A typical problem that many people run into with Windows 9x is the loss of the preview feature in Windows Explorer. Thankfully this can be rectified without a clean install. There are actually several possible solutions to this issue. We have assembled a list of them for you. You should try them in the order listed. Apply each possible solution separately, reboot your system, and see if the problem is fixed. If not, proceed to the next one. If one procedure does not produce any results at all, or returns an error message, don’t worry. None of these fixes will break anything. Of course you should have a registry backup anyway. That said, let’s get started with fix number one:
Preview Fix #1
If you have MS IE4:
Go to the DOS Command prompt and type CD \Windows\System, and hit Enter. Now type regsvr32 /i shdocvw.dll. Reboot.
If you have MS IE5:
Go to the DOS Command prompt, type CD \Windows\System, and hit Enter. Now type regsvr32.exe /i shdoc401.dll. Reboot.
Preview Fix #2
Download this file to a temporary directory: FixPix.inf. Make note of where you’ve stored it, you’ll need it later.
Next you need to check to see if you can use this file to fix your preview problems.
Launch Windows Explorer and drill down to C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer and take a look inside. If the file Iexplore.exe is in this sub directory then go to the left pane and right click the folder itself.
Select Properties and make sure that the DOS file name for this folder is INTERN~1. If it is you’re OK — you can use this fix. If not, STOP, delete the .INF file and do not proceed.
What this .INF file will do is delete all the problem Registry entries for .JPG (all sub-types), .GIF and .BMP file types and then rebuild them with the default Win9x standards (.JPG and .GIF with Internet Explorer and .BMP with MS Paint). If you have different associations for these file types you’ll have to re-associate them after you’re done fixing the preview problem.
OK, now we’re all set. To repair the preview feature in Windows Explorer first make sure that you have Explorer set to view all folders “as Web Page”.
Double-check that you actually have a problem. Go to a folder in Explorer and highlight a .JPG or .GIF or .BMP file and see if it previews.
If it doesn’t, while still in Explorer go to the directory with FixPix.inf in it and right click it. Choose Install.
Done. You should have your preview feature back and the default association for picture files.
To re-associate the files with some other program, follow this procedure for each of the file types:
Launch Windows Explorer and find a .JPG file.
Hold down the SHIFT key and right click the file. Choose Open with….
Wait for the dialog box and make sure that the little box that says Always use this program to open this type of file is checked and then select the program with which you’d like that file type to be associated.
Microsoft has also addressed this issue. Read about it here.
That’s it. All fixed. Enjoy!
Preview Fix #3
Go to Start / Run, type the following command and click OK:
In windows me: regsvr32 %windir%\system\thumbvw.dll
In win2k: regsvr32 %windir%\system32\thumbvw.dll
You should see a message that DllRegisterServer succeeded. Click OK and reboot.