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Windows 7 desktop shortcuts have stopped working

Hello
I have some folders on my desktop that contain some shortcuts that link to remote urls.

These were working but suddenly they no longer place the url in the address bar of the browser page that opens.

I am using windows 7 Home premium along with Firefox as the default.

If I check the properties of the short cut, the url is included correctly in the URL box.

Full permissions are granted and I can see all correct if I go to

C:/users/username/desktop/ and right click on any shortcut.

I tried creating a new shortcut to test but that did not work either.

Has anyone any ideas how to get the shortcuts working again please?

Many thanks
John
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johnhardy
Asked:
johnhardy
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2 Solutions
 
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Here is a comprehensive list of items to check. I suspect you might have a virus that disables everything or something really unusual happened to your system.

1. Go to All programs, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer. Check the System and Application sections for errors that may be causing your problems.

2. Install Process Explorer to find out what runs at startup
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

3. If you haven't also ready checked for Viruses, update your virus definitions and run a Full Scan, deleting all virus and spyware detected

4. If you don’t have any Anti Virus installed, here are a few free ones to try:
http://www.avg.com
http://www.avast.com/en-us/index
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download
http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html

5. If spyware is found, download and run these free anti spyware apps
www.malwarebytes.org
www.superantispyware.com
www.hitmanpro.com

6. Run a Disk Cleanup: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup.
Include Temporary Internet Files and Temp files

7. Run Error Checking: Start, Computer, right click  on C:\, Tools, Error Checking.
Select "Automatically fix file system errors" and click start

8. Check for all programs that start at Boot: Start, Run, type MSCONFIG, on the startup tab, review the programs listed. Uncheck anything that should not run on startup

9. Defrag all hard drives: Click My Computer, right click the C drive, click Tools, Disk Defragmenter, Click Analyze to check the amount of fragmentation or Defrag to run the process. You repeat this per drive.

General Maintenance to keep your pc up to date
1. Run Windows Update and select all Microsoft updates and security patches

2. Update your Pc's System Bios

3. Update your drivers: Motherboard Chipset, Network Adaptor, Video, Audio & Printers
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Raheman M. AbdulCommented:
Check the following:

1. Open Internet Explorer -> Tools > Internet Options under the Programs tab that Default web browser is set to Internet Explorer.
2. Start -> Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs and select 'Associate a file type or protocol with a program'.
    Scroll down to the .url file extension and make sure the Current Default is Internet Browser and not Google Chrome. If not use the Change program... button to change it.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all of the information.
I really want to keep using Firefox, all my bookmarks are there.

I reset the default to Internet Explorer 11 and the shortcuts do work in IE11.

However as I said I would like to continue using FF
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jcimarronCommented:
johnhardy--
Perhaps a System Restore to a date before the problem started.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
I tried a system restore but I could only see two recent restores that do not go back very far. the restore made no difference
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
I did a complete virus scan with Norton 360 also defrag
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
It's probable a virus that norton can't detect
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jcimarronCommented:
johnhardy--
"I tried a system restore but I could only see two recent restores that do not go back very far. the restore made no difference"

Did you check the box for "Show more restore points"?  

Did you scan with MalwareBytes?

If no help, I suggest a Repair Install.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
It should not affect your personal data or installed programs, but a backup first is always a good idea.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
I am not sure this has anything to do with my problem but I saw this message flash on the the browser.
Image attached

vault
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 250 points for TG-TIS's comment #a39971770
Assisted answer: 250 points for jcimarron's comment #a39973212
Assisted answer: 0 points for johnhardy's comment #a39974605

for the following reason:

Many thanks to all who helped me on this.
I eventually ran malwarebytes and now Firefox will open my URL shortcuts. I will have to properly read up to understand what this program does.
Having carried out a full scan with Norton I thought "well thats the best I can do" now I am not so sure. I had always believed Norton was the best!

Anyway Thanks again
John
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jcimarronCommented:
johnhardy--
You are welcome.

Here is a good thread on what MalwareBytes does and why it can find and eliminate things that Norton does not.  
https://community.norton.com/t5/Norton-Internet-Security-Norton/Why-do-we-need-to-use-quot-Malwarebytes-quot/td-p/176867
To summarize--no antimalware program can do it all.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thanks jcimarron
Thats an excellent answer and enlightens me as to the doings in AV

Cheers
John
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Hi JohnHardy,

You award points and automatically close a question by clicking the Multiple Solutions icon under one of the solutions that worked for you and add the 2nd expert also.

Glad I could help!
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
I am sure I selected Accept multiple Solutions and was surprised to see the below notice. Should I do it again do you think!
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Yes, I would try it again.
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jcimarronCommented:
johnhardy--
I see nothing wrong with your action, although you could have decided on the solutions today without having everyone wait until 4/8/2014 to award points.
I suspect the only way to make a change would be to click the "Request Attention" link at the bottom right of your first post.  But I can wait.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Trying to award again.

Looks good this time
Thanks again
John
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