Unable to open any programs in Windows XP [Solved/Closed]

Ravi - Sep 20, 2008 at 10:36 PM - Latest reply: nhow 1 Posts Wednesday June 21, 2017Registration date June 21, 2017 Last seen
- Jun 21, 2017 at 11:35 AM

I have been troubled by this error. I am unable to open any programs in my machine. I have XP as the OS. Please help. When I click on any shortcut on the desktop nothing happens. Not able to open any of the files. When I right click, then give open with It opens. I am not able to open even the Regedit. :(

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188 replies

Best answer
Thank you
Go To www.dougknox.com
In the left hand column, click WinXP fixes
Then in the list that comes up, click File Association fixes
Then in the next list that appears, click EXE File Association Fix

Good Luck Peace out

Thank you, Emi 611

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CCM has helped 1364 users this month

Thank you so much!
it works:-)
Victoria kenbridge - Oct 17, 2012 at 07:59 AM
That program rocked Thankssssssssss
kbatchu 1 Posts Sunday November 4, 2012Registration date November 4, 2012 Last seen - Nov 4, 2012 at 05:13 PM
thanks a lot it worked like a magic for me
nhow 1 Posts Wednesday June 21, 2017Registration date June 21, 2017 Last seen - Jun 21, 2017 at 11:35 AM
This just worked for me too. Many, many thanks. Awesome.
Thank you
Download the dougknox registry fix for file association. http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
Thank you so much. Really appreciate it!
the xp exe fix.zp worked for me straight away after extracted and double click and confirm. try this first!
Omg! This worked for me too! Thank you so much!
Awesome!! worked for me many many thank you
Just wanted to add this worked perfectly. Thanks.
Thank you
Same used - http://www.dougknox.com
Then click - 'Win XP Fixes'
Then click - 'File Association Fixes'
Then - 'EXE File Association Fix'
And run the program
Select 'xp_exe_fix.reg'
Registry Editor window should appear and select 'YES'

All my programs worked after e.g control panel, user accounts EVERYTHING. dont get it saying 'Open with...' when you click on a file nor that rundll application not found, perfect fix.

But dont fall for the scam of purchasing XP 2010 Malware ifso call your credit card company and get them to freeze all payments because of SCAM!
Thank you
I experienced the same problem. You need to right click your program or link and choose "Run as". In the dialog, uncheck "Protect...". Say ok and now everyhting will work.
thank youu sooooo much. IT WORKED!! :D
omg, thank you ~ :)
when I right click on Programs...I don't get a "Run As" box. Am I doing somthing wrong. I am so discusted. Help!
THANK YOUUU, you do not know how much this pissed me off, lol
when I right click to run program it gives no option
Thank you
This problem can be caused by multiple things. My computer stopped being able to run exe files on a single power user account - the other accounts were fine.

My problems came from a website which popped up a version of Safe PC Guard or whatever, it is a malicious software which pretends to be an anti-virus check.

If you press the ok or close button it invisibly installs itself, keeps you from opening control panel items, task manager, or any anti virus software. It is strange to get rid of and I have gotten it on my Pc way too many times.

This was the first time that particular maleware bs actually messed with my exe file extensions and stuff. Usually it just screws my system in other ways. This time was different because I finally recognized that the 'X' (or close button) on the malicious software actually functions as an install, so to press any buttons will hose your system.

I opened task manager immediately and closed Firefox, which the software hijacks temporarily to make a fake anti-virus scan window. If you kill the Firefox process, The malicious PC Guard dies right away. For some reasons, that time it also messed up my EXE file extensions, I couldn't run anything.

FYI - the doug knox Windows XP fix also works for Vista. Since applying it, every time the malicious fake-virus check program pops up I kill Firefox and it dies without installing - there have been no EXE file extension problems since I used the doug knox fix, honestly, that site helped me a lot.

Does anyone know 1) why and how the exe extensions get changed in this problematic way and 2) how the hell can I keep Safe PC Guard, or whatever it calls itself on any given hack day, far far away from system? I use many virus protect programs, and none of them seem able to catch this damn thing in the act.

3) Why is it that when the PC Guard hacks my system and I go into my user/appdata/local/ and local/temp folders and delete the damn randomly named EXEs that keep that thing running, NO virus or utility program anywhere seems to recognize them as damaging! I have tried Norton, mcafee, kaspersy, avast, avgfree, and many others. I even used that website that lets you upload programs to check them with 50+ male-ware virus checkers. NONE of the many, many exes that cause PC Guard to hack a system get caught by protection software. Why why why?
Thank you
I had a similar problem. I use Windows XP Professional. What I noticed that the computer is not responding sometimes to any of the programms or gets hanged half way. If you notice you will find that it is responding after a long wait. To fix this issue, you can do the following :
Please log in with safe mode (should have administrator privilage). Press F5 while booting which takes you to choose "Safe mode". It will give you warning that some of your applications may not be able to open/operate ... etc. It is OK. You may even find all icons are huge than your settings. Its OK.
Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore.System Restore starts.
Welcome to System Restore page opens, click Restore my computer to an earlier time (if not already selected). Click Next.
Rest of the activities are clearly specified, go on with the instructions. You may choose a Restore Point (a date your computer was in good health) and go on as per the instructions. Once this is over, computer automatically restarts and you have DONE.

Note : your system restore facility is not activated earlier in your computer, this may not work.
Thank you
i recently got sum internet security malware/spyware shit, n this is wot I did, disable system restore. restart in safe mode. scan with as much anti v software u can, I think combo fix and spybot search and destry did it for me.
also if u always get OPEN WITH after u click on a program
click start.
type in "services.msc"
and look for the service called "messenger"
right click, properties, change the settings so its on automatic, and runs by itself, apply.
right click it again, and start the service....
that fixed it for me anyway....
peace out :)
Dell that worked perfectly... THANK YOU!!!!!
wow that was easy and I was about to give up and resotore my computer
any1 know the what the service name is?
what if the messenger is not listed
Thank you
Yes thank you so much this link helped me so much. : D
vivianli108 12 Posts Sunday November 22, 2009Registration date January 7, 2010 Last seen - Jan 7, 2010 at 01:05 AM
Thank you
If the programs you can't open are icon shortcuts download the "LNK (Shortcut) File Association Fix" at the link below. If the programs you can't open are actually the program's exe file download the "EXE File Association Fix" at the link below.


"The files listed here are all ZIP files, which contain a REG (Registry) file. Download the ZIP and open it. Extract the REG file to your hard disk and double click it. Answer yes to the import prompt."

Thank you
Thanks so much for the dougknox fix!
Thank you
It is due to some kind of virus/ trojan activity which normally disables the task manager.Now due to this problem when ever the user press alt+ctrl+del to launch windows task manager it gives an error saying "Task Manager is being disabled by your administrator".


To Enable the Disabled Task Manager on your system

1. Press window key+r to show run prompt

2. Follow the following steps

1. Enter gpedit.msc in the run prompt and click OK
2. In the Group Policy settings window
3. Select User Configuration
4. Select Administrative Templates
5. Select System
6. Select Ctrl+Alt+Delete options
7. Select Remove Task Manager
8. Double-click the Remove Task Manager option'.
9. Set the property of this item as disabled.
Thank you
You are life saver.

thank you
thank you
thank you very much
Thank you
Couldn't Ask for more.

Spot on.

Briliant Website.
Thank you
thank you so much!
Thank you
Awesome! I searched for an hour yesterday trying to fix this problem. Everything provided for repairing was an .exe file which was my problem. nothing would run that had an .exe extension. Easy and happened automagically.
Thanks for posting the link dougknox!
this worked for me - Feb 9, 2010 at 09:04 PM
Thank you
This just worked for me. I had installed the latest security upgrades when this started, and icon disappeared a few days ago. I don't know what the cause of this problem was??? But I seem to be fixed now.
Thank you
thank youuu sooo much ! (:
Thank you
I don't know how to thank you enough. Thanks.
Thank you
Perfect! All fixed! Thank you!
Thank you
Thanks very very much ,
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