NEED HELP -- all links corrupted!

Posted on 1998-08-24
Last Modified: 2010-04-12

Something funny happened to me -- all the applications seem
"disconnected".  By that, I mean whenever I click on an application (say Word), I get the dialog box you get when you use the "open with" option by using SHIFT+RIGHTCLICK. I have no idea what happened but the only odd-balled thing that I did an hour before disaster struck was that I was editing the preferences on Netscape and tinkered with the Edit Preferences|Navigator|Applications and removed a few of them. After that, I was using Powerdesk and while doing a transfer it crashed. I rebooted and that's when the fun began! I can launch all the apps I need by using MSDOS and launching them from within DOS. It seems like all the links are broken with the icons being replaced by a generic Windows icon. Oddly, some application icons are intact. Also, I have the executable for Outlook right on my Desktop -- it works.

I'd appreciate any help -- I'm clueless.


Question by:priyo
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Author Comment

ID: 1009889
Edited text of question

Expert Comment

ID: 1009890
By links I think you mean shortcuts??  What you can do is right click on a shotcut and find target
exe for each of the shortcuts, or you can simply recreate them, by using explorer, If that shortcut is corupt, you can click start/run type explorer in the dialog box and hit "ok" reszie your window to about half of the size of your desktop find each .exe you want to make a shrtcut from and drag the .exe on to the desktop.  Do you have a virus?? some virus will wait to infect all of your .exe files and then crash your system all at once  :-(   When your in explorer the default folder that hold your applications  is under  "windows\startmenu\programs" here you will find a list of folder that you can also drag and drop shortcuts , to replace possible corruput ones... if you need anymore help please reply, and I'll walk you through...Raider187

Expert Comment

ID: 1009891
If I understood you right, do you mean if you click on a MS Word
file like abcd.doc a open with? box appears. If this is what you
meant then you have changed the registry by tinkering some
things in Netscape. You may have to reinstall the applications,
like MS Word and any other application whose files seem to be
troubling you.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1009892 sounds to me like you have lost all your file-type registrations.  Open 'My Computer.'  Select view, then options from the menu (In Win98, or 95 with IE40 it will be folder options).  Then select the file types tab.  You should see many entries here for the different file extensions, ie .doc, .txt, .pdf.  If these are missing, or pointing to an incorrect application, then you've found your problem.  The easiest way to fix this would be if you have backed up your registry, just restore from backup.  If not, you can either manually enter them or re-install applications, and let them register thier file types.

Author Comment

ID: 1009893
Hi exchatar,

I think you're right -- I did what you recommended and things do seem screwy. I'm not sure that I backed my registry.  In any event, even the executable in the "Program Files" folder displays a generic icon.

Accepted Solution

eschatar earned 250 total points
ID: 1009894
Your best bet is to first re-install Windows. This should fix most of your associations.  For the rest, as I said, you'll either need to manually make the associations, or re-install the software.

Expert Comment

ID: 1009895
oh, sure :)))
reinstalling Windows will fix EVERYTHING -- it's a universal fix :)))

Expert Comment

ID: 1009896
It is not a universal fix.

Expert Comment

ID: 1009897
You "experts" are scary...



Expert Comment

ID: 1009898
Don't go bashing an answer, unless you have a better idea, eh?  I realize the 're-install' answer is overused, but in this situation, it's the best bet, unless you're a masochist, and REALLY want to re-create all those associations by hand. . .

Expert Comment

ID: 1009899
Well, I have bad news -- I thought I had the Windows 95 installation disk but was told by the NEC rep that I didn't. She recommended (read coerced) me into reformatting the hard drive. And, I did. Things are fine now but i did lose quite a bit of data (most of it was backed up, though) and had to reinstall SAS and Maple (couldn't be more painful). The funny thing is I was preparing for this eventuality for the past month and had used Nuts&bolts to create a registry back up but when I need it it didn't work. Also, the NEC rep agreed with me that Windows should perform a "3 or 4 layer" backup of the registry because the first time Windows crashes one assumes it is a minor problem. Having a 3 or 4 layer backup helps in that if it crashes twice one has the option to restore it from the "3rd level". Any thoughts?

Expert Comment

ID: 1009900
eschatar, I was not bashing the answer. I believe that reinstalling is not as painful as it sounds. It's scary the first time, but after that, you kinda get used to doing it every few months, just as a matter of good housekeeping.

However, I don't know that reinstalling Win95 will fix this problem. It is my understanding that when Win95 setup runs on an existing installation, it pulls all the current settings and uses them. Maintenance and repair setups are for restoring missing and corrupted system files. Priyo altered the settings in the registry. Win95 setup would copy that information over to the new registry.

The only way a reinstall would benefit would be to reformat and start from scratch, in which case, you're reinstalling all those apps anyway.

Many applications have .reg files in their folders (run FIND and search the entire computer for *.reg files). Double-clicking a *.reg file will cause the information to be added to the registry. This will eliminate the re-install of many applications.

For thought,


LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 1009901
Reinstalling windows fixes many problems, but not file associations. Now that you have reinstalled your applications, make a new registry backup, and test it before putting it away.
Do not double click .reg files without some thought. Info will be installed without any warning or undo options.

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