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.

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

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=
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

Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Download and Install.

Copy and paste your log to:

Look for NASTIES and post your results here
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

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
Click on the Repair exe associations link and choose to open the zip file.
Run the reg file inside and merge into the registry.
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!!
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
A fresh new OS is always good. the ultimate solution.
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Community Support Moderator

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 2000

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.