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Notepad missing from "Open WIth" program list; Double-click on .TXT gives "Access Denied"

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Last Modified: 2008-10-27
I recently noticed that, after creating a .TXT file in Notepad, the saved file can no longer be opened in Notepad simply by double-clicking it in Windows Explorer.  Dialog box with error "Access Denied" pops up.  I can, however, choose to open with Wordpad with no problem.  Also, selecting the .TXT file from within Notepad after Notepad has already been launched works fine.

I checked file associations and found that .TXT files no longer had an associated program.  Tried to set it back to Notepad.exe and found that Notepad is no longer even listed in the "Open With" program list for file associations.  Then I checked to see if Notepad shows up in the "Open With" list from the context menu within Windows Explorer.  Missing there too!

Notepad.exe is in my C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 folders, as it should be.  It works fine by itself.  Somehow it has been removed from "Open With" and therefore can no longer be associated with .TXT.  So, I really need two things, to get my association back and to make sure Notepad is once again always an option in "Open With."  I am guessing this is a registry issue, but I am not certain which keys to update -- or if there may be another fix for this.  (FYI, platform is Windows Server 2003 SP2.)

Please let me know your insights!  Thanks!
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Question by:AutomateMyOffice
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14 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22596663
Did you try to open a folder, then click TOOLS, FOLDER OPTIONS, FILE TYPES Tab

And remove the .txt extension then re add it?
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Author Comment

by:AutomateMyOffice
ID: 22596788
Yes.  Tried both Change and Delete/Add.  The problem is that Notepad is no longer an option in the "Open With" list, whether in the File Types tab or in the Windows Explorer file context menu.  (Also, while in the File Types tab, attempting to browse and explicitly select notepad.exe as the associated program does not work either.)  
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Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22596828
Did you maybe try restarting your computer after modifying the file extension in the file extensions tab?
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Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22596848
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Author Comment

by:AutomateMyOffice
ID: 22597176
Rebooting has had no effect on the situation.

Thanks for the suggestions and the link, but I am looking for a fix, not a workaround.  I already have a workaround by associating .TXT files with Wordpad.  What I want is for Windows to be back to normal, where I have the choice of Notepad in my "Open With" list for opening ANY file on which I right-click within Windows Explorer, and where .TXT is permanently associated with the Notepad program.  I just need to know if this is a known bug with a patch or registry edit that will get things back to correct and normal operations.
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Accepted Solution

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SysExpert earned 1500 total points
ID: 22597228
I would put a short cut of Notepad and wordpad on the desktop.

CHoose them via select, do a copy, and then paste into the sendto folder ( via right click on Start - Explore - and sendto folder for the user and default user ).

Then you can pick any kind of text file or doc and  right click - send-to, and choose notepad or wordpad.


I hope this helps !
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22597282
If it is a recent problem, did you by any chance scan your pc with a registry cleaner or spybot?  Try doing a system restore if necessary?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22597312
by any chance did the permissions for the text pad application (the exe) get changed to prevent this type of access?

Try checking the security permissions of the EXE by right clicking and going to properties.
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Author Comment

by:AutomateMyOffice
ID: 22597345
SysExpert... As workarounds go, that is pretty good and simple and I have put it in place.  Thanks.  (You will definitely share in any awarded points.)

However, I am still looking for an actual fix that will restore the normal "Open With" list.  Something has gone wrong and, at least in this one area, Windows is broken.  Anyone have the location of "Open With" in the registry??
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Author Comment

by:AutomateMyOffice
ID: 22597409
I recently had some problems after (foolishly) running a beta version of (otherwise really good) cleanup program Advanced WindowsCare on the server.  To correct the situation, I slipstreamed SP2 into Windows Server 2003 and did an in-place upgrade (repair install).  Not sure if this happened as a result.  I have not run any cleanup or scans after the repair install.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22598270
1) DO a full backup of system state via NTbackup

2) Try  

sfc/scannow as this should fix lots of system related problems.

 
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Author Comment

by:AutomateMyOffice
ID: 22811873
Sorry for neglecting the post.  It seems to be working now -- and I am not sure how or why!  Points to SysExpert for the best workaround.  Thanks for the effort.
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22811900
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