Cannot open .htm email attachment in windows (outlook or thunderbird )unless saved to harddisk first

Please help, at our office we recieve .htm attachments in our emails. Everything was fine  until  2 days ago , when suddenly we could not open or save them via the attachment short cut in the email  programs (outlook2007 or Thunderbird). Looking into this we found that the htm file association had vanished from within windows. We added this back and linked it back to ie8.
Now it is only possible to save to the desktop then open the .htm file from there but not from the email program its self we just get a blank page saying "This webpage cannot be displayed" This a absolute time waster for us as all the attachments that are .htm have the same name and having to look at each file and rename would cost us 10s of hours each week.
Please anyhelp would be fantastic
The 2 pc that use these atachments are both vista and have the same problem and both have this problem with outlook and thunderbird.
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pippy11Author Commented:
thanks for the quick reply but that did not work. Still getting the same response "The webpage cannot be displayed" If you have anyother ideas please let me know Thanks
try linking the .html extension with some other browser apart from internet explorer. say firefox
pippy11Author Commented:
Found a fix in the registrysimilar to answer
Thank this worked for windows7 64bit outlook 2003 using ie8.
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