Question Some programs only show dummy icons in the 'search' function of the START menu

Mar 25, 2021
There is some back story, but I'll keep it short. My now 3 month old custom build has begun to randomly cut out all the peripherals at random times, but the machine will remain running. That means once every few days, my monitors (I have 3), keyboard, and mouse will turn off, but the PC will remain on. While in a ZOOM call Wednesday morning, my PC froze instead and needed a hard reset. After doing that, it would repeatedly crash once I got about a minute into usage (it would let me into the desktop and load some startup programs before crashing). I reinstalled Windows, and for the past 48 hours everything has been running good - no crashes, no peripheral cutouts. I've been trying lots of things to fix this particular issue, which I'll list later on if it could help reveal what my issue is that I'm currently posting about - so here is why I'm posting:

After reinstalling Windows (not using a restore point, but using the method that saves all my data and creates a Windows.old folder), every time I go to search a program such as Steam in my start menu, it comes up with the dummy icon. I've tried every solution in this thread, and I'm looking for more things to try. The problematic icons show in the programs menu just fine, and when I pin them to my taskbar through the search screen on the start menu, the icon does in fact appear on my taskbar. Here's some photos: Photo 1, Photo 2. I believe Windows is doing this exclusively with some programs only installed both before and after the reset (not all).

Here is what I've done in the past 2 weeks to my computer to remedy issue #1 that may impact issue #2:
  • Upgraded BIOS
  • Replaced power strip
  • Changed outlet power strip is plugged into (twice)
  • Reinstalled RAM
  • Reinstalled all drivers + DragonCenter (not AORUS, however)
  • Deleted Windows.old (moments ago before posting, issues are pre-existing)
  • Ran memory test using Memtest86+ (2020)
  • Ran CPU stress test using (I think) AIDA64
  • Ran GPU stress test using FurMark
  • Ran DDU to fix a different issue regarding some AMD drivers
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3400G w/ Radeon Vega Graphics (RX Vega 11)
  • Gigabyte GTX 1650
  • B450 Tomahawk MAX
  • Corsair VALUE SELECT Memory (1x 16GB)
  • Windows 10 Pro, version 20H2, build 19042.867
  • Thermaltake 750W RGB Gold+ PSU (fully modular)
  • SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 (My OS is on this drive)
  • a WD SSD and an old HDD
One last thing - the drivers for my RX Vega 11 graphics won't install. However, prior to either of these issues starting, I didn't need those drivers.

Thanks for your time.
Mar 25, 2021
Yeah, honestly right before posting this I thought "you know what, I should just clean install" - so that's what I'll be doing tomorrow morning, even if I fix the issue (since so much else is going wrong). However, I'm going to keep an eye on the replies until I go to bed in case someone suggests a fix that works, which could help other users in the future having similar issues.


Win 10 Master
So what kind of reinstall makes a windows.old? reset? refresh?
system restore isn't used for reinstalling win 10, its why I ask
I have always just clean installed instead of messing with resets, answering questions here I have seen resets be too good at removing windows and leaving PC clean. I also seen them fail. Seen installs fail too but less often.

off topic: You might want to think about 2x8gb of ram at some stage as Ryzen goes better with 2 sticks compared to one. Dual channel is faster than single.