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Windows 7: All file associations hosed for Win7 account- system restore?

20 Jan 2013   #1

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
All file associations hosed for Win7 account- system restore?

Helping a friend troubleshoot his computer and hoping for some advice - Win7 Pro 64 SP1

He has 2 accounts on his PC (administrator, and 'user'). Both have admin privileges.

When he logged in this morning using his user account, the file associations for all applications appear to have been corrupted. In his user account, all programs launch with the IE download manager which gives me an option to run or save. When 'run' is selected from IR download manager, a window quickly flashes on the screen and closes. I am unable to run any application including windows explorer, regedit, cmd, etc, including system restore. He has Symantec Endpoint which also launched in IE download manager. My friend does not recall installing anything recently. I tried booting in safe mode and logging into the user account and the behavior is exactly the same.

When I log in using the admin account (in regular mode) everything seems to be fine. The system restore option is available as are all the file associations. A Symantec scan using the admin account shows nothing other than a single tracking cookie.

The only thing I can think of doing is a system restore from the admin account but thought I'd post this to the group to see if there was something else I should try first. Has anyone seen this problem before?

Thank you in advance for any information.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello familytechie and welcome to Seven Forums.

I'm not sure if it will help, but you could try running a system file checker scan from an elevated command prompt (option two.) It will check the integrity of all protected Windows 7 system files and replace incorrect, corrupted, changed/modified, or damaged versions with the correct versions if possible. If problems are found run the scan 3 times and reboot the computer after each scan.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If the SFC doesn't help, a system restore may be the quickest way to reset all file associations at one time. This tutorial can be helpful for when a file extension type opens with the wrong program by default, has the wrong icon, or is missing or corrupted in the registry, but is a "one at a time" solution.

Default File Type Associations - Restore

If still unable to reset all file associations it may be necessary to do a repair install.

Repair Install

Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable Forum members will jump in with something I've missed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 All file associations hosed for Win7 account- system restore?

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