Hyperlinks fail to function

I have up-to-date versions of Firefox, Google Chrome and IE. When I click on a hyperlink, whether on a web page or in an email, nothing happens. Most of the time I can copy the link and paste it into another browser window, and it works--but not always. At first I thought it had to do with my mouse [which was starting to fail], but I've installed a new mouse that works in all other instances but not with hyperlinks.

Also, I can open a new window in Google Chrome and IE, but not in Firefox. Opening a new tab in any of these is not a problem.

Any suggestions
BillMiesAsked:
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NivleshCommented:
make sure you have set IE as the default browser. In Win 7 and Vista, go to Start\Default Programs to fix this.

In WinXP, you can ensure that IE handles html, html files
NivleshCommented:
instructions on setting IE as default browser in Win XP
http://www.winxptutor.com/iedefault.htm
bggauthCommented:
Probably one or more file associations are configured incorrectly.
Default programs > associate file type.

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Marc ZCommented:
It's also possible virus. Scans turn up anything?
Also Firefox may be set to Single window use only.
Are u the administrator on this machine/network?
bggauthCommented:
"Most of the time I can copy the link and paste it into another browser window, and it works--but not always"

....but not always...  what does that mean?  What happens when it doesn't work?  

On these links that don't open when you click on them, try right clicking and choose 'opne in new window' or 'tab'.

Run any malware or vius softwae you have as suggested above.    

Are you able to go back and restore to a point (system restore) when all was working well?
BillMiesAuthor Commented:
bggauth--your solution worked! Thanks.

For the other solutions: I am using Windows 7 not XP; I ran Malwarebytes, SpyBot and Zone Alarm, all before I posted my question...
NivleshCommented:
BillMies, which solution from bggauth worked? I am curious since if it is the solution that you have accepted, this is basically a repeat of what I had posted before him. As such I do not agree with your point award
bggauthCommented:
Nivlesh,
I for one don't like to quibble over points.  You gave him a link to an xp solution while Bill clearly states he has Windows 7 as his system.  However inserting this into the run command (control appwiz.cpl,,3 ) will eventually get you to the same placeI that is shown in the link you provided. But if it was a file association issue, then your solution is not valid.  
It really shouldn't matter what browser is your default, if links aren't opening for any of them.  
NivleshCommented:
bggauth.

Refer to my initial post
--
make sure you have set IE as the default browser. In Win 7 and Vista, go to Start\Default Programs to fix this.

In WinXP, you can ensure that IE handles html, html files
--

I suggest you stop trying to rephrase another persons answers just to get yourself some points since this is what you have clearly done in my case. You just turned my answer around and posted it again!
bggauthCommented:
Yes I see that now Nivlesh.  I was looking at the post directly before mine.

Now... I suggest you stop trying to figure out another persons actions because you're clearly way off in this case. My post came in 1 and 2 minutes after yours. I was not rephrasing your post to grab points.  When I saw the original post, there were no answers yet.  You can't tell me you've never seen two similar answers come in that close together.

If the issue was that IE was not the default browser as you suggest, then hey, you can have the points.
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