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Correcting CD-ROM Drive Icons in Windows Explorer

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My CD-ROM drives lost their correct icons in Windows Explorer after re-installing Windows recently. The re-install of Window 98SE completed fine. In fact, one big benefit of the reinstall was that I now had the 2 optical drives with a functional DMA box checked! These never were checked since I installed each drive many months ago. So this was very cool, and it improved the read and write performance by 2x! But somehow the drive's normal icon changed from the correct icon, the correct icon, to these incorrect icons, wrong icons .

So after this new install of the operating System over itself after a crash (not a clean install erasing the C:\ drive first), the CD-ROM drives showed in Explorer with the icons of the USB drives in my system! (The image below shows drive letters "L" and "M" which are my LG DVD Recorder and my Plextor CD-Recorder, along with one of the fixed hard drives, K:\.
2 wrong drive icons-bottom .

So I started searching the Web and Microsoft's Knowledge Base for information on correcting the drive icons. I met with little success. Even searching my machine's Registry for "icons" failed to show me the answer.

Just Google for CD-ROM drive icons, or Correcting CD-ROM drive icons, and you'll get lots of pages, but none directly answered the question, most dealing with a variety of software programs' installation instructions. But ultimately the answer, you'll be happy to know, is extremely simple. One web site (Icon-E) hinted at the resolution, as it mentions where the icon addresses for the drives may possibly be found in the Registry. So, on to the answer!

In Windows 98SE, the Registry address [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons] points to the optical Drive and its default icons. Very simply, if your drive icons in Windows Explorer are showing incorrectly, you just change the Registry to point to the correct icon location, the Shell32.dll file, and the result for me is this image:
correct drive icons! .

It took a little experimenting to find out which icon in the Shell32.dll file pointed to the correct icon for optical drives, so here is the story on that as well.

Here is what my Windows Explorer looked like with the wrong icons on drives "L" and "M":
explorer w/ wrong icons .

Launch the Registry editor and go to the "DrivIcons" location at [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons], or do a Find for "DriveIcons." You'll probably only find this one location, and I noticed it doesn't list the fixed hard drives, only the optical drives and the USB drives.
Registry Location DriveIcons

Select the Default entry in the right hand pane and replace whatever is there, with C:\\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\shell32.dll,11. Close the Registry editor and you are done. The entry that was displaying my wrong icon was this: C:\\shutdown aware.exe,2, which is the 4 way USB Reader on my machine. I don't know how this got goofed up when I reinstalled Windows, but it happened.

The icons in the Shell32.dll file are numerous, and they include all the icons normally used in Windows Explorer, and you can find them by opening Windows Explorer, and selecting View in the Menu Bar, Folder Options, the File Types tab, and opening the Drive entry by choosing Edit, and then choose Change Icon. You'll see dozens of icons to choose from:
File Types, Drive

All of these icons are numbered, so you have to choose the correct number. In the case of the CD-ROM drive, this is # 11. They are numbered starting from the upper left corner, going down, then back up to the next (second) column. However the first icon (the plain windows icon) isn't actually numbered, it is the default icon. Icon number 1 is page with the A, number 3 is the closed folder, the open folder is 4, etc. You can experiment with this to see which number reveals which icon.

And that's the simple answer for changing the CD_ROM drive icon, correcting it to the proper CD-ROM drive icon.

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