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Windows 7: explorer is "unable to create shortcut"

16 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 HP 64-bit
explorer is "unable to create shortcut"

A customer's machine has a bit of a weird problem that when one tries to create a shortcut, explorer says "unable to create shortcut", leaves the window open, then if you click on 'Next' again, it says that it already exists and "do you want to over-write the shortcut". Regardless of the answer, no shortcut is created. This problem affects application installers as well, for example, when Thunderbird is installed, nothing gets created in the start menu (under 'all programs').

Also, creating a URL file (a shortcut to a website) has the same problem. I got around that one by dragging the URL from the Firefox address bar on to the desktop, but still, it's a weird problem to have. The machine shows no other odd symptoms.

I upgraded the machine to SP1 (and I left the machine running that installation), and I'll see the machine in less than a week to see whether SP1 has fixed the problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Mike,

You might see if downloading and merging the lnk (LNK) option in the tutorial below to see if it may be able to help by restoring the default associations for shortcuts (.lnk).

Default File Type Associations - Restore

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 HP 64-bit

Thanks for the suggestion, but I had tried that already. Admittedly I'm not 100% sure whether I restarted the computer afterwards though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 HP 64-bit

Either the lnk/url fixes sorted it after a restart, or Win7 SP1. One other odd thing though was that when the shortcut files (either type) weren't created properly, it created a hidden file of that name, hence the 'do you want to over-write' message. I deleted all of those.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #5

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Not sure about the hidden file issue it was causing, but I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted after the restart. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 explorer is "unable to create shortcut"

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