Browser saying it can't find .exe file, even though it's there

G'day,

The title says it all, really. A computer I'm looking at can't open the IE or Firefox browser windows, giving the following error message for each:

IE:

Windows cannot find 'C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ iexplore.exe'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button and then click Search.

Firefox:

Windows cannot find 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button and then click Search.

These messages appeared before and since I ran both a NOD32 & an MBAM scan and found PUM... and hijack software on the PC, which seem to have been removed (according to MBAM, but I'm doing another scan to be sure).

Any thoughts on what might be causing this and, in turn, what we might be able to do to fix it?
Servant-LeggieAsked:
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David_HagermanCommented:
I take it you have recreated the short cuts.

Can you also check that you have permission to the those folders?
Can also try to re install the applications?
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Sharon SethCommented:
How about other exe files other than firefox and IE ?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If the system is now coming up clean with MBAM check the following registry entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options

Look for Browser names as Values on the right-hand pane.

If they are there try deleting one of them - restart and check if the browser name you deleted now runs.

If it's fixed remove the other browser names from that location.

<Insert usual warning about messing with the system registry here> :)
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flubbsterCommented:
Navigate to C:\program Files\internet explorer

Is iexplore.exe actually there?

Have you done a search for it to see if it was moved?

If not found, simply copy the iexplore.exe file from another pc with the same service pack and paste it to the right folder.
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Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
@Servant-Leggie
Please have a look at the Article from one of our EE Expert RPG which might help you in fixing the issue.

IF YOU CAN'T RUN .EXES IN AN INFECTED SYSTEM
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_1995.html

Sudeep
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rpggamergirlCommented:
Something similar happened to my PC after running Combofix my IE shortcuts(IE desktop shortcut and programs' startmenu) would no longer work which was a case of permissions issue as already suggested.

Or this could be the deleted value in IFEO as also been suggested.

You could also try running TheKiller, it restores file associations.
Download TheKiller to your Desktop
http://maliprog.geekstogo.com/explorer.exe
http://www.osvemu.com/thekiller/v02/explorer.exe

Note that "TheKiller" is renamed as explorer.exe
Double click on it (If running Vista or Windows 7, right click on it and select "Run as an Administrator")

Do not restart your system after this step if you also intend to run other tools like MalwareBytes, TDSSKiller or ComboFix.
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Servant-LeggieAuthor Commented:
David_Hagerman, the permissions are good and I got the results from recreated shortcuts, as well as the .exe itself.

sharonseth, no, only IE & Firefox seem to be affected (though, in truth, I haven't opened everything).

MASQUERAID, genius, it worked! Thanks also for the friendly reminder regarding reg backup - I might just have forgotten, had you not slipped in the reminder.

flubbster, yes, IE is in the correct location.

SSharma, thanks for pointing out this article - I'd given these a go.

rpggamergirl, thanks for the cool tool/s (and your article from the above post!)! I have come across a couple of programs which fix issues with the start menu, file associations, etc, but it's always good to add to the arsenal!
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