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Windows Icons (and Task Bar) Have Disappeared
Last updated: 7/20/01

Q.  All of my Windows 9X/Me desktop icons have disappeared.  How do I restore them?

A.  If you have an Active Desktop, right-click your Desktop,  Active Desktop, Show Desktop Icons.

If that doesn't work, and if the task bar/desktop icons disappear in the Normal Windows Mode and they appear in the Safe Mode (press the F8 key just as Windows is about to start or hold the Ctrl key while booting with some version and select the Safe Mode form the resulting menu), search the Windows 98 CD with the Windows Explorer for tweakui.inf and double click it to install the program. Go into the Control Panel (Start Settings…) where you will find an icon called TweakUI. Double-click it, select Repair, select Rebuild Icons, click Repair Now, and restart Windows.  TweakUI for Windows 9X, Me, NT, and 2000 can be downloaded here.

If you can't use TweakUI you can fix a corrupted ShellIconCache file manually from the DOS prompt by booting to DOS on the hard disk drive or with a  Windows 98 or Me, etc. Startup or boot floppy.  ShellIconCache is located in C:\windows and will appear as shelli~1 if you can see it form DOS, but you can’t because it is a hidden file. Change it so you can see and delete it with:
C:\windows>attrib shelli* -H (you may have copy attrib from C:\windows\command if you are booting to a floppy of add that directory to the path.
It may also be a system file
C:\windows>attrib shelli* -S
Erase it:
C:\windows>erase shelli*
Starting Windows should rebuild the file.
I would follow with a surface scan of the hard disk with scandisk, with save changes.

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