One of my friends brought me his computer ( W2K pro, SP1)... He had a slew of viruses and spyware... I would have just brown it away and installed SP4, but he has a lot of software where he has lost the media and can't reinstall.
One of the first hurtles was that all .EXE files were disabled... sort of how Navidad virus works except the .EXE was reassociated with notepad, so all you got was binary junk when you tried to run anything.
I copied regedit.exe to regedit.com and was able to set HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT_/.exe back to: exefile (from notepad.exe 1%)
and set HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/exefile/shell/open/command to: "%1" %*
Now, whenever I try to open an .EXE file, all I get is the "File Download" dialog warning Box..."Some files can harm your computer... YadahYadahYadah.. The bottom line is My choices are OPEN ( which just relaunches another instance of the dialog box), Save ( Which is useless when you want to open an executable), Cancel ( again, not a real useful choice), and More Info...
Anyone have any idea what the registry fix is for this? I have tried registry mechanic with no success. ( again, by renaming an .exe to a .com... not a good idea, I know, but any port in a storm...).