Today I came across a problem with a client's XP workstation - it got really sick and started throwing up pop-ups LOL. Â First thing I did was to perform a system restore to a few weeks back. After reboot the OS started giving me error messages and it stopped knowing how to handle .EXE files. I was not able to run anything except in a command prompt window. I managed to install and ran Spybot S&D and found a ton of mal-ware (ZEBO among them); Spybot S&D cleaned them all up nicely and I went and reboot. After reboot the problem with running .EXE files did not go away. I went through the registry and didn't find anything else wrong so I know this must be some type of registry corruption due to the mal-ware I've just cleaned up. Â I ran a Windows XP repair and in the middle of the GUI set up it started complaining about not knowing what to do with EXE files again?!? I had to click on cancel a couple dozen times to force the installation to continue. At the end I landed back on the Windows desktop but I am still unable to run anything.
Google searches tried:
Going through about 20-30 results with no progress, until I found this page where it talks about my specific problem of .exe file association being corrupted. Jumping to another page gave me a link to download a .REG file which fixed the problem!
Learn something new every day...
Now let me go back and finish up the customer's PC... I've yet to install all the Windows Updates and IE8 upgrade... and then I can call it a night.