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"Devices and Printers" display issue, Win7


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Yeah, that is odd.  There is probably some obscure cache or registry key that determines what is displayed there for each user account and it just so happened to get borked on yours (which is likely also the most active account on the system I'm guessing, which could also at least help account for the reason it is the one impacted and not the others).

You might actually try a cache/temp cleaning tool like CCleaner etc. to see if that fixes it.  Maybe it is something similar to the icon cache and thumbnail cache where it can become corrupted and just needs a good ol' delete and rebuild from time to time.

I did find these which might present some additional things to try:

https://www.winhelponline.com/blog/fix-devices-and-printers-completely-empty-windows-7/
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/windows-7-devices-printers-dp-displays-the-wrong/5ee90554-1c9c-4165-81e8-e4efe18ca818

It actually includes rebuilding the icon cache as one of the possible fixes for a similar issue, so perhaps I'm not far off (I do seem to recall that each user account has their own icon cache and thumbnail caches stored in their own local data folders, so that could explain the discrepancy between the various user accounts).

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3 minutes ago, exile360 said:

...which is likely also the most active account on the system I'm guessing...

You presume correctly.

I already saw the previous cited articles and re-registered the DLL ,applied the REG file  ( under the affected Profile ) deleted the User IconCache file, as well as executed,...
"%WINDIR%\system32\ie4uinit.exe" -ClearIconCache

11 minutes ago, exile360 said:

...registry key that determines what is displayed there for each user account ..

That is my theory as well.

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You might try searching for the devices by name in the registry (I'd recommend a tool like RegScanner by Nir Sofer as it's far more efficient than searching through the registry one by one via regedit) to see if you can hunt down exactly where these items are stored.  Hopefully you'll be able to track it down, delete the 'empty'/inaccurate entries so that they are recreated the next time you open the Devices & Printers interface.

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I think I finally found the key for you David.  See if this doesn't give you a clue as to how/where to hunt this data down and do what must be done (edit and/or most likely delete it then have Windows detect/recreate it).

edit: By the way, according to the above link, this is the location you're looking for:

%PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore

Edited by exile360
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That's a Shared Folder so its information would be used by both Profiles.  However I renamed..
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore\en-US.
            to
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore\en-US.bak

And then reloaded the Control Panel applet.  No change.

This is how it appears in the alternate Profile with the External USB v2.0 HD and External eSATA hard disk turned-on.

Correct.thumb.jpg.96e87c63bc09647c0c2f63e6d5a5a30b.jpg

 

Here it is still in my Day-2-Day Profile.

Corrupted.thumb.jpg.eab68ec26ed64d203c281301cd45c0a1.jpg

 

I downloaded the MSI file, didn't install it though.  I used Universal Extractor to extract the files.  I then ran, DeviceMetadataWizard.exe

It can Author, but does not Modify 'Device and Printers' Meta-Data.

Edited by David H. Lipman
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

My guess is permissions in the registry are probably messed up. That would take the use of Process Monitor to view and then correct.

Similar issue we have had in the past with some installations of MBAM back in the 1.x days where the permissions for users in the registry were wrong.

Of course this is just a guess but the tool will tell you

 

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2 hours ago, AdvancedSetup said:

Similar issue we have had in the past with some installations of MBAM back in the 1.x days where the permissions for users in the registry were wrong.

No doubt; I just finished reinstalling Windows because of issues with permissions I'd been having for months.  I finally bit the bullet today when my system locked up and refused to log into Windows (thankfully I had most of my data backed up so I didn't lose much, and I keep most files on a secondary partition which doesn't get formatted anyway).

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  • Root Admin

I'm not saying it's easy to find. Microsoft doesn't have a quick easy fix for corrupted profiles but they're due to permission issues, or missing, invalid data in the Registry. The file and folder structure is not the cause. They simply drop back to a faster and easier solution which is to move your data to a new user profile and be done with it.

 

Edited by AdvancedSetup
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Too many user configurations to move to a new Profile.  Just not worth it.  I use Devices and Printers as a Front End to "Eject" removable media after running a KiXTart Script that uses RoboCopy to make a data backup to said removable media.  It was easier when the Devices and Printers used text and an Icon to identify the USB or eSATA device  Now I have to determine with that "Device" is and then I can choose the correct one, choose Eject.

Edited by David H. Lipman
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  • Root Admin

If the hard drive dies tomorrow though are you prepared to restore a backup as it is now with all data and all settings?

Up to you how much time you put into it it's just my professional opinion that the issue does rely somewhere in the Registry which might be very difficult to track down.

 

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Not too long ago, a very smart sage had suggested I try Systinternals Process Monitor.  At that time I had indicated I would but, not at the time.  However subsequently I did but no cogent information was gleamed.  At some future time I may try again or use some other Sysinternals utility or other tool and approach it from another angle of approach.

Yes, I have an image made by SeaGate's OEM of Acronis True Image performed on a regular basis.  This is done regardless of how many time I use my KiXtart backup script to just backup data.

Edited by David H. Lipman
Edited for content, clarity, spelling and grammar
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