An I.T. Problem Shared . . .

A blog of problems . . . and solutions

Windows 7 Icons Missing

Without reason one of our Microsoft Windows 7 PCs started displaying incorrect icons on the desktop and in Explorer. The original icons were replaced with a Windows default icon – the kind you get when Windows doesn’t know what icon to show.

We’ve had similar problems in previous versions of Windows and knew that the answer was to clear the icon cache. Here’s how you do it in Windows 7:

  • Close all Explorer windows and applications
  • Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to open Windows Task Manager
  • Click the Processes tab and locate Explorer.exe on the list of processes
  • Right-Click on Explorer.exe and select End Process
  • Click File and New Task (Run) and type CMD and click OK
  • In the Command Prompt window type each of these lines – pressing Enter/Return after each line:cd %userprofile%\AppData\Localdel iconcache.dbexit
  • Now back in Task Manager Click File and New Task (Run) and type explorer.exe and click OK – Your icons should now be back to their correct icon.

Windows 7 Triple-Click Double-Click

Since upgrading to Windows 7 I’ve found my desktop icons were being a little unresponsive. At first I thought maybe my mouse was on the way out but then realised it was happening on all my Windows 7 PCs.

It seemed that to get a desktop icon to open you had to click once to select it then double-click to open it (in effect making a double-click a triple-click).
I then found if I played around with the visual performance settings i could fix it.

Here’s what I did to fix it in my case:

  1. Right click My Computer and select Properties
  2. Click Advanced System Settings on the left
  3. Click the Advanced tab
  4. Under Performance Click Settings
  5. On the Visual Effects tab ucheck ‘Animate controls and elements inside windows’

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (Alpha 2) Installation

We thought we’d grab a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 – even though it’s still in Alpha and shouldn’t be installed on a production machine we’ve found it installed pretty much perfectly on any hardware we used.

The Alpha 2 ISO image is available from and here’s a quick screencast showing the installing.

The process has been shortened in video editing but only took around 20 minutes from boot-up to final reboot.

Anti-malware/Anti-virus Boot CDs

PCs infected with viruses/spyware/malware are getting harder and harder to repair. Malware is getting smarter each day and hiding, embedding and defending its position harder than ever. Once your PC is infected it’s practically impossible to repair or remove the infection from within the infected operating system.

An infected PC we recently looked at had been running ZoneAlarm Internet Security – we don’t know the history of how it was infected, if ZoneAlarm was out of date or if the user had simply ignored warnings and ‘allowed’ the infection in but the PC constantly popped up fake virus warnings all directing the user to part with their credit card details to download the fake anti-virus software. Web browsing was randomly redirected to the same fake antivirus site and any attempt to download or install any genuine anti-virus or anti-malware software was intercepted and again redirected to the ‘purchase’ option.

The only solution was to boot the PC from a boot CD so the infection had no chance to load up and then we can scan the hard drive from a clean environment. In this particular case it took us a record 4 different programs to find and eventually remove the trojans and fraud malware.

The safest option probably would be to format and re-install the whole system but with a system with a lot of data, programs, user settings and configurations this was the best way of getting the PC useable quickly. The user can then back up their data, note down all their settings and then re-install should they want to.

Here’s a list of downloadable CD-ROM images available to help in the battle with malware. Most of them can be downloaded and burned directly to a CD-ROM, others need the particular program installing (on a clean PC!) then updating before it creates an ISO image to burn to CD:


Avira AntiVir Rescue System

Bit Defender Rescue CD

F-Secure Rescue CD

Kaspersky Rescue CD Download

Panda Security Rescue CD

Spybot Search and Destroy Boot CD

Trinity Rescue Kit

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows