Some users have reported an issue in which the Windows 7 Start Menu or “All Programs” listing is suddenly blank, displaying no icons, nor the names of any programs, shortcuts, etc.
It appears that this problem is due to Windows 7′s inability to handle a large number of listings, in some cases.
Greg Duncan has posted a fix for this issue. It involves moving a number of shortcuts/folders from Start Menu/Programs into a new subfolder, such as Start Menu/Programs/Stuff, and then restartng Windows Explorer. The process must be repeated until the icons appear. You can read the full fix at Greg’s blog.