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Windows 7: Programs fail to open


06 Jan 2012   #1

64
 
 
Programs fail to open

I have a Gateway NV79 laptop.

Just today my computer went from working just fine to the none of the programs running.

I cannot open Word, Firefox, Add/Remove programs, images, anything. The loading icon flickers intermittently before ceasing. I once received the error message "there was a problem sending the command to the program." I am posting this from another computer.

I have researched the problem and explored various errors and virus fixes and none of them totally address my issue.

So far I have restarted the system, restarted it in safemode, completed a system restore to three days ago, and another system restore to twelve days from ago. I am not technologically adept.

Please help me help myself, because my laptop is work-related and I will need to use it again in the near future.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jan 2012   #2

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

If a virus is not involved, you can try this:

Default File Type Associations - Restore

and still do a thorough search for viruses and malware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #3

64
 
 

Lemur,

I appreciate the assistance, but I cannot get on the open any internet program, much less download items via the provided link.

Is there some kind of regedit voodoo I can do to turn to transform my computer from a expensive glowing piece of junk back to a working machine? As you can imagine, it makes no sense why nothing will run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


06 Jan 2012   #4

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

Can you boot to a safe mode command prompt and run sfc /scannow

See if that fixes corrupted files.

If not, try to use MS media to boot to command prompt to run same command on c:

If not, then try Startup Repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #5

Win7Ultimate x64 + x32, Win7Pro x64, XP x32, Win 2003, Ubuntu and OpenIndiana
 
 

Your EXE file associations have been damaged. This is a pain to fix but you seem skilled enough to clean it up using regedit. EXE association corruption is most frequently the result of a malware infestation and will prevent the execution of any program by the Windows shell. Corrupted EXE associations do not, however, prevent task manager's run command from working. You can use task manager to start regedit. Press ctrl-alt-del and start task manager. Select file > new task. Type regedit in the dialog box and press enter. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command. Change both the "(default)" and "IsolatedCommand" keys to read
Code:
"%1" %*
WITH the quotes. Now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe If you have a UserChoice subkey (check in the left pane), delete it. This should fix your system without the need to reboot. If it doesn't then you have other problems. Run Malwarebytes immediately to clean up whatever malware infestation damaged your EXE associations.

Apologies for the lack of paragraphs in my post -- for some reason the forum won't accept line breaks in that post as long as I have the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key in the post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #6

64
 
 

Lemur,

I ran sfc /scannow in safe mode. No integrity violations were found.

I followed it up with another Startup Repair. It detected no problem.

My laptop seems rather slow. I would not rule out a virus, but it would have to have been totally spontaneous.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #7

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

Time to bring out the big guns...

AVG - Rescue CD | PC Rescue and Repair Toolkit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #8

64
 
 

Solidwave:
I hunted as you instructed. The isolated command keys were correct as you depicted and required no editing. I did not notice a UserChoise subkey. Under .exe I had OpenWithList and OpenWithProgids. I would like to run Malware bytes, but the system will not let me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2012   #9

64
 
 

Lemur:
I downloaded the linked data in winzip format to a flash drive and attempted to open it on the afflicted computer. True to the nature of the problem, nothing within the 12 items opened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #10

Win7Ultimate x64 + x32, Win7Pro x64, XP x32, Win 2003, Ubuntu and OpenIndiana
 
 

The AVG package Lemur linked in post #7 is intended to be installed on a working computer. It will create a bootable CD that you then use to boot the broken computer, bypassing your current Windows installation. Don't run the CD from your broken Windows installation -- boot from it. I'll be surprised if AVG finds anything but it's worth a try. Since your EXE file associations are OK and SFC found nothing, you likely have an invasive malware infestation that is interfering with the Windows shell in-memory and using cloaking techniques to avoid detection. This kind of infestation can be very difficult to fix. Note that virtually all malware seems to strike spontaneously and will bypass most antivirus software. Did you buy Windows 7 at retail or was it preinstalled by your PC vendor? If you bought Windows 7 at retail and have an install DVD, I would recommend you do a reinstall because it's probably quicker than cleaning this mess up manually. Reinstalling from a retail DVD will mean reinstalling all your software but you will be able to keep all your files. If you bought Windows 7 preloaded, you need to keep working with this because reinstalling from recovery disks will erase all your files. The forum has eaten my linebreaks again. No paragraphs....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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