Currently Being ModeratedJan 28, 2012 10:17 PM (in response to David Yeh)
1) Icons not showing up, replaced by a square dotted outlines, until you do something with them (drag them, or Get Info on them) (most commonly on login)
2) Disk icons showing incorrectly, such as USB drives showing up as generic hard-drive icons
Go to ~/Library/Preferences. Move the com.apple.finder.plist file from the Preferences folder to the Trash.
If that doesn't help, the startup disk may need repairing.
Use Lion Recovery
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2012 12:05 AM (in response to David Yeh)
Yes, I've had the problems off and on since Lion was introduced. Deleting the com.apple.finder.plist file and repairing the drives has not made a permanent solution. I have also installed and reinstalled Lion dozens of time on three different Macs, clean installs and upgrades, and they all have had these issues.
Yes, dragging them slightly makes them visible again. Sometimes my external drives showup with the FireWIre icon and sometimes with the hard drive icon. I've even seen both icons show up on my FireWire external with 2 partitions.
I have also installed and reinstalled Lion dozens of time on three different Macs, clean installs and upgrades, and they all have had these issues.
Were all of those installs done from one and the same, original Install Lion.app download?
If so, try redownloading a new installer from the app store.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 31, 2012 12:56 AM (in response to David Yeh)
I also notice if you rename a file, say MyDoc.txt, even without changing the extension, its icon disappears for a second, and then comes back. That in and of itself is slightly annoying, but I didn't notice this in prior versions of OS X (10.5 at least, I skipped over 10.6 when I bought a new computer). It does perhaps suggest a different mechanism of fetching icons, and maybe with all the constant searching for an icon, it fails every now and then and Lion just puts up a generic icon. Maybe.
I know this thread is 7 months old, but has anyone found a solution to this problem? I'm running OS X 10.7.4 with all updates on a Early 2011 MBP quad-core. I have the exact same problem- sometimes, all I get is the name of the folder. Move it, and the icon updates with the correct picture.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 2, 2012 2:00 PM (in response to Richard Van Nostrand)
Apple responded that it suspected that it was caused by using Dropbox and suggested deleting all traces of the application, including its DropboxHelperTools located in the Library folder.
They referred to Dropbox as a haxie.
Well, I'm not using Dropbox and have this issue so it's not just that. I"ve pretty much just accepted it like a bunch of other little niggling details of Lion like random changes in view mode/window sizes/etc. Maybe some of them are fixed in Mountain Lion.
Yes, removing DropBox didn't fix it for me either. It does seem to be less of a problem with Mountain Lion. However all during the process, Dropbox has had many revisions. I'm currently using version 1.5.10.
The idea is that problem was involved with the process that Dropbox uses to add the little green changeable status symbols on the lower left edge of the icons.