A week ago, my power, network, and volume icons disappeared from the tray area of Windows 7. When I chose “Customize notification icons” and then “Turn system icons on or off”, the choices were grayed out like the image to the left.
I tried the Group Policy and registry solutions that I found online, but with no success.
Here’s how I finally fixed it:
- Run a Command Prompt as administrator, then “sfc /scannow”
- Find the sfc log file at C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log and search it for “cannot repair”.
I discovered that 6 .dll files from C:\Windows\system32 were messed up. I found a nice explanation here as to how to extract the files from the Windows 7 installation DVD using 7-Zip, which I already like for other zipping and unzipping tasks.
Unfortunately, you can’t just copy the files into C:\Windows\system32. Here’s what I had to do to replace the .dll files:
- Extract the files from the installation DVD into a local folder, such as c:\extracted-files
- Boot the installation DVD, choose to repair Windows, and get to a Command Prompt
- Use the command line to copy the .dll files from c:\extracted-files to c:\windows\system32
That did it! I don’t know how the files were corrupted, but replacing them got the system icons back.