We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

How do you restore the default file associations in Vista

danjava
danjava asked
on
3,072 Views
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am having a number of strange problems where notepad is opening applications instead of running
them. I did some searching around the web and was unable to find any info about how to restore the
default file associations in Vista Premium. Can anyone help.

regards

DanJava
Comment
Watch Question

CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Hi DanJava sounds like you have been tinkering with settings, did you alter any regestry keys?
Delete anything?
If you need to do a file association in Vista
http://www.computerhaven.info/forum/printable.aspx?m=41159
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Hello danjava,

Click Start > All Programs > Default Programs

Then you have:
Set your default programs
and
Associate file type or protocol.

Kia ora,
vallis.
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Hi DanJava,

Does this apply?

Restore the .exe file association in Windows Vista, after incorrectly associating it with another application:
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/165/1/

Author

Commented:
Merete:

No I actually have not tinkered at all with the registry user regedit, though I do clean the registry
using Registry First Aid Platinum. I have been using this application by Rose City Software with
XP and now Vista for quite some time and found it very reliable.  What I am hoping to do is just
reset all file associations to there default settings, since I do not know which one is wrong. Even
if I could just get a list of the assignments then I could check them against what I have and make
any necessary changes.

regards and thanks

DanJava

Author

Commented:
Vallis:

I suspect that one of the file associations got changed by a bug in Vista or some other piece of
software that I installed. If I could reset all the assignments to there default status then I suspect
my problem will go away. There are a lot of settings in that list that use Notepad, one or more of them
I suspect is wrong.

regards

DanJAVA

Author

Commented:
Sramesh2k:

Your suggestion may be part of the solution to my problem, but what I would to find is a way to
restore all the Vista file associations to there default settings or find that list so I can see what
settings may have changed and fixed them.

regards

Danjava
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
I discovered a possible fix here on experts exchange
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/105/1/
my source
Vista File Associations Lost
https://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_Vista/Q_22593817.html

Author

Commented:
Sramesh2k,

Very interesting, when I use the link that you sent me and try and do the repair as detailed,
when I try and do MERGE the registry fix, it opens NOTEPAD. We are narrowing in on my
problem here, how do manually enter the fix from the file shown below.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\UserChoice]

I follow everything up till the \UserChoice setting. Is USERCHOICE a KEY, VALUE, or DATA entry.
Do I actually type in USERCHOICE or the name of the application I want the system to use when
executing an .exe file.

regards

DanJAVA

Author

Commented:
Merete:

I don't even have a .exe entry in the list of default programs.  

regards

Danjava
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
thats an oops since it was Sramesh2k suggested the .exe?
or is this your problem you are missing the.exe
My recent addition is
To fix the association for a particular file type, download the appropriate fix from the above chart (Use Right-click - Save as option in your browser to download the fixes). Unzip the fix and extract the .REG file to the Desktop. Right-click the REG file and choose Merge. Note that you need to be an administrator to apply these fixes.
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/105/1/

Author

Commented:
Merete:

Sorry about posting my problem twice, just got caught up in trying to solve this

I am missing the .exe in the list. I downloaded the .exe fix from the link, unzip it, and
saved it to the desktop. When a right-click the REG file and choose MERGE, it opens the
NOTEPAD. When I run regedit and import the .reg file it says it was successful but I still
do not have a .exe in the list. What now.

danjava

Author

Commented:
Merete:

I am logged in as administrator

danjava
LeeTutorretired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
But at the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe

I have the  following value:

(Default)  REG_SZ   (value not set)

I don't know what that UserChoice subkey is doing on the end of your registry key.  Also, if I remember correctly, the minus prefixing the key in your registry file is supposed to DELETE that key.  It sounds to me that your .reg file is incorrect.

Author

Commented:
Lee Tutor:

I have tried several of the links suggested above, and I still do not have a .exe entry in the
default programs list in Vista. The .reg fix from these links did fix the MERGE problem but
I still have no resolution to the .exe missing from the default program list in Vista.

regards and thanks

Danjava
LeeTutorretired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Do you have any entries at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe   or at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile ?

This is what I have at the above two keys:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"

and

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile]
@="Application"
"EditFlags"=hex:38,07,00,00
"FriendlyTypeName"=hex(2):40,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,\
  00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,\
  32,00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,\
  00,2c,00,2d,00,31,00,30,00,31,00,35,00,36,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon]
@="%1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"
"IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"
"IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler]
@="{86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps]
@="{86F19A00-42A0-1069-A2E9-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page]
@="{513D916F-2A8E-4F51-AEAB-0CBC76FB1AF8}"

and this is what I have at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWithList]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWithProgids]
"exefile"=hex(0):

Compare those values with what you have.  If different (or missing altogether), then copy to a text file with a .reg file extension rather than .txt (you can use Notepad for this), and then import into your registry.  If you have made the correction to the registry that I pointed out in your other question, then double clicking the .reg file should bring up REGEDIT to import them, or if not, then open REGEDIT and click on the File menu and then choose the Import option to import the reg file.  

Author

Commented:

Let me recap everything. This all started when I discovered I could not update the BIOS
from HP. I cuurently haved F15 BIOS and tried to update to F16 BIOS. Let's forget about
whether I should be updating the BIOS or not, when I run the .exe file I downloaded from
HP's website and execute it, it comes up with the initial screen and the license agreement.
After accepting the license, it display a file in NOTEPAD instead of completing the task.
I then discovered that I could not even reinstall the current F15 BIOS on the system with
the same NOTEPAD problem. When I purchased the system it had version F14 on it and
I was able to do the update to F15 a couple of months ago. So at one point when the system
was new, a BIOS upgrade from F14 to F15 took place properly, now I cannot even reinstall
the current F15 BIOS. That led me to start looking at things like the file association in the default
programs. While I do not have .exe entry in the default programs list, it does execute the BIOS
FlashUtility with a .exe extension until it gets to step after accepting the license.

Any help ideas suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

DanJAVA

Author

Commented:
Lee:

I only have the following

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"


So I will try creating a .reg file with the rest of the entries. Will update you ASAP.

regards and thanks

DanJAVA

Author

Commented:

Lee Tutor:

When I try and import the .reg file I get the following message

"Not all data successfully written to registry.Some keys are open by the system or other processes."

What should try now??

Here is a copy of the file I created:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile]
@="Application"
"EditFlags"=hex:38,07,00,00
"FriendlyTypeName"=hex(2):40,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,\
  00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,\
  32,00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,\
  00,2c,00,2d,00,31,00,30,00,31,00,35,00,36,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon]
@="%1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"
"IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"
"IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler]
@="{86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps]
@="{86F19A00-42A0-1069-A2E9-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page]
@="{513D916F-2A8E-4F51-AEAB-0CBC76FB1AF8}"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWithList]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWithProgids]
"exefile"=hex(0):
LeeTutorretired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Maybe you should try booting into safe mode and importing the registry (also making sure no other programs are running.)

Author

Commented:
Lee:

Even though I got that error message, I check the registry against the file and everything seems to
be there now, but still no .exe entry in the default programs file association list.

danjava
LeeTutorretired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Looked up your error message from regedit using google, and there are quite a few hits.  Another suggestion is be sure you're running as Administrator.  Of course, with Vista this is even more difficult, because even the Administrator account is restricted, usually.  Perhaps you need to try this: find REGEDIT in the Windows folder using Windows Explorer, then right click it and select Run as Administrator.
LeeTutorretired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I'm afraid I will need to go to bed now.  It's getting late here in Florida.  Will return tomorrow morning.  Hopefully someone else can step in to help you before that...

Author

Commented:
Lee:

Thanks for all your help. Hopefully someone else pick things up and continue with me.

I did discover that the file notepad is opening as part of the BIOS update has a .vbe
extension, which of course is something to do with Visual Basic. Perhaps that might
help lead us in the right direction for resolution.

danjava
retired
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION

Author

Commented:
Lee:

Thanks for all your help and follow-up. I discovered by looking at another Vista system
that in fact there is no .exe in the file association list. I guess decided not to let anyone touch
that extension. So could you just help me resolve one other thing which started this whole
question. What might cause my inability to reinstall the current BIOS F15. The system came
with F14 when I purchased it, and I was able to do the upgrade without any problem.
Now when I try to reinstall the same F15 it opens up NOTEPAD after accepting the license
agreement instead of doing the actual update. I do not need to reinstall the BIOS right now
but do not want to have this issue if I really need to do it.

DanJAVA

Author

Commented:
Lee:

If you prefer I have another open unanswered posting on this exact question. Would you prefer
to continue discussing it here or switch to the other post??

danjava

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.