Has anyone seen this behavior?

I apologize if this is in the wrong place, but it's a bit of a strange situation.

My boss was complaining that his computer was "sick" so I asked him to bring it in and I'd look at it.  I am no technology ninja like many of you, but I know my way around.

All of his desktop shortcuts had become generic shortcut icons which toild me the file they pointed at wasn't where it was supposed to be.

I opened up My Computer and double clicked his C drive.  He's running Windows XP Home version.  The windows folder was all but empty.  It included a temp folder and the helpfile for winzip.  HOWEVER!  There was a WINNT folder present, and it appeared to me that all of his XP files had somehow gotten into there.

I was pretty sure there wasn't a virus pulling a stunt like that, but I'd like a confirmation.  My guess is one of his kids got into the machine and messed things up, but if there's a virus or some other oddity out there that any of you know about that causes this behavior, it's worth the 500 pts.

Thanks for your help.

Go Red Sox.
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SheharyaarSaahilConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>> All of his desktop shortcuts had become generic shortcut icons which toild me the file they pointed at wasn't where it was supposed to be.

seems to be the problem of not opening .exe files... can u try what is suggested here ??

Cannot run EXE files [Programs don't open]
Hello JohnGalt2004 =)

If a system has been upgraded from Win2000 to XP then system will have a C:\Winnt folder instead of a C:\Windows folder !!
so is it the case with this system ??
JohnGalt2004Author Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply, Sheharyaar.  I will find out about the first thing you mentioned and check for the cannot run exe file problem.  That IS one of the things he mentioned.

I'll be back tomorrow evening with a report.
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sure... good luck :)
JohnGalt2004Author Commented:
Just for anyone else that happens to see it, it turns out that while it wasn't exactly the broken .exe thing, it was similar, and the link in the accepted answer led me to that similar solution.

Apparently there are a whole wealth of invasive scripts and whatnot that can strip away the default behavior of many common file types.  Commonly affected are exe, com, lnk (this was my case), zip, etc...

Thanks Sheharyaar.
yeah that link must be this one >> http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm
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