Is there a way to change device icons in WinXP?
January 30, 2005 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to change device icons in WinXP? [click to expand]

I'd like to tweak the look of some of my devices. I have an HP Media Center desktop that came with all sorts of media card readers I disabled, but now that I plugged in some external hard drives etc, they all look like Smart Media cards. The iPod, too. Not a huge deal, but if there was an easy way to change it, I wouldn't mind.
posted by muckster to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
The closest I could google was this page, but that's way too technical, and might not even address my problem.
posted by muckster at 12:35 PM on January 30, 2005

Aside from registry-fu (not recommended), try this:
0) Take a system restore point before trying any of this.
1) uninstall non core Windows software that uses media card readers (and the devices them selves) as well as your external disk drives (the iPod too -make sure you have the drivers before doing this!).
2) Physically disconnect these devices. If you can't disconnect them you're probably going to have to do regsitry-fu.
4) Reboot your Windows box with the hardware disconnected.
5) Connect the external HDDs. Let Windows recognize em.
6) Proceed to the iPod.
7) Do the memory card reader(s).

YMMV - the key is the restore point. You can always power down, reconnect the devices, restore from the restore point you took and you'll be good to go (at least no worse than before). NB: It may be necessary to reinstall software you ininstalled.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:10 PM on January 30, 2005

Not sure, but this might be a fix.
posted by ori at 2:44 PM on January 30, 2005

You can specify which icons by editing the registry:

If you have a specific icon that you want to use. I think you can make one by resizing a bitmap to 16x16 or 64x64 and renaming the extension from .bmp to .ico
posted by Boobus Tuber at 3:23 PM on January 30, 2005

A restore point is a good idea before you edit the registry, as nj_subgenius suggested....
posted by Boobus Tuber at 3:24 PM on January 30, 2005

Maybe I'm way off base but will put the idea out there. Why not use something like, window blinds?
posted by squeak at 4:12 PM on January 30, 2005

Another suggestion: Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP (free download) contains Tweak UI, a utility that gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface. If you run it, click on "Repair". It has an option to rebuild all Windows XP icons: "Rebuilds all explorer icons and removes unused Explorer icons from memory. Rebuild icons when you find that Explorer is displaying the wrong icon for a program or a shortcut." Sounds like it might just work.
posted by ori at 4:23 PM on January 30, 2005

TuneUp Utilities 2004 will do that.
posted by JohnR at 5:42 PM on January 30, 2005

Thanks all.

For the record, the TweakUI repair didn't change the icons. Windowblinds looks like overkill, but I think I'll give TuneUp Utilities a try.

Ori, the media reader upgrade looks useful, but it's what I'm trying to get away from--I'm not using the slots (it's easier to hook up cameras with USB wire instead of getting out the cards to transfer), and they take up four device letters. I disabled them, but somehow the icons are still haunting me.

In the end, I'll probably have to tweak the registery, but I've learned the hard way that it's like feeding Gremlins: never ever try it after midnight....
posted by muckster at 9:10 PM on January 30, 2005

JohnR is right: TuneUp Utilities did this very nicely, even after midnight. Thanks again.
posted by muckster at 9:25 PM on January 30, 2005

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