Why do my Windows 7 thumbnails keep disappearing?

26 Mar 2010

This is the sight that's beginning to wear me down. Pretty much every time I go into this folder, which contains hundreds of images that we've used on the PC Pro website, half the thumbnails have mysteriously disappeared.

It seems I'm far from the only person being blighted by this problem. Start typing "Windows 7 thumb..." into Google, and the first entry in the auto-suggestion list that appears under the search box is "Windows 7 thumbnails not showing". Click through and you'll find sites and forums swelling with complaints about vanishing thumbnails, in both Windows Vista and its bigger brother, 7.

One of those forums led me to what I thought was a blissfully simple solution: press F5 (in the same way as you refresh a browser screen) and the thumbnails suddenly reappear. Unfortunately, that proved only to be a temporary solution. The next time I went back into the folder, many of the thumbnails had scarpered again.

I simply can't understand what's causing this problem. The thumbnails file can't be corrupted, as they instantly reload when I hit F5. And it's not a problem with some images, as different thumbnails come and go each time. What's more, it's a local folder stored on my desktop, not one stored on the server, so there's no issue with server lag.

I've checked on Microsoft's Knowledge Base and it doesn't appear to have an answer. So it's over to you, the good readers of PC Pro. Rescue me from my thumbnail misery. I beg you.

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