Drive Icon Change

ByLine
How to Change a Drive Icon in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to change any drive icon that uses a drive letter to whatever icon you want in a user account. These will be the ones that show up in Computer with a drive letter. This is not to fix a missing drive icon.
How to Change a Drive Icon in Vista


information   Information
This will show you how to change any drive icon that uses a drive letter to whatever icon you want in a user account. These will be the ones that show up in Computer with a drive letter.
Note   Note

  • This is not to fix a missing or changed drive icon that just happened out of the blue, but to replace it with one you want instead of the default one. If the drive icon went missing or changed to some odd one, then try rebuilding the icon cache first. See: How to Rebuild the Icon Cache in Vista
  • If you want to also rename the drive, then see: How to Rename a Drive in Vista
warning   Warning
The icons you decide to use must be a 256x256 bit .ico (icon) file, not .png, to be used in Vista without viewing problems. A png file must be converted to a 256x256 ico file before it can be used. To convert a PNG to ICO you must use a program such as this with a free 30 day trial program called: Axialis IconWorkshop: Axialis IconWorkshop Download Page
Tip   Tip

  • The default icon path for the C:\ drive is located at C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll,30.
  • Here's a good location for some free icons: deviantArt: Dock Icons
  • If your default drive icon is missing or was changed and you did not do it with the methods below, then look for a hidden (not always hidden though) autorun.inf when you open the drive letter in Computer and right click on the autorun.inf file and click on Delete. Next, approve the deletion.

EXAMPLE: METHOD ONE Before and After Drive Icon Change
After.jpg
EXAMPLE: METHOD TWO Before and After Drive Icon Change
After2.jpg



OPTION ONE
For a Single User Account

NOTE: This will only change the drive icons for the user account that you are currently logged on in.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes

5. In the left pane, right click on Classes and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the Applications key under Classes, then go to step 7.​
Classes_Reg.jpg

6. Type Applications and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
7. In the left pane, right click on Applications and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the Explorer.exe key under Applications, then go to step 9.​
Applications_Reg.jpg

8. Type Explorer.exe and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
9. In the left pane, right click on Explorer.exe and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the Drives key under Explorer.exe, then go to step 11.
Explorer.exe_Reg.jpg

10. Type Drives and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
11. In the left pane, right click on Drives and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the Drive Letter (EX: C) key under Drives, then go to step 13.​
Drives_Reg.jpg

12. Type the drive letter (EX: C) you want to change the drive icon for and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
13. In the left pane, right click on the drive letter (EX: C) and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the DefaultIcon key under the drive letter, then go to step 15.​
Drive_Letter_Reg.jpg

14. Type DefaultIcon and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
15. In the right pane, right click on (Default) and click on Modify.​
DefaultIcon_Reg.jpg

16. To Restore the Default Drive Icon
A) Empty the Value data field and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 17)​
B) Go to step 19.​

17. To Change the Drive Icon
A) Type in the full path of where the icon is saved at and click OK.​
(EX: C:\Users\Everyday\Downloads\HDD Black.ico)​
NOTE: The icon will need to remain in it's location for as long as you are using it. You can use any icon (.ico file) you want, or one that came with Vista. (EX: A .dll file path) See the How to Use a DLL OR EXE Icon Library Filebelow.​
Modify_Path.jpg

18. The registry should look similar to this now. (See screenshot below)​
Icon_Full_Path.jpg

19. Close regedit.​
NOTE: The change will be immediate. If you have Computer open, then you may need to press F5 to refresh the window to see the new icon. If you used a wrong icon size for the drive icon, then you may need to change the window's icon size in the View or Views menu to a smaller size.
20. Repeat steps 11 to 19 if you want to add another drive letter icon to change.​
21. In some cases, you may need to restart the computer to apply the changes.​
Tip   Tip
How to Use another Icon from Vista
Tip   Tip

A) Download and install the free program IconViewer for your 32-bit or 64-bit Vista.​
NOTE: This program will add a Icons tab to files (ex: imageres.dll) that contain a icon library in them so you can see the icons available in it.​
B) In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll and right click on imageres.dll, click on Properties, and click on the Icons tab.​
NOTE: You can use any of the Vista files that include icons in them that you want though. This is just the most common one.
C) Scroll through the icons and make note of the icon number of the one you want to use to replace the default file extension icon with, then close the properties window. (see screenshot below)​
NOTE: For example, icon number 36 for the default C drive icon.​
Icon_Viewer.jpg






OPTION TWO
For All User Accounts

NOTE: This method can be helpful for using with optical (DVD) or removable drives.
CREDIT TO: Member:AvatarOfTheShip
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer

5. In the left pane, right click on explorer.exe and click on New and Key.​
Explorer_Reg.jpg

6. Type DriveIcons and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
7. In the left pane, right click on DriveIcons and click on New and Key.​
DriveIcons_Reg.jpg

8. Type the drive letter (EX: D) you want to change the drive icon for and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
9. In the left pane, right click on the drive letter (EX: D) and click on New and Key.​
NOTE: If you already have the DefaultIcon key under the drive letter, then go to step 11.​
Step9.jpg

10. Type DefaultIcon and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
11. In the right pane, right click on (Default) and click on Modify.​
Step10.jpg

12. To Restore the Default Drive Icon
A) Empty the Value data: field and click OK. (See screenshot below step 13)​
B) Go to step 15.​

13. To Change the Drive Icon
A) Type in the full path of where the icon is saved at and click OK.​
(EX: C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll,31)​
NOTE: The icon will need to remain in it's location for as long as you are using it. You can use any icon (.ico file) you want, or one that came with Vista. (EX: A .dll file path) See the How to Use a DLL OR EXE Icon Library Fileabove.​
Step11.jpg

14. The registry should look similar to this now. (See screenshot below)​
Step12.jpg

15. To Rename the Dive
NOTE: This is helpful for something like a DVD (optical) drive since they cannot be renamed through the normal method here: How to Rename a Drive in Vista
If you do not want to rename the drive, then skip this step and go to step 16 below instead.​
A) In the left pane, right click on the drive letter (Ex: D) and click on New and Key. (See screenshot below)​
B) Type DefaultLabel and press Enter.​
C) In the right pane, right click on (Default) and click on Modify.​
Step13.jpg

D) Type the name you want (Ex: DVD-RW) and click OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: To Restore the Default Drive Name, leave this blank.​
Step14.jpg

E) The registry will now look similar to this. (See screenshot below)​
Step15.jpg

16. Close regedit.​
NOTE: The change will be immediate. If you have Computer open, then you may need to press F5 to refresh the window to see the new icon. If you used a wrong icon size for the drive icon, then you may need to change the window's icon size in the View or Views menu to a smaller size.
17. Repeat steps 7 to 16 if you want to add another drive letter icon to change.​
18. In some cases, you may need to restart the computer to apply the changes.​
That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

hey..
i juz wanna tell u that finally i made it =)
i've changed my removable drives..
i even changed it into 4 diffrent icon (like i told u before.. i've got 4 usb drives)
thanks for the tutorial shawn =)
 
Darius,

This is a persistant little bug. LOL

Does leaving the drive letter changed allow the icon to stay?


Shawn
Hi all, first post here. Pardon me for replying to a rather old thread, but since the problem was never solved, I felt this could be of benefit to other users.

Working on the wife's PC here, and it has 2 physical hard drives, the first with a primary and an extended partion, C and D. The 2nd drive, a primary only, E. E was a drive migrated over from the previous XP pc that this one replaced.

For some reason C and D drive icon was fine, but the E drive shows a blank page icon. Tried most of the things listed here, but none of the registry edits. I knew the icon cache couldn't be corrupted as it worked fine for the other drive. After trying to change drive letters I noticed that when the drive mounted it loaded an autorun dialog box and even there the icon was simply a blank page. So, at the root of the E drive was an autorun.inf file. I deleted that, made sure to close the drive in explorer, changed drive letters back and forth from administrative tools, disk management (again) and it solved this problem for me.

I hope it can help others.
VegasF6
 
This is my first interaction with Vista Home Premium. The OS came on my new laptop - HP G60 - and for the most part, everything seems quite similar to XP. However, the icon for my C drive was at first start up a generic icon instead of the normal hard drive icon - I have attached a capture for the icon that is there when I o[en Windows Explorer. I have also attached a capture for the icon that is there when I open Computer.

I have tried everything in the tutorials here, but have had no luck. I contacted HP support four times and they sent me here. Everything seems to work the way it is supposed to, but the icon thing is kind of unnerving. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

eastlandoc

1-3-2009 10-33-03 AM.png

from Computer.png
 
Hello Eastlanddoc, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Have you already tried the second item in the TIP box at the top of the tutorial to see if that may be the issue?

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Thanks for your response. Yes, I tried that as well. There is one Autorun.inf file and it is not hidden. I also tried the icon cache thing as well as the regedit thing and I did a startup repair. The drive icon remains as a generic. However, in Admin Tools and Device Manager, the drive icon is a drive rather then the generic icon.
 
Thanks again. Do you have any idea why that autorun.inf file would be there and why it would only effect the C drive icon? Curiosity always tends to get me.

Thanks

easstlandoc
 
No problem eastlandoc,

It would only affect the C: drive in this case since it was only in the root of the C: drive. It could have been placed there by some program that you have installed, or from some form of malware. You can read a bit more about a autorun.inf file here:

Autorun.inf file, What is it?

It would probably be a good idea to run a thorough antivirus and spyware scan just to help be safe.
 
Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate your time.

Make It A Great Day!

eastlandoc

Wait. I am currently using Windows Live OneCare and that is supposed to be running the virus chack and the spyware check continually. That was recommended by HP. What is your thought on the OneCare thing?
 
I have never used OneCare, but I hear it is a good program. However, no antivirus program can always catch everything with as many new threats that come out everyday.

A good anti-spyware program to use is Spybot Search & Destroy though.
 
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