Help - my work folder has changed into file type "shortcut"

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Hello,

I've lost a whole folder of my work documents (all Office documents or PDFs). I can see them when I search for them, but they come up listed as file "type" - "shortcut"

When I try to open the file, a message comes up as problem with shortcut "The item XXX.pptx that this shortcut refers to has been changed or moved, so this shortcut will no longer work properly. Do you want to delete this shortcut?"

Hope you can help. I use Windows 7 professional and Micorsoft Office 2010. Thanks.

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Dear Bob,

I have just opened your log.

As a primary concern, I see that the sick computer's operating system is Windows XP SP2 and the main browser is Internet Explorer 9. IE 9 is exclusively for Windows 7 and up. IE 9 is not compatiple with XP and will create all kinds of problems.

You must remove IE and replace it with IE 8, you must also upgrade your XP to SP3.

Your Firefox (default browser) is in need of updates.

Google Chrome is known to create conflicts, it's not perfect. As a matter of a fact I see dozens of Chrome items which are corrupted.

However, I have good news, your system is virus free.

To fix the problem:

1. Go to this site:

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm

2. Download and run the XP File Association Fix.

Good luck
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Hi jfritzky,

This problem (icons changing to shortcut) generally happens because of a virus in your computer. Kindly, run a virus scan on your computer and check if the issue is fixed.

Do reply with results.
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Hi - I did a full scan with Microsoft Security Essentials and it found no viruses, but I suspect it is a virus since it happened suddenly when I went to save a document that was sent to me. Don't know if it's related, but my Gmail and Google chrome started going wonky at the same time, and I tried to uninstall Google Chrome, and the normal uninstall from the control panel did not work.
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Hello,

Thank you Zohaib R for your precious help.

@jfritzky

The shortcut problem is usually caused by a file association bug, however in your case, because of the other symptoms, it could very well be a virus or viruses.

To help you and prescribe the remedy, I must make a diagnostic and to do so, I require a system log.

1. Open this link and download ZHPDiag2 :

https://www.zebulon.fr/telechargements/securite/systeme/zhpdiag.html

(Don't be alarmed is the site is in French, it sometimes happens, the tool will take your system language and allow the download if you get a warning message. Once installed, click on the "hardhat" icon, it allows to change the language.)

2. Save the file on your Desktop.

3. Double click on ZHPDiag.exe and follow the installation instructions.

the tool creates three icons ZHPDiag, MRB, and ZHPFix (If necessary,we will use ZHPFix at the next step).

4. Double click on the short cut ZHPDiag on your Destktop.

5. Click on the screwdriver icon and ensure all of the items are checked.

6. Click on the Magnifying glass and run the analysys.

Wait for the tool to finished (maybe a long time)

7. Close ZHPDiag.

8. To transmit the report, click on this link :

https://authentification.site

9. Click on Parcourir and search the directory where you installed ZHPDiag (usually C:\desktop\zhpdiag.txt).

10. Select the file ZHPDiag.txt.

11. Click on "upload »

12. Copy the url and post it here.

Best regards

Ambucias
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Hi - I finally got it to work. Here is the link to the diagnostic text.

http://speedy.sh/YVHfG/ZHPDiag.txt

Hope this helps and thanks for all your help.
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Hi - this is odd. When I go to the windows tab on the bottom left of the computer, and type in winver it says this is Windows 7. Plus, there is the Windows 7 sticker on the computer.

Any other way to verify this before I start making changes?

Thanks again.
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Hi - I checked in system properties and it said Windows 7 Professional, 2009, Service pack 1.
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Hi

I checked you log which never lied to me before. Here is what it says and you can check it yourself:


---\\ Web Browser
MSIE: Internet Explorer v9.0.8112.16421MFIE: Mozilla Firefox 18.0 v18.0 (Defaut)

---\\ Windows Product Information
~ Langage: Anglais
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (Build 2600)Windows Server License Manager Script : OK
Software Protection Service (Protection logicielle) : OK
Windows Automatic Updates : OK
Windows Genuine Advantage : KO

It even looks like a pirated copy !
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Hi - Thanks - I checked the log as well, but when I run the windows diagnostic, it says I'm running Windows 7 Professional, and I called Lenovo, and they verified that my machine is running Windows 7. Any idea why the discrepancy?
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@Ambucias, just curious could this XP could be coming because of virtual machine where windows 7 allows you run XP programs ?
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Hi - thanks for chiming in. All I know is that I ran a diagnostic that the Lenovo technical assistants had me run, and it verified that I have Windows 7 Professional, so I have no idea what is going on.

In the meantime, I restored my computer to the last update point which was a Windows critical update, and this was around the time I lost the data (actually, probably a little bit after).

Is it possible that because I didn't address the problem immediately (I was busy in the hospital with my daughter) that the folder was somehow corrupted and then removed by my Microsoft Security Essentials?

Anyway - thanks for all your help and suggestions. I don't think I can get the files back, but I appreciate all of your help.
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Hi,

Is the Win 7 an upgrade from Xp on this machine ?

Could you please click on start, run, type regedit, click ok

Locate the following key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.docx]

click on it to highlight

Go to file and click on export.

Please upload on speedyshare.

Thanks
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Hi - THe Windows 7 was an original install from Lenovo when I bought the machine.

I tried what you suggested above, but the key with the .docx extension did not appear. The HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE did appear, but when I highlighted it and exported it, I put it on my desktop. When I double click it, it asks to make changes, and I clicked yes, but then it says it cannot make changes (after warning message).
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Greetings again Bob,

As I mentioned, your machine is clean and I think I have a bug with ZHP Diag. Your Win 7 is no doubt genuine. However, we do have a file association problem which sometimes happens on any system.

Here is the the fix, just follow the instructions for Windows 7.

https://ccm.net/faq/18112-file-associations-corrupted-how-to-fix

Good luck and let me know.