And how would you tell Windows that there a icons in a folder in System32? You can indeed. Most icons can be changed through registry settings.
If you decide to do it by replacing shell32.dll, first make sure that you really have changed the file. Windows File Protection may have changed it back again to the original. You have to rename the backup copy in Windows\system32\dllcache or Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 first.
In case you have the desired new shell32.dll in place and the icons still don't change refreshing the icon cache may help. Either use TweakUI's icon repair function or delete the IconCache.db file in C:\Documents and Settings\ Local Settings \username \Application Data. It will be recreated.
Unless you did not remove it, it must be there. Paste this %SystemRoot%\system32\dllcache in the run dialogue and hit enter.
If the folder really isn't there, the problem with your not changing icons must have other reasons. Windows file protection can't retrieve a backup copy if there isn't one.
Did you use any icon changing programs in the past that may have changed the registry settings? Do you now have the default Windows icons?
So you probably did replace the shell32.dll, but it just sits there and is doing nothing because e-icons changed the registry settings. Guess you will have to restore the default Windows settings in e-icons first.