Something Weird Happened to my Desktop & Explorer

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#1
So after a far too long gaming session with Civilization 6, I tried exiting the program. Except, it froze on me when I hit Exit to Desktop. I wound up having to hard reboot it (Ctrl-Alt-Del, hit the Windows Shutdown/Restart option).

Except when it booted back up, I was greeted with this:

Messed up Desktop.jpg

And then this in Explorer:
Messed Up Explorer.jpg


I tried restarting the computer again, but it didn't fix it.

You guys have an idea here?
 
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#2
So after a far too long gaming session with Civilization 6, I tried exiting the program. Except, it froze on me when I hit Exit to Desktop. I wound up having to hard reboot it (Ctrl-Alt-Del, hit the Windows Shutdown/Restart option).

Except when it booted back up, I was greeted with this:

View attachment 26455

And then this in Explorer:
View attachment 26456

I tried restarting the computer again, but it didn't fix it.

You guys have an idea here?
Try cycling power. I had a weird glitch that took my wireless adapter away tonight, and that's how I got it back after reboots didn't work.
 
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#5
Whoops. Sorry about that. It's the technical term for "turn it off, wait a minute, then back on again."

No, really. It is. :)

Also known as the "Raytheon reboot."
So is that doing it the hard way, as in holding down the power button rather than clicking the option?
 
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#7
Right. A "cold reboot" rather than what is known as a "warm restart" (where the computer was already on before restarting it).

--Patrick
 
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#8
Tried that. Still the same problem.[DOUBLEPOST=1515346842,1515346281][/DOUBLEPOST]I should mention that the icons themselves are not clickable, almost like they don't exist. I can just click the words below where the icon should be. That includes in explorer, too.
 
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#9
...it's the icon database. Hm. Can you right-click on any of the titles at all, get a contextual menu to pop up?
 
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#10
Yep. The shortcuts and files still work the same. But I can only do it on the text itself, as if the icons aren't there. Any files in Explorer don't have a preview, either, like for pics or videos.
 
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#11
Wait.

Right click anywhere on the desktop (not the names). Select the "View..." option, then go to the sub-option of "Show Desktop Icons."

EDIT: Failing that, watch this:

 
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#12
That didn't do it.

I asked on Reddit and they sent me to this page:
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/rebuild-icon-clear-thumbnail-cache-windows-10

However, when I tried entering the command prompt (changing "%userprofile%" to "ThatNickGuy," I assume), it keeps saying "System cannot find path specified."[DOUBLEPOST=1515349091,1515348855][/DOUBLEPOST]And just tried going right to the directory myself and then copy/pasting the rest of the line "attrib –h iconcache_*.db del iconcache_*.db start explorer" but now I get an error of "parameter format not correct."
 
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#15
Nope. :( I get a message that says Windows can't find gpedit.msc

Also tried downloading a small program called Thumbnail & Icon Cache Rebuilder. Tried running it twice and restarting my computer. Still no go. :(

Apparently gpedit isn't available in Windows 10 home edition, you need to upgrade to the more expensive edition to access it... that's fucked up, fuck microsoft.
 
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#17
I admit, I’ve never run into this, so I am watching with interest.

—Patrick
 
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#18
I don't even know what to do at this point. I've tried every suggestion. I don't even know how it happened.
 
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#19
However, when I tried entering the command prompt (changing "%userprofile%" to "ThatNickGuy," I assume), it keeps saying "System cannot find path specified."
I can't help with the rest man, but on this, you actually do type in "%userprofile% and don't replace it. It'll "find" the right directory for you. %appdata% is another one that can be handy for finding many "install" or user data directories as well.
 
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#22
I can't help with the rest man, but on this, you actually do type in "%userprofile% and don't replace it. It'll "find" the right directory for you. %appdata% is another one that can be handy for finding many "install" or user data directories as well.
Tried both. No go. :(

Command Prompt.jpg
 
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#23
I haven't messed around with Windows in a long time, but I wonder if you can create a new user and it still has the same problems. It might at least narrow the search to where the problem is.
 
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#24
You should be able to create a new user at startup, or just select the "Logout" option from the Start menu.
 
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#25
He can use the "Accounts" preference pane, then click on Family and Other People, then Add someone else to this PC.
That'll let you add another (admin) account so you can see if the same thing happens in that other account to be able to narrow down the cause.

--Patrick
 
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#27
At this point the nuclear option might be your best bet. Back everything up and reinstall windows.
 
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#28
Doesn't Windows 10 have some kind of reset option? If reinstalling is on the table, might be worth trying first.
 
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#29
Doesn't Windows 10 have some kind of reset option? If reinstalling is on the table, might be worth trying first.
Yes, you start the windows disc (or recovery partition) and choose "System restore".

I wonder if there's a saved recovery point that could be rolled back to?

There are a number of options that are pretty heavy duty:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17101/windows-7-system-recovery-options

Even if you choose an option that leaves data and programs in place, always, always backup first.[DOUBLEPOST=1515707091,1515707003][/DOUBLEPOST]Windows 10 has a different set of options, and "reset your PC" is probably the last resort, but will almost certainly work:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/windows-10-recovery-options
 
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#30
I have way too many files to back up and no place to put them all. Videos, audio files, etc. I have an external hard drive, but it won't hold all of it.[DOUBLEPOST=1515710183,1515710148][/DOUBLEPOST]Also, I don't have the Windows disc at all. It's Windows 10, so it was part of that free upgrade Microsoft had for it at launch.
 
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#31
Online backup services start at about $5/month. Sign up, pay the $5, and start backing up. When it's done you can do a reset and keep the files, but if something goes really wrong, you can get your files from the backup.

You don't need the windows disc to do a windows 10 reset:

"Resetting lets you choose whether to keep your files or remove them, and then reinstalls Windows. To get started, go to Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started and choose an option."

More information and instructions here under "Reset your PC" (click on it to expand that section).

You can also try going back to an earlier system restore point (first option in that list) and since your computer is still working you can create recovery media:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026852/windows-create-a-recovery-drive

This will allow you to do a reinstall if nothing else works.

You should also consider getting your windows 10 key and saving it in a safe spot just in case you have to do a full install.
 
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#32
Be aware (from someone who took that option) that it means all of your apps/programs get nuked. Your files are safe, but your documents will be okay...
 
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#33
Be aware (from someone who took that option) that it means all of your apps/programs get nuked. Your files are safe, but your documents will be okay...
I'm okay with the programs being nuked. Those are easy to reinstall. It's having to copy back all my documents and such.

I imagine I'd have to reinstall all my Steam games, too?

Sorry, I just hate all this stuff. I'm a total idiot when it comes to computers beyond moving files around and fixing minor issues.
 
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#34
If it makes you feel better, I hate dealing with this stuff too. I still haven’t recovered my windows installation from my laptop crash three weeks ago, and I have a client waiting on me to get work done that’s stored on it...
 
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#35
If it makes you feel better, I hate dealing with this stuff too. I still haven’t recovered my windows installation from my laptop crash three weeks ago, and I have a client waiting on me to get work done that’s stored on it...
Yay for target disk mode?
I mean, I don't know if you have a Thunderbolt or Firewire cable lying around to do that, but it seems like the easiest way to get at those files without having to disassemble the old computer and directly connect the drive.

--Patrick
 
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