HELP -- All apps want to run in Internet Explorer (IE)

Hi. My system has somehow got itself in a state where anytime I try to run an application, whether it be MS Word or cmd.exe, it attempts to start it up in Internet Explorer.  I think it has to do with some bad registry settings, but I cannot even run regedit to try to fix them.  I have tried booting into safe mode and doing an OS repair for the original CD.  Does anybody know how to fix this or is my only option to re-install the entire OS?    The only app that I can run successfully is IE.

mromeoAsked:
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GranModCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (500)

GranMod
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
can you regedit in SAFE MODE?

If so, apply this

Recent windows update

Copy the following to the clipboard (it's all one line even if wrapped in your browser - paste into notepad and remove line breaks if necessary, and copy again)
click START, type RUN <enter>

=copy below here=
REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Cached" /v "{A4DF5659-0801-4A60-9607-1C48695EFDA9} {000214E6-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} 0x401" /t REG_DWORD /d 1
=copy above here=
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mromeoAuthor Commented:
No, I cannot run regedit in safemode.  I cannot run Notepad, I cannot run any apps at all.  They all attempt to start up within IE.  The address bar fills in with :

http://c:\\.........path to exe name

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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Download and Install.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/HijackThis_d3155.html

Copy and paste your log to:
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english
Click ANALYZE

Look for NASTIES and post your results here
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B-M-CCommented:
Probably your exe file associations are bad. Quite ow easy this is to fix depends on what exactly is wrong in the registry but try this as IE works. This has worked on a couple of machines I have had this problem on:

Point your browser to http://home.satx.rr.com/badour/html/reg_files.html
Click on the Repair exe associations link and choose to open the zip file.
Run the reg file inside and merge into the registry.
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mromeoAuthor Commented:
None of these suggestions worked, although I do appreciate the answers.  I neede dto re-install the OS.  The registry was beyond repair.  Thank you for your efforts!!
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
A fresh new OS is always good. the ultimate solution.
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