Just recently I noticed a problem in my System Preferences on my Mac (I use both Windows XP and OS X Tiger at the office.) For some reason, my icons had become inconsistent when I opened system prefs. Some were normal, whilst others were tiny.
After living with this for a few days I decided to search for an answer. I couldn’t find anything, either through Google or the Apple discussion boards, that related to my problem. I decided to hunt for an answer on my own and started digging through the various configuration and cache files to find the key. After trashing several preference files to no avail, I finally went to /Users/HomeDirectory/Library/Caches/ and deleted the following two files:
Voilà, my system prefs panel is back to normal!
Here are the before and after images of the system prefs panel: