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Can't run any .exe files

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Hi there,

NeonFx tried to help me in another forum but directed me here as i seem to have a really bad problem.
I have Windows XP with SP3.

I was running my usual clean up programs - ADsGone, Avast and Spybot.
I also ran, in error, a Canon provided exe driver update file that was used for SP2.
i don't know if this caused this problem.

My problem is, I keep getting the error message:

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

I'm getting this whenever i try any exe file OR anything in the control panel.

Even start > run won't work.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I looked at the Cleaning Guide but i couldn't even execute the first step.

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