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Problems opening .exe files


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#1 gotthatbsod

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:24 PM

Hello all,

As of last night I've been having problems opening .exe files. For example, trying to open Opera Internet Browser leads to a window asking which program I want to use to open the file. This seems to be the case for most .exe files, though some I cannot open at all, such as Microsoft Word (I figured out that if I open an existing Word document on my harddrive the program will open, but I get the error message "application not found" when trying to open it from the Start menu). Trying to open mbam gives me message "...is not a valid Win32 application."

Here's what I've done so far: last night, when the problem first arose, I ran a full scan with Symantec Antivirus, which did not find anything. After browsing these forums earlier today, I found a thread in which someone posted what seemed to be my same problem. One of the moderators (or experts, or whoever) advised this person to save this to their desktop and run it to fix the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\"%*"

I did this and it seemed to fix my problems. I could open .exe files and was not being prompted to select a program to open them with. However, a few hours later now, I'm having the same problems I did earlier today and last night. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Eric

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#2 boopme

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:45 PM

Hello what is your operating system?

Can you run an MbAM scan?

Next run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (v1.44) and save it to your desktop.alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
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#3 gotthatbsod

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:49 PM

My OS is Windows XP; sorry I forgot to include that earlier.

I cannot run MbAM, unfortunately.

#4 boopme

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:59 PM

Ok, do this and try MBAM again. I may be off soon but will look back.

Go here to Doug KNox's Windows® XP File Association Fixes
Run 9th down on left... EXE File Association Fix ... the EXE not EML one.


First you MUST BACK UP the registry. This step involves making changes in the registry. Always back up your registry before making any changes.

Go to Start » Run and type: regedit
Click OK.
On the left side, click to highlight My Computer at the top.
Go up to File » Export
Make sure in that window there is a tick next to "All" under Export Branch.
Leave the "Save As Type" as "Registration Files".
Under "Filename" put RegBackup.
Choose to save it to C:\
Click save and then go to File » Exit.

Or you can download and use ERUNT which is an excellent free tool that allows you to to take a snapshot (backup) of your registry before making changes and restore it when needed.
How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#5 gotthatbsod

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:25 AM

Ok, I ran the EXE File Association Fix and subsequently ran MbAM, which found 3 things to be removed from the registry.

I have the log saved if you need to look at it. I'll likely be going to sleep soon but will check back tomorrow.

#6 boopme

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:24 AM

Yes please post logs.
•The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
•Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.



Next run ATF and SAS: If you cannot access Safe Mode,run in normal ,but let me know.

Note: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp" ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

From your regular user account..
Download Attribune's ATF Cleaner and then SUPERAntiSpyware , Free Home Version. Save both to desktop ..
DO NOT run yet.
Open SUPER from icon and install and Update it
Under Scanner Options make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
Close browsers before scanning.
Scan for tracking cookies.
Terminate memory threats before quarantining
.
Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen and exit the program. DO NOT run yet.

Now reboot into Safe Mode: How to enter safe mode(XP)
Using the F8 Method
Restart your computer.
When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.
Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode
.

Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
Under Main "Select Files to Delete" choose: Select All.
Click the Empty Selected button.

If you use Firefox or Opera browser click that browser at the top and choose: Select All
Click the Empty Selected button.
If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program
.

NOW Scan with SUPER
Open from the desktop icon or the program Files list
On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
Perform a Complete scan. After scan,Verify they are all checked.
Click OK on the summary screen to quarantine all found items.
If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes" and reboot normally.

To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log.
A text file will open in your default text editor.
Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
Click Close to exit the program.


Please ask any needed questions,post logs and Let us know how the PC is running now.
How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook




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