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Windows 7: suddenly NO .EXE programs will run

18 Aug 2014   #1
koalady

windows 7
 
 
suddenly NO .EXE programs will run

On clicking on the program name or icon, the standard Windows message appears: "Windows cannot open this file... needs to know what program .. to use to open it." The usual long list of extensions is available. But of course. .EXE is not on it. ALL my .exe files will not open.
The cause is that I ran malwarebytes.com. It found a few errors but no heavy ones. It concluded routinely, but with one note on the Avira antivirus program: ".. ipmGui.exe...does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel."
Presumably foolishly, I hit the Enter key expecting to get another window. But instead it exited. After a reboot, all program icons on the desktop contained that same 'cannot open...' message.
I find no way to reverse this. Including file associations, and Default Programs pages. Meanwhile I can run NO programs, thus am accessing the internet now on a backup machine.
But I suspect the solution is simple, involving the Registry? Please advise!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2014   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

What ante virus are you using?
ipmGui.exe. belongs to Avira.

See if you can use the online removal tool for Avira.

You might have to do that in Safe Mode.

Another option would be a restore point.
Take a look at this tutorial by Brink:

System Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #3
koalady

windows 7
 
 

POSTSCRIPT: I should have said rather that all my DIRECTLY opened EXE files will no longer open. Ones that have generated an output file will still open via double-double-clicking on that file. For example, SAMPLETEXT.DOC will load up MS Word, while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible, as noted. Thus, the extensions-to-program file associations table must still be intact, somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2014   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Your words are not making sense to me.

Can you go to the Start/All Programs and open programs that way?

Do you have Icons on your Desktop to open programs.
If you do have Icons can you open programs using them.

Did you try System Restore Points? Yes or No.

Did you remove Avira? Yes or No?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #5
koalady

windows 7
 
 

POSTSCRIPT: I should have said rather that all my DIRECTLY opened EXE files will no longer open. Ones that have generated an output file will still open via double-double-clicking on that file. For example, SAMPLETEXT.DOC will load up MS Word, while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible, as noted. Thus, the extensions-to-program file associations table must still be intact, somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

From post # 5

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by koalady View Post
POSTSCRIPT: I should have said rather that all my DIRECTLY opened EXE files will no longer open. Ones that have generated an output file will still open via double-double-clicking on that file. For example, SAMPLETEXT.DOC will load up MS Word, while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible, as noted. Thus, the extensions-to-program file associations table must still be intact, somewhere.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
From post #3

Quote:
POSTSCRIPT: I should have said rather that all my DIRECTLY opened EXE files will no longer open. Ones that have generated an output file will still open via double-double-clicking on that file. For example, SAMPLETEXT.DOC will load up MS Word, while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible, as noted. Thus, the extensions-to-program file associations table must still be intact, somewhere.
------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want help from me you are going have to answer question completely and precisely.

Now go back to post # 4 and answer the questions the best you can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible
What exactly are you doing here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #8
koalady

windows 7
 
 

To Layback Bear, and WHS:
"Your words are not making sense to me.

Can you go to the Start/All Programs and open programs that way?
NO. 10 HI-FREQUENCY PROGRAMS ON LIST. SAME RESPONSE TO ALL, THAT MESSAGE
"Windows can't open this file..."

Do you have Icons on your Desktop to open programs.
YES. LOTS
If you do have Icons can you open programs using them.
NO. SAME MESSAGE OCCURS FOR ALL.

Did you try System Restore Points? Yes or No.
YES. BUT SAME MESSAGE APPEARS FOR THE RESTORE PROGRAM.
Did you remove Avira? Yes or No?
YES

TO WHS: "while trying to load MS Word directly is impossible What exactly are you doing here."

EXAMPLE: A file HELLO.DOC was created by MSWORD. Double clicking on file name in Windows Explorer loads the MSWORD program and puts the HELLO file in it, ready for work as normal. But if I try to create a NEW file, thus needing to start MSWORD, the start fails, producing that same old 'Windows can't open this file' message. The same two outcomes happens with files created by data base programs, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you.

This is what comes to mind. A new user account.

By Brink:
User Account - Create


At the bottom of that tutorial there are many more options if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #10
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

exe - Executable application files.
lnk - Shortcut link (LNK) files.

Source: Default File Type Associations - Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 suddenly NO .EXE programs will run




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