Figured the headline would get attention. Anyway, I've seen several posts about this, some without responses, but no solutions. This is an upgraded from 10.7 to 10.8 macbook pro as part of an image build. No user shows any of the default or custom user icons available in the users system preference. All the Apple icons are present in the /Library/User Icons folder as well as custom but they do not appear within the system's panel period. No icons appear there. You are able to add icons to it -per user. Any done in this manner are saved in that user's preferences so this does not affect the system level. I have tried removing preferences. I have tried removing the icons and adding them back including as root but all changes are applied to the user only. I have run Diskwarrior, repaired permissions, etc. And nothing changes this so it has to be a corrupt Library preference of some sort that is affecting all users. The question is What Preference? If anyone knows or can figure it out please let me know. I don't want to scrap an entire image and rebuild it if I can avoid it. And now that it has annoyed me I want to solve it. As it has happened to numerous people it is not a once-only occurring problem. Rare perhaps but not unique. thanks for any ideas.