Windows 7 - side-by-side configuration is incorrect - Cannot open any .exe file

Posted on 2013-05-14
Last Modified: 2013-05-30
Have a home user, who is reporting they cannot open any application on there PC, on a Windows 7 PC

Upon investigation via remote session this seems to be the case.

When ever I try to open word,excel,outlook, or other program iTunes, chrome I get the error listed below, in this case I tried to open Picasa (IMAGE ATTACHED)

No software or other details have been changed or installed and the issue started yesterday out of the blue

Is Re-installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)  the fix ?

even if it is, I cannot open IE/firefox/chrome on the machine to download the file.

Any help regarding this issue would be great im a little stuck on this one;)
Question by:it-pro
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

tailoreddigital earned 125 total points
ID: 39166757
"Is Re-installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)  the fix ?"

From the threads i've seen it just might be.   To run IE check this out,
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 39166768
did you
1)  Look at the Event Viewer (Application) log?
2)  Use the sxstrace.exe tool for more detail?
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Mohammed Rahman
Mohammed Rahman earned 125 total points
ID: 39176014
Try to run the attached .exe.reg file on client's PC. If you can't, follow the procedure below.
*If you can RDP, you can probably download the file on your computer and copy/paste it on client's PC.

1.Click the Startbutton and type regedit in the Search box
2.Right-click Regedit.exe in the returned list and click Run as administrator
3.Browse to the following registry key:


4.With .exe selected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
5.Change the Value data: to exefile
6.Browse to and then click on the following registry key:


7.With exefileselected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
8.Change the Value data: to "%1" %*
9.Browse to and then click on the following registry key:


10.With openselected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
11.Change the Value data: to "%1" %*
12.Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC

Author Comment

ID: 39176376
mody2579 - I will give that a go on Monday. Apparently the user installed a very old version of a dictation application which is what kicked of this event.
ill do it and report back thanks
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 39176404
it-pro--In the "old days" an inability to open .exe files usually meant malware.
I know that error message you posted suggests other problems, but it never hurts to scan with antivirus and perhaps MalwareBytes.
If MalwareBytes (an .exe file) does not open, change the file extension to .com.
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Author Comment

ID: 39195854
This fault is proving very hard to resolve and I am very close to rebuilding the whole machine.

1, tried the reg .. did not work
2, tried the vcredist - as per link.. cannot run .exe / tried renaming to .com same error
3, event log is full of application errors..
4, tried system restore, from before the user installed the software that stuffed it, that produced error too.

Thanks for the help all but I think I have no choice back to backup ad restore.
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

jcimarron earned 250 total points
ID: 39196769
Try the .exe fix .reg file from here
If no help, I suggest a Repair Install.
Your personal data and installed programs should not be affected, but it is always wise to run a backup first.

Author Comment

ID: 39209463
I ended up having no choice but to backup and rebuild this PC. Thanks for y
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

jcimarron earned 250 total points
ID: 39209470
it-pro--You had a choice of a Repair Install.
Any reason you did not try it?

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39209524
Customer had misplaced the Media, so a good chance to get him up to Win 8 at the same time.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 39209589
it-pro--Thanks for telling us what happened.

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