I was facing issues with missing desktop icons or missing icon pictures on my windows vista system, after gooogling and trying few suggestions posted i was not able to get my icons back.
It was annoying to see most of my icons replaced by an blank picture.
So i tried the most simple thing
right click on the desktop -> Select Preferences -> select Change desktop icons on the Desktop Icons Settings window which just popped up, press the Restore Default button. click OK. Presto! your icons appear again.
Hope this helps!