Can't run any .EXE files

I installed AVG Anti Virus on a Dell XPS workstation running WIndows 7 Professional. Immediately after reboot, I get the dreaded "These files can't be opened. Your Internet security settings prevented one or more files from being opened". It applies to ALL .EXE files, including Microsoft Office, Explorer, IExplorer. However I can start a document that is associated with one of these EXE files by double-clicking it (e.g. an Excel sheet on my desktop opens fine).

I can run some bits of Control Panel but not all.

I uninstalled AVG and rebooted - made no difference. I can't do a system restore, I get the same error message.

Is there any alternative to a factory-settings reinstallation then all the tedium of reinstalling my apps? Would it be worth reinstalling WIndows 7 from the original DVD?

TIA
CunningbeefAsked:
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Rory de LeurConsultant End-User ComputingCommented:
I fixed the problem by resetting all my IE settings
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TripyreCommented:
Can you disable UAC or reduce the restrictions?
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-user-account-control-uac-the-easy-way-on-windows-vista/
What happens when you right click on one of the executables and tell it to run as Administrator?
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CunningbeefAuthor Commented:
I can't disable UAC - same message - must be an EXE that controls UAC.

I can't run the EXE apps as Administrator either - same message.
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acl-puzzCommented:
try this extract anywhere,double click on it press ok and reboot


http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
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mleone69Commented:
I am having the same issue, but it appears to be profile specific. I did not recently install any anti-virus or anything. My executables work, but I cannot run anything from the search box in the start menu. Has anyone been able to fix this?
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acl-puzzCommented:
try this extract anywhere,double click on it press ok and reboot


http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
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mleone69Commented:
That is an XP registry key.
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acl-puzzCommented:
oops sorry here is the right one will work on windows 7 also

http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/exefix_vista.zip
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mleone69Commented:
Thanks for the reg key, but unfortunately it did not fix the problem.
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acl-puzzCommented:
ok may be this can work for the person who asked this question!
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CunningbeefAuthor Commented:
Thanks ACL-PUZZ but I'm afraid even though the registry was updated, I still have the problem.

I managed to create a new admin account and log onto that, and everything works fine, so it appears my main user account/profile has in some way become corrupted. Any known way to fix that?
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acl-puzzCommented:
ok it would be better you copy all data from its profile to new user profile which you just created and start using new user account and delete that corrupted user account :)
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CunningbeefAuthor Commented:
The big problem is saving my Outlook data. This is my main mail machine and I have mail and archives going back 10 years. I know I can access my Outlook.pst file from within Outlook, but I can't get Outlook to start!! I can't get into that folder in Explorer to copy the PST file somewhere safe. Any suggestions anyone to save my Outlook data - if I can do that I will delete this user account.
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CunningbeefAuthor Commented:
Actually I am wrong, I can access the PST files so I will copy them and use a different account. Thanks all.
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