find one.
Youj can change a shortcut’s icon by right-clicking on the icon, and then clicking on the Change Icon… button on the Web Document tab. Browse to find the icon you want, click on it to select it, and then click OK.