I have a very strange problem just occurred on one Windows 7 desktop. I was using a software VOIP phone on it, when the PC put itself to sleep after 10 minutes, presumably according to my power saving plan.
When I tried to wake the computer with a keypress, I got the message the computer was not shutdown normally. I chose to start normally. Then I got the message Windows 7 could not start normally, but there was an option to repair start up files, which I chose. A window came up suggesting it might take an hour to fix, so I went away to use another phone.
When I came back Windows had booted to the desktop, but whenever I try to start a program I get the message:
"The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command line sxtrace tool for more detail."
This error occurs now with everything : games, Firefox, IE, MS Office, email client. The only thing still working is Notepad and the 2D Windows games.
I had a look to see if there was a recent restore point I could go back to and I was given this message:
"No restore points have been created on your computer's system drive."
I had a default home premium install so I think there should have been restore points..
Anyway this is an internet surfing and gaming computer. My documents are on my own partitions. Any help would be appreciated, but if I can't get it going by Christmas I shall probably format the partition and reinstall Windows.