windows 7 shortcuts become named *.lnk

Computer with Windows 7 suddenly changes desktop icons that were shortcuts.  
New file names are no longer e.g. "Internet Explorer" but, rather, "Internet Explorer.lnk"
File type is no longer Shortcut but .lnk
Creating new shortcuts results in the same thing.
Have not found a solution and it appears this is NOT a file association problem.
Rather, it appears to be how shortcuts are working.

It doesn't matter if the shortcut is to an .exe or to something else like .doc.
LVL 27
Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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Fred MarshallConnect With a Mentor PrincipalAuthor Commented:
I ended up using this:

At first I didn't because it was listed as for Vista only.  But then it was advertised as OK for Win 7 as well.

It worked.

I rather wish that I'd had an answer like dramdrum provided even though I can't understand all the lines there......  maybe it's even the same as what I used.  I can't tell.  Can anyone?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Shortcuts in Windows 7 *are* .lnk . All of mine say Type of File:  Shortcut (.lnk). This is how Windows 7 works.  There does not appear to be anything wrong.

.... Thinkpads_User
dramdrumConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Shortcuts do indeed have the extension .lnk, but if it shown like this it means it somehow broke and the .lnk extension is no longer associated as shortcut.

Looking around a bit there appears to be a registry fix you can apply.

Save the following into a .reg file, then import into the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;LNK file association fix

















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Well this is not a Sudden thing to happen....that is due to virus..... Here is the solution for this problem... I already applied on my computer.... Registry Entries.... Execute them as an administrator....

Contents of that file are pretty much the same as what is posted above.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@fmarshall - If you think there is a virus or other malware on your computer, run online Malwarebytes and scan the complete machine. That may get rid of the virues.

After scanning and any repairs, try the registry fix above and see what happens.

... Thinkpads_User
it is as same as Dramdrum and my Solution.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Perhaps both work....
Using regedit, I imported the two files from the Microsoft website indicated in fmarshall's post on 1-2-2013 and it worked great.  The OS on the system I had a problem with was Win7 SP1.
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