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Can't open .EXE files in Windows Vista


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#1 korniceman3000

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:10 PM

Hi,

 

Not sure if this is the appropriate section for this post.

 

I cannot run any .exe files on my Vista 64 bit Home Edition. I was kindly advised by members in this thread to seek help here after numerous fixes were unable to fully resolve the issue further.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/613707/cant-open-exe-files-in-windows-vista/

 

I attempted to perform the microsoft fix for "Can't open .EXE files in Windows 7 or Windows Vista" and tried to follow the instructions

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2688326

 

I was able to follow the procedures up until #6: Browse to and then click on the following registry key: 

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile

 

My registry editor does not show an exefile key.

 

We also tried fixexec and it found no errors as well as http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/file-association-fixes-for-windows-vista/

but that also did not work. Later on we tried setting up new user accounts. I was able to install .exe files in the standard user account but could not in any of the administrator accounts. I was also able to install .exe files from a flash drive but not on the actual laptop hard drive in admin account.

 

Hope you won't mind advising on what I could do to correct this issue. Any help you could provide is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and best regards!



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#2 usasma

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:45 PM

Try to open a .exe file, then as soon as you can please generate these reports:

1)  Please run this report collecting tool (even though you may not be reporting BSOD's) so we can provide a complete analysis:  http://omgdebugging.com/bsod-inspector/
When done a Notepad document will open with the name of the file and it's location.
By default it'll be a .zip file located on your Desktop
Simply upload the .zip file with your next post and we'll move on from there.
If it doesn't work for you, then please try this:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/576314/blue-screen-of-death-bsod-posting-instructions-windows-10-81-8-7-vista/

2)  Please do the following:
- open Event Viewer (run eventvwr.msc from the "Run" dialog)
- expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
- right click on the "Administrative Events" heading
- select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
- save the file as Admin.evtx
- zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
- upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

FYI - If we're looking for Event ID 41 errors (unexplained shutdowns), there's more info on that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

While waiting for a reply, please monitor your temps with this free utility:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html


Also, if you haven't scanned for malware yet, please try this:

 

Could you be infected?  It's possible that malware has corrupted your current protection, so please try a couple of these, independent scans (from this link: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA15-286A ).  This is in case your current protection is compromised by malware and giving false results:

           F-Secure
           https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/online-scanner (link is external)

           McAfee
           http://www.mcafee.com/uk/downloads/free-tools/stinger.aspx (link is external)

           Microsoft
           http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx (link is external)

           Sophos
           https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/virus-removal-tool.aspx (link is external)

           Trend Micro
           http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ (link is external)

    The above are examples only and do not constitute an exhaustive list. The U.S. Government does not endorse or support any particular product or vendor.
If you do find infections, I'd suggest posting over in the Am I Infected forum to ensure that all the bad stuff has been removed:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/
Please read the pinned topics at the top of the forum for instructions on how to post there.

 

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 korniceman3000

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 02:51 PM

Hi usasma and thank you for your reply.

 

Please find the attached logs below.

 

Thank you for your help!

Attached Files



#4 usasma

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 03:01 PM

I can't open the Perfmon or the Admin files.  Could you please re-zip them up and re-upload them?

 

Only 168 Windows Update hotfixes installed.  Most systems with SP12have 300-400 or more.  Please visit Windows Update and get ALL available updates (it may take several trips to get them all).
The actual number is not important.  Rather it's important that you checked manually, installed any available updates, and didn't experience any errors when checking or updating.
 

Other than that, the errors that I see seem to point to a corruption of some of the operating system files.

I'd suggest trying to obtain a new copy of the operating system to install if I don't find anything of significance when you re-upload the perfmon and Admin log files.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 korniceman3000

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 03:31 PM

Hi usasma and thank you for the reply. I've attached the newly zipped files below. Hopefully they work.

 

Can you please tell me how I can get a complete Windows Vista update for all the service packs? I check for updates everyday using the Windows Update feature but all I keep getting are those published from 2009-2011. It's like Windows Update just downloads a few everyday, all of which are outdated.

 

Also, please be informed that I do not have a copy of Windows Vista Home 64 as that came pre-installed with the computer and no disc was provided.

 

Also, there appears to be no exe or exefile listed in regedit. Is that normal?

 

Thanks again for the help.

Have a great weekend!

Attached Files



#6 usasma

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 06:07 AM

Sorry for the delay in responding.  I was away for the weekend and internet availability was spotty - so I got a bit behind in my replies.

 

Service Packs are located here and they're free: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/service-packs-download#sptabs=vista

Updates beyond that are cumulative - that is, you need (in some cases) prior updates in order to receive later updates (which rely on the prior updates).

Yes, it's a pain, but as Microsoft no longer offers mainstream support for Vista SP2, that's how you have to update it.

And, as mainstream support stopped in 2012, all of the updates will appear older (but that doesn't mean that they're outdated).

 

Most systems (that don't come with recovery disks) will come with a program to create your own.  But, as you can't run .exe files, this may be difficult to do.  As I recall, the program on Acer computers is called eRecovery or something similar.

Contact the PC manufacturer to see if you can purchase a copy of the recovery disks from them.  That'll be the cheapest way, and it'll contain all the drivers that a fresh install needs.

 

Why are you using regedit?  Have you made any changes to the registry?

Where aren't you finding the exe/exefile entries (please be specific as to which key/keys you're referring to).

 

Try these 2 fix-it tools:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2688326

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/950505

 

The Admin logfile shows problems with files in Windows Defender.

Have you run any of the anti-malware scans I suggested?

If so, what were the results?

The search for the exe file fixes shows results that say that the problem can be caused by malware.

 

If infected, I'd suggest posting over in the Am I Infected forum:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/
Please read the pinned topics at the top of the forum for instructions on how to post there.

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 korniceman3000

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 02:14 PM

Hi usasma and thank you for the reply and the service pack links. I will start updating once I get home.

 

With regards to using regedit, it was because I was attempting to follow the Microsoft instructions from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2688326

 

where they said:

 

  1. Click the Startbutton and type regedit in the Search box
  2. Right-click Regedit.exe in the returned list and click Run as administrator
  3. Browse to the following registry key: 

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe
  4. With .exe selected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
  5. Change the Value data: to exefile
  6. Browse to and then click on the following registry key: 

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile

At this point, I was unable to continue because there was no exefile listed under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Other than this, I did not edit anything in the registry.

It is a bit odd that sometimes my Acer has a 100% CPU usage with very high percentages coming from PSANHost.exe *32, racagent.exe, dwm.exe, or taskmgr.exe. This laptop is basically brand new. Even though it was purchased sometime in 2011, it was just last week that I opened it out of the box for first time usage

As for possible malware, I ran both the trendmicro and my Panda antivirus and neither found anything unusual. Maybe I should post in the infected thread just in case because they often have programs with more antiroot kits that search deeper than the antivirus software I have.

Thank you for the help thus far! I will let you know if they find anything in the malware forum.

Best regards and have a great week!



#8 usasma

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:53 AM

Reading back over the posts, I see you've already tried at least one of the fixes.

Have you tried the other one I suggested?

Have you tried creating the registry key that the first link suggested?

 

FYI - the first one is a .exe (with the dot first).  That puts it up at the top in the sorted order.

The other one (the exefile) doesn't have a dot, and is way down in the alphabetical order just before all the Explorer entries

 

If the exefile entry still isn't there, copy the following code and paste it into a blank Notepad document.

Save the document as "exefix.reg" (without the quotes).  Once saved as a .reg, you can double click on it and it'll be merged into the registry.

Then, if the exefile entry still isn't there, then the permissions in the registry are likely damaged (if you look through the code stuff, you'll see the different entries for the exefile key).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile]
@="Application"
"EditFlags"=hex:38,07,00,00
"FriendlyTypeName"=hex(2):40,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,\
00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,\
32,00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,\
00,2c,00,2d,00,31,00,30,00,31,00,35,00,36,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon]
@="%1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"
"IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas]
"HasLUAShield"=""

I got the code from here:  http://superuser.com/questions/127791/how-do-i-fix-broken-exe-file-association-in-windows-vista

 

I don't think that you're infected, so we can keep working here until you hear from the Am I Infected experts.


Edited by usasma, 18 May 2016 - 04:54 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 korniceman3000

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 02:20 PM

Hi usasma and thank you for the reply.

 

Thanks for mentioning the dot sort order. I completely missed that. The exefile was there after all. I followed both links you posted. Unfortunately, I am still unable to run .exe files on the laptop drive. 

 

I followed https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/950505 and it added an Exe.reg to the registry but after a computer restart, I still couldn't run any .exe files

 

I followed the instructions on https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2688326

 

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile

 

I had exefile selected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…   

I changed the Value data: from application to "%1" %*

 

Did the same for KEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open

 

However, now when I right click on a .exe file, I get "%1" %* at the top of the scroll box instead of the software or exe file name.:

 

Please advise on what I can do next to correct this issue and if I should proceed with the instructions from http://superuser.com/questions/127791/how-do-i-fix-broken-exe-file-association-in-windows-vista.

Thank you for the help. It is much appreciated!

 

 

O8fWj9x.jpg



#10 DanieI

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 06:07 PM

Go to Computer then go to System Properties then go to Advanced System Settings and browse to the Advanced tab. Click "Environment Variables" and in the box on the top you should see these two variables "TEMP" and "TMP". Once you've figured out your way to reach there, following the following instruction.

 

Browse to your OS (C:) drive, and go to "Users" - then pick the user you are on. Create a new folder called "Temps". Go back to the place where you saw "TMP" and "TEMP" (Environment Variables) and select "TEMP". Press "Edit" and then write in the path of your "Temps" folder. It should look something like this: C:\Users\Daniel\Temps - Simply replace "Daniel" with the name of your user.

 

Then select the "TMP" variable, and do the same thing; press "Edit" and make the path the same path you used for the "TEMP" variable. Once you've finished handling your environment variables, try running a .EXE file. If it still doesn't work, try installing Microsoft FixIt and running that. Then reboot your PC.

 

Microsoft FixIt can be ran from here:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/mats/program_install_and_uninstall 

Simply click the blue "Run Now" button.

 

Once you've fixed your Environment Variables and ran Microsoft FixIt and then restarted your computer after those 2 processes, your .EXE files should run.

 

Hope I helped. :) This happened to me as well about 2 weeks ago, but I figured out the way to fix it.



#11 korniceman3000

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:06 PM

Hi Daniel and thank you for the reply.

 

I will try that when I get home. BTW, can you please tell me where I should put the new folder called "Temps".

 

Thank you for the help.



#12 DanieI

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 03:24 PM

Hi Daniel and thank you for the reply.

 

I will try that when I get home. BTW, can you please tell me where I should put the new folder called "Temps".

 

Thank you for the help.

No problem! Put the Temps folder in C:\Users\Username - Just replace "Username" with whatever is the name of the user on your computer. For example, my user is named "Daniel" on my computer so the path is C:\Users\Daniel but you shouldn't use Daniel, you should use the name of your PC user.



#13 korniceman3000

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 01:09 PM

Hi Daniel and thank you for the reply.

 

Unfortunately, it still does not run .exe files. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you and best regards.



#14 DanieI

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 05:26 PM

Hi Daniel and thank you for the reply.

 

Unfortunately, it still does not run .exe files. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you and best regards.

I have another suggestion. Open up the location of the file, right click on it, and click Run as Administrator - If a UAC prompt comes up, press "Yes". Make sure the directory is your Desktop - This is very important! Move the .EXE file to your Desktop, and run it as administrator. Hope I helped! Sometimes EXE files don't run in temporary directories. Whatever directory you put in your Environment Variables as "TEMP" and "TMP" will be a "temporary" directory - Make sure you try and access the file from your Desktop or Downloads folder, and not your Temp/Temps folder.



#15 korniceman3000

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 02:33 PM

Hi Daniel and thank for the reply!

 

I already had UAC turned off so I followed your instructions, moved whatever .exe files I had to the Desktop and ran as administrator and they all were able to run :D!

 

I also copied the same .exe programs into the C:\downloads folder as you suggested and they also ran properly :D!! However, when I place them into C:\Users\Username\Downloads, they do not run at all which is very strange. Either way, your suggestion definitely helped to correct this installation issue!

 

Thank you so much for the help!! I really appreciate it!! Hope you won't mind advising me on how I might be able to correct this issue as well. When I right click on a .exe file, I get "%1" %* at the top of the scroll box instead of the word Open, Run, the program name, etc. Is there a way to fix this?

 

Thank you again for taking the time to help me with this!!

Best regards and have a great weekend!

 

 

lxmByGu.jpg






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