Removable Media Drive Icons in Windows XP

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Many new systems today are coming with integrated digital media readers instead of floppy drives. I say that’s a good thing. However, these manufacturers have a penchant for slapping in crappy icons for those drives – if they even bother to include icons at all. There’s no way of telling which drive letter belongs to which type of removable media – CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, MMC, or SmartMedia. I lived with this problem until today. Ponzi’s new machine installed a craptacular array of icons for her removable media drives. I set out to figure out where they were coming from, and ran into some amount of difficulties at first. I didn’t know where the icons were sitting; they were likely buried in a DLL. Then, I noticed that the CompactFlash drive was labeled “CompactFlashI/II.” Awesome! Now I had something to search for in the system Registry.

Less than a minute later, I was staring down the barrel of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer DriveIcons! Each drive letter has a separate key, mind you. Once I found this location, it was relatively easy for me to change. The drive letters and icon locations for your system will definitely be different, but you can base your tweak on mine. I’ve yet to find amazing removable drive icons, but Windows XP stores a couple of good ones within Shell32.dll in the %windir%system32 directory. If you’d rather not navigate on your own, I’ve zipped the REG file (and the icons I’m currently using from XP) in RemovableDriveIcons.zip. Again, you will need to view and edit the REG file to change the local paths and drive letters on your system. This should be completely safe, but I’m not responsible for anything you choose to do with this.

Removable Media Drive Icons in Windows XP

And for heaven’s sake – if you know of better removable media icons out there, let me know where to get ‘em. I’ve gotta find a single theme for CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, MMC, and SmartMedia.