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Programs won't load --File type changed to LNK


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#1
KathiJ

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I turned on my Dell Inspiron 6000 two days ago and saw that most of the icons on my desktop that represented programs were the generic icon, and the programs were not loaded-- the file extension was changed to "lnk". A windows error dialog box pops up and say Windows cannot open "....lnk" and then asks me how I want to open the file, either by going to the internet or from a pull down menu of loaded programs. (see attachment) But nothing works and I cannot open my programs (such as Power DVD, etc--I cannot even access the Dell System tools to wipe the hard drive). All I can do is access the internet via Explorer and get my Thunderbird email. I can also access my saved documents and photos, etc.

It's just the programs I can't open. It's so weird. This laptop has been nothing but trouble six months after I bought it. Once I started downloading updates for Norton and Windows it was the BSOD constantly. I did a System Restore, then a PC Restore and still had problems. I've run virus programs, spyware programs, etc. and cannot detect any viruses or other problems.

I tried booting into Safe Mode and got the same thing, generic icons and the file types changed to lnk -- I couldn't open anything other than My Computer, Explorer, My Documents, Thunderbird Email, and the Recycle Bin. WHAT GIVES???

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#2
wannabe1

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Hi KathiJ...

From Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del), click "File" and choose "New Task". Type cmd in the run box and press "Enter". Does this bring up the command window? If no, try cmd.exe and press "Enter"...how about now.

If the second command does bring up the window. We'll need to try to get to the Registry Editor using Windows Explorer...From Task Manager/New Task, type explorer.exe and press "Enter". Does Windows Explorer open?

If yes, in the left pane, navigate to C:\WINDOWS\system32 (click on System32), locate and double click on the regedt32.exe icon. This should open the Registry Editor.

If the Registry Editor opens, in the left pane, expand (click +) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, then Windows NT, then CurrentVersion, and click on Winlogon.

In the right pane, scroll down to Shell. If the value (under the Data column) is not Explorer.exe, double click on Shell, type Explorer.exe in the Value Data field, and click "Ok".

Close all open windows and reboot.

Do your programs now open?

wannabe1
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#3
KathiJ

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Wannabe1: I went through the steps suggested and the Value under the Data Column did say Explorer.exe already -- it appears to be as it should be, but as you can see by the new attachment, the problem is still there when I reboot.

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#4
wannabe1

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Download the attached file and extract it to you desktop. Double click on the file to run it and accept the change. This will repair the shortcut file association.

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#5
KathiJ

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THIS WORKED! Thank you SO much!! I am a new user to your site and have to say I'm very impressed -- I really respect what you do, not to mention, grateful! KJ :>)
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#6
wannabe1

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Glad to help! :whistling:
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