Program icons are missing (NOT desktop icons)

Some of the icons normally showing what a program type is are missing now. I HAVE all the DESKTOP icons and those in the system tray. But in Windows Explorer lists or in Word Perfect and Word lists of file names, many of the small icons that normally appear next to a program's name, or showing what type of document or file it is, are now missing. Not all, just some. I have mostly open square boxes. It doesn't matter whether I'm looking at a list of files I've created, or looking at the items in various system folders: most are just empty open squares instead of the individual icons. I have Windows 7 64-bit OS , both Mozilla 17 and IE9 browsers. Could you tell me what these type of icons are called AND how to get them back, please?

Thank you.
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More about program icons missing desktop icons
  1. when you double click on those files, does it open with the correct application?
  2. When I double click on one of the files, the next screen asks me which type of pgm I want to use to open it with. When I click on the Word icon, for example, the file with the open box opens correctly with Word. But when I close the file, it goes back to a non-icon with the empty square. This is every time I do this regardless what program I have selected. Thanks.
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