Shell icons text messed up, showing shell32.dll

By Vigilante ยท 4 replies
Jul 22, 2006
  1. Weird problem, haven't seen this before really.

    Basically, on this system, most all of the XP icons, which I refer to as "shell icons", have the wrong text on them. In other words, here is a list of some of the icons I'm talking about:

    My Computer (desktop and start menu locations)
    My Documents, My Music, My Videos (desktop and start menu)
    Recycle Bin

    Also when you right click the desktop and choose New-> a few are messed up in there as well, such as Briefcase and Compressed Folder.

    In the Send-To menu, items like My Documents are also messed up.

    The problem is that, instead of showing "My Documents" with the icon, the text is something like "c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll,-8943". They are ALL like that, with a different 4 numbers at the end.
    I was able to fix the My Documents and My Computer by showing thost icons on the desktop, and then renaming them. This fixed the desktop location and the start menu location. But not like the Send-To location. I can not rename Recycle Bin or briefcase or compressed folder etc...

    I even went into the registry to the recycle bin area and checked the name, and it is correct in there, but still shows bad on the desktop.

    I've tried researching this but can't really even tell what I should be searching for.
    In any case, this needs fixed, because the system throws errors if you try to use New-> or SendTo-> on one of these, it pops up saying "Incorrect Parameters" or even "Invalid Function".

    Rather then attempt to fix the names one by one, this somehow feels like it is a global problem affecting all these XP shell icons. 3rd party programs are not affected, their text is normal. So I have no idea how to globally fix why all these icons are showing a bad name like that with shell32.dll showing instead of the correct text.

    Any ideas?
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Well I found some more info.

    The strings like shell32.dll,-8135 are called Shell Strings and they are basically just a pointer to text or resources within a binary such as a DLL or EXE file. They are used for localization, language-specific text display.
    Something like that anyway!

    Now then, for the items within the New menu and SendTo menu and even the Recycle Bin, I was able to fix this problem by going in the registry, and one by one, finding Strings called "FriendlyTypeName" and "LocalizedString" and removing them. This caused XP to use the Default string which is plain english. And then all these icons started working again.
    I tried searching for fixes to shell string problems but also dead end. No idea why XP has gone berzerk with these strings. I checked the International settings and it all looks good. I'm probably doing more harm then good, removing these strings, but it seems to be the only solution.

    So now I've got most all icons I can find to show the right text, except My Documents in SendTo changes itself back, and there are 7 icons in the Control Panel that are screwy as well. Errr, what a pain!
  3. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,123

    I must say that after 9 years of tooling with computers you would think you heard it all and everyday some very strange Window's anomaly pops up in the forums that stumps the hell out of me! I wouldn't even know where to begin with the problem you have but I'm glad you are figuring it out. :giddy: (my head is spinning)
    Good Luck
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Ya I finished with the registry junk and got most icons back, took a good part of a day figuring it all out. I'm glad to see the system go. I imagine only a repair install might have fixed it, but I don't like doing those.

    Oh, and lucky you, when I read your post, your post count was 666 :)
  5. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,123

    666? Oh no then I have to respond to get out of evil.....667 ..;)
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