Icons stuck at 256 colors

By kingstefan
May 24, 2007
  1. My desktop icons are stuck at 256 colors, and nothing I do seems to help.

    I'm running Windows 2000 on a Dell D600 with a Mobility Radeon 9000 display adapter.

    A couple of weeks ago, I ran into some problems with Excel where something didn't display correctly in the Normal view, but it worked fine on everyone else's machine that I tried.

    So an IT guy came in remotely and completely reinstalled Office. That helped (but did not completely fix) the problem. But for some reason, that put the display driver back at an earlier version. I could no longer do extended desktop (with two monitors). I didn't notice this until after I hung up with the IT guy.

    So I had another IT guy get the latest driver compatible with my laptop and OS. Then I was able to do extended desktop.

    However, after I changed some display settings (notably NOT colors, which was always set to 32 BPP), I noticed that all my icons had reverted to 256 colors. Some of them don't even have an 8 BPP version, so naturally they look awful.

    So, I tried setting the colors setting to 8 BPP and back again, but that didn't help.

    I tried switching to several different appearance schemes; that didn't help either.

    Then I deleted WINNT\ShellIconCache and restarted. No change.

    So I downloaded TweakUI, and repaired the icons. That didn't help.

    I went into the registry, and found every instance of Shell Icon BPP, and set it to 32 (some were 16). No effect at all.

    Then I decided to uninstall all the display adapters, reboot in safe mode, run driver cleaner, then reboot and reinstall the latest driver adapter. That didn't work. I repeated all the earlier things after reinstalling the driver to no avail.

    Does anyone have any ideas?
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