but they give you some backgroud into my pain at the end of this message....
However, the problem is much bigger than this, most of the application icons on desktop cannot access the softwares, so for instance when i click on the internet explorer icon, i receive a message saying: "this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the folder options control panel"
I have just had the same problem, but found that this sorted things out:
EXE File Association Fix for Windows XP
This download restores the default File Association for EXE files. Download the REG file here http://www.kellys-ko.../xp_exe_fix.reg and save it to your hard drive. Double click the file you just saved and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking the file and selecting Edit.
I was able to open .reg despite being ubable to run .exe's, although I have read of others not being able even to do that.
Good luck, and I hope this works - I had to register to give you this info!
paddyt -- you are a GOD!
I was just about to reinstall from the recovery cds, but thought I'd do a google on the error message. I was experiencing the same problem...couldn't start any programs from either the task bar or programs menu, and only a couple of the usual icons were appearing in the QuickLaunch area (next to the clock). Another symptom was that if I clicked on a program, the entire desktop UI would do a quick refresh...very strange.
I caught a virus that I think caused this, used Norton to fix that, but the problem remained. I downloaded the reg file paddyt pointed to, imported it, rebooted and VOILA! PRESTO! ETC... the problem was fixed.
I'm so glad I didn't have to spend the rest of the day rebuilding my system that I just don't know how to thank you enough!
I had a similar system mess from de-installing norton antivirus 2003
I have downloaded xp_exe_fix.zip
I can't run it though......
how did you run it to correct the registry??
thanks for your time and thoughts