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Thread: Black PDF icons

  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    I'm not sure whether this is a Windows-related problem, and it may belong on another board. However, it does seem to relate to the desktop and not to the individual programs involved.
    Running W7 Ultimate clean install for a month, and use PDF XChange Viewer as my default program for reading PDFs. A few days ago, the desktop icon for these files change to a black rectangle with a small correct version of the icon in one corner. I also have Nuance PDF Converter Pro and Nitro PDF Pro, and changing to either of these as the default program for opening PDFs creates the same problem-black rectangle with the tiny icon incorporated into it. This is happening only on the desktop, and the correct icon is shown in the My Documents folders.
    All other icons are correct - only PDF files are affected. Uninstall and reinstall of the PDF viewer did not correct the problem.
    At bootup, the PDF icons are correct, then change at some point to the incorrect version. I haven't been able to isolate a particular activity which triggers the change. No changes were made to the PC at the time when the problem started (no software or hardware changes).
    Clearing the icon cache temporarily fixes the problem, but it recurs soon after.
    This isn't a major problem-perhaps one of aesthetics only, but I am curious as to its cause, and as always enjoy troubleshooting, even these minor issues!
    I have attached screenshots of the correct and problem icons.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    How 'bout trying a look-see in a couple of places, since you've already tried clearing the cache. What program do you see if you right-click the "black" icon and look in its Properties? I don't know if there might be an icon like that inside the program and something is making it re-read after you clear the cache or reboot. An example:

    [attachment=86753:2009-11-28_072522.png]

    In addition, Win 7 has now moved the "file associations" to the Control Panel, in Default Programs, Associate a file type... You might also look for PDF in that list to see where it's leading:

    [attachment=86754:2009-11-28_073115.png]
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thank you Bigaldoc. I had checked the file association (correct) and on your advice checked properties- again correct.
    I changed the desktop theme last night ( just for the sake of a change) and after a couple of hours of PC use this morning, the PDF file icons are behaving properly. I had been using the same theme for a month before the odd behaviour of the icons started, so can't explain why a change of theme may have solved the problem. Perhaps coincidence-who knows!
    Am monitoring each program I use today to see if one of them is the culprit and my "change the theme" theory falls over.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Thanks for the update, Dianne. Keep us posted if anything turns up.

  5. #5
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    So much for the change of theme theory! I have found the trigger (or at least one of them if there are more). Moving a PDF file from the desktop (where I initially save them) to a My Documents folder triggered the conversion of all the PDF file icons on the desktop to the black form. However, after moving the file, its correct icon is shown in the My Documents folder-so the problem relates to the desktop only.
    Definitely an odd problem!
    Dianne

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    My two cents worth, the desktop is NO place for any files.
    Maybe, your system does not like having them there also!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianne18 View Post
    So much for the change of theme theory!
    Brings back my original question or maybe part of it. If you right-click on one of those black icons you should be able to work your way to the program that's CREATING the icons and if it's anything like my example graphic, you should see whatever icons are in the EXE or DLL file in question. If this were me, it would drive me nuts. AND, Dave is right, I've NEVER saved anything to the desktop. I always use a TEMP folder of MY making and then move files from there to wherever their eventual home will be. In my case it's mostly downloaded software or PDF files or DOC files.

  8. #8
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    That's an interesting thought Dave. I have always used the desktop as a temporary transit station for downloaded files- have never changed it (?sheer laziness). Interested to know why you advise against the use of the desktop as the initial download target.
    Dianne

  9. #9
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    Yes, I did go through that process and found that the files are definitely created by PDF XChange viewer and the icon is shown as the correct one. I''ll take the advice from you and Dave and download to another folder. The black icons are an eyesore.
    Dianne

  10. #10
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    To start with when we were using 98 and before these icons eat up a lot of the 64k of resources and slowed down if not kill the machine.

    Then as I supported more users and finally got them to do backups of their files (My Documents) there were losing files because the Desktop is NOT part of My Documents.

    Then there is the clutter, things get lost with so many icons, and the with the removal of the "Shortcut Arrow" one does not know which is a link or a file in some cases, and the users were deleting their files, which were not backed up.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
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    As always Dave, thank you for sharing your wisdom and real-life experience- it makes good sense!
    Dianne

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