On a brand new laptop the user copied some word files over, and they opened on the new computer just fine. Then they copied some more .doc files and they could not open them, so (they claim) they choose word as the default file association (which is fine, except it should not have prompted for that in the first place). After that all the word document shortcuts they created on the desktop changed to a shortcut with IE's 'e' symbol - clicking them flashes up a screen that instantly goes away (ie I assume) and ie's download file dialog then opens.
Further, an attempt to open ie acts the same way.
Worse, running system restore does the same thing - flash, then ie files downloaded dialog - asking if I want to open one of the files listed (which are the .lnk files to the word documents on the desktop).
So short of doing a full system restore, and also short of manually copying the registry files from the last restore point (which I'm not sure is even possible on a windows 7 drive) what can I do to resolve this mess?