Probably really uninteresting unless you're a scrapgeek
For the most part I'm pretty happy with Vista. I especially loooove the built-in Windows Photo Gallery and I use it exclusively to organize my pictures and all my digital scrapbooking elements. The programmer in me sometimes wishes I could do more complex queries, but really, it's good enough for most situations. The only trouble I've had is noticing that every now and then a thumbnail goes wonky. I didn't realize what was going on at first, because what happens is you get a tall skinny line instead of a real thumbnail, and I was just labeling them as ribbons, 'cause hey, that's what they looked like.
Then I saw it actually happen while I was looking--there is a brief flash of the "real" image and then the skinny line appears. I poked around on the net and found lots of "my jpgs are corrupted" and "how do I fix my thumbnail database" posts but nothing seemed to be exactly what I was seeing. In my case, the files themselves are fine. It's just that the thumbnail isn't right. I could use the file in FotoFusion or GIMP just fine, but of course I never did, because I couldn't see the darned previews in Photo Gallery. After a bit of investigation, I decided that the problem was probably the resolution settings in the file properties. In a typical messed-up thumbnail, a 3600x3600 background jpg would have a huge "horizontal resolution" and tiny "vertical resolution" value.
Okay, great, but how to fix it? I poked at the files every way I could think of and eventually gave it up. Recently I came back to this problem. This time I found this thread: http://forums.microsoft.com/technet/showpost.aspx?pageindex=9&siteid=17&postid=4018429&sb=0&d=1&at=7&ft=11&tf=0&pageid=6 (see the 18 Sep 2008 response from Philip Fortier (MSFT)) so I at least had verification that (a) I wasn't crazy and (b) I was on the right track. I tried again, and I've figured out how to fix the files using GIMP.
- Open the file in GIMP
- Open the Set Image Print Resolution dialog (Image >> Print resolution in the version I'm using)
- If the X and Y resolutions are "right" (e.g., 72 or 300 dpi) then you can cancel this dialog
- If the X and Y resolutions are screwy, then click the link icon to unlock the proportions from each other and fix the values so they are the same and "correct" (in my case all the messed up files are 3600x3600 backgrounds so I set them to 12x12 print size at 300 dpi)
- Save the file right over itself from GIMP and smile as the thumbnail magically appears in Photo Gallery--you won't even lose your tags or ratings or anything (or at least I'm not losing them--ymmv)
Unfortunately this is not a quick process, but I figure I'll do it a bit at a time, just like I did in tagging the files in the first place. I'm just REALLY HAPPY to finally have a solution.