Brent Saltzman

Interested in all things technology with a passion for analog, design, audio, and anything that sparks creativity and imagination.

Adventures in Family Technology Help

If you're a part of a large family and somewhat technology-savvy chances are you've been asked to help with various technology problems. Ranging from mobile phones, digital cameras, printers, wireless home routers, or computers I've seen them all.

This morning my dad called me in a panic. He was helping mom with the pictures on her camera's SD Card when he inadvertently screwed, well pretty much everything up. I can't even understand or wrap my head around how he was able to do this, but he associated the extension for Windows file shortcuts (.ink) to always open with the Windows Photo Viewer and every shortcut on his desktop had the WPV icon on it. I suppose you can right-click on a shortcut and do "Open With" and then choose the Windows Photo Viewer and click the box that says "Always open in" but this is unlikely knowing my dad. Anyway, he called me up franticly saying that nothing is working and he can't use his laptop anymore. Thankfully I setup TeamViewer awhile back which is a great free remote access tool making it easy for me to remote in and see what he's seeing. Here's how I fixed it:

First thing is to re-associate the .ink shortcuts to use the shell. Unfortunately this isn't exactly that simple and after a couple of Google searches I came up with the following registry keys: (check out the Gist here)

Once those keys were merged into the registry everything started working again, but all the shortcuts still had the Windows Photo Viewer icon on them instead of their application's icon. Fortunately this one is easy: Every Windows user profile has an icon cache file. Just delete this file and when you reboot Windows will rebuild the icon cache and everything will appear normal again.

Just open up an administrative command prompt and do:

CD C:\Users\AppData\Local<enter>

DEL IconCache.db /ah<enter>

Now reboot your computer and your shortcuts will be back to normal state. Hope this can help someone else out someday


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