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Windows XP box wont run any programs...

Posted on 2006-11-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-10


Have an windows XP box  ( I think got a virus (not sure) )  that wont allow you to dlbl click any icon on the desk top.

When you do, it asks you to pick a program.  Kind of like when you a associate file types with file extensions.

I tried to boot the computer into save mode, but it just re-rebooted when I did.   I cannot get to System restor to try and go back a few days to when it was working.

What are my options?  I can pop in a CD and reformat and install but that is kind of drastic.  Is there a way to restor the os with out loosing my programs and saved files?  Or do you have any other recommendations?

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Question by:mrchaos101
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18 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:e_vanheel
ID: 17900007
Basic question:

If you open a windows explorer, click on folder options, click the file types tab, do you see anything with an extension listed? .txt = notepad for example?  You should have a long list of extensions and programs to run them listed.
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Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17900060
yes  

it shows  txt   Text Document and a notpad icon.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:e_vanheel
ID: 17900070
create a text document of the desktop.  Double click it.. does it open?
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 17900156
you can use a bootable OS like BartPE and run a virus scan when booted off it.  you will want to create your BartPE off a working PC, and then take that cd and boot your problem computer off it.
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
be sure the follow the instructions for updating the virus scanner : http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/plugins/

to boot off the cd, you may need to change your boot options in BIOS.  BIOS can usually be accessed by tapping Esc of F1 as the computer reboots (before windows loads).
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 17900170
another option is to remove the hard drive and attach it to another computer as a slave drive, and run a virus scan on that slave drive.  if this is a laptop hard drive, you will need an adapter  http://www.bay-wolf.com/hddadapter.htm
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Rok Brnot
ID: 17900174
Can you run program directly from disk - not shortcut - if yes then try to run this fix:

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17902159


Right click on desk top and created a new txt documment.   Notpad opened it.  And is hows the icon as it should on the desktop.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:e_vanheel
ID: 17902210
What programs don't run?  Can you highlight them and then press the enter key to run them?
I don't totaly understand what does not work yet.  What happens if you double click an desktop icon? is it only the desktop icons that do not work?

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17902234
Windows cannot open this file  Microsoft Office Word2003.lnk

ALL the icons on the desk top look as if  windows doesn't know what  they are.... save the ones I just made testing.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:e_vanheel
ID: 17902272
I have never used the program rbrnot is talking about, but I have read the description.  It sounds like your file associations have been lost.

Try this.  Open word (not from the desktop icon), On the Help menu, click Detect and Repair, and then click Start. Lets see if this will fix the office shortcuts.  If it does, then you can run the program that rbrnot mentioned above.

If that is the issue you also can fix this yourself by clicking on the link and selecting the correct program to run the shortcut.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Rok Brnot
ID: 17902284
Can you run word from disk ??
Search for winword.exe directly on disk (use explorer)

x:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\winword.exe
or something like that  (x is drive where your office is installed)
and try tu run it.
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Accepted Solution

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e_vanheel earned 2000 total points
ID: 17902296
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17902543
e_vanheel    you are close

That fixed the .exe issues.  Do you have one that will fix the .lnk?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Rok Brnot
ID: 17902552
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm

fixes for lnk,exe,txt,zip...
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17902586
rbrnot

THat is the same pate Vanheel linked.

It doesn't have an regedit fix for .lnk files.

That would be most help full.  ONce I can move around I can then try to figure out what caused this.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:e_vanheel
ID: 17903554
The dougknow was his....

Try this.  open windows explorer. tools ->folder options ->file type tab -> create a new association.  in the extension put lnk in the association put shortcut.  That should fix the lnk

Everything I have read about this says that you are infected.  Once you get the machine limping along you should run some scans.

This link has a few free / trail scanners.
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/You_Must_Read_This_Before_Posting_A_Hijackthis_Log-t2852.html
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:kadadi_v
ID: 17907036
Yes virus is infected your system and virus is ...W32.HLLW.Qaz.A ..
For every application it opens the notepad.exe and execute the virus so download the virus removal patch and which antivirus you are using right now...?
In registry editor >Hkey_Local_machine>softwares>Microsoft>windows>current version>RUN ..In this RUN option right side of this check that notepad.exe is wriien in that command .
ANd more details :-

http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2000-122013-5944-99&tabid=2
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:mrchaos101
ID: 17915678
Kadadi,  sorry I think you arn't seeing what the problem is.  The not pad was a test form another person to test if it was just file associations being messed up.  

The reg patches from the links provided have fixed all issues.  The only problem i have now is I cannot get word to run.  It crashes or locks up.  I have run a virus scan and found nothing.  I also ran adaware SE and found nothing.

I am not sure what caused this at all.
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