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


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Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Good Day,

I am running windows 7 x64 and following this tutorial I have encountered a problem. Normally the DVD Drive would change to an icon of a DVD or CD depending on what type of disc was inserted. Doing this to change the DVD Drive icon, it does not change when a disc is inserted anymore. Any way of getting this working?
 
Hello Exodussama, and welcome to Vista Forums.

When you specify a new icon for the CD/DVD drive, that new icon will not change based on the type of CD/DVD that you insert since the new icon overrides them. You will need to restore the default CD/DVD drive icon to also restore it being to change based on the type of CD/DVD you insert.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello Tom,

Yes, usually you can do this as well. It may work better for external drives as well since the registry setting will not be on a different computer.
 
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