No executable files open or run.

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by AUoptimo, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I'm a new forum user and appreciate any responses to help me with my problem. Here we go... My pc won't open any executable applications or programs. Windows explorer works fine and I can navigate the hard drive... but I can't run any programs, not even in safe mode.

    --I returned home from work yesterday when my wife told me of the problem. She said the computer auto-rebooted after downloading an update and nothing would open afterward.

    --After several hours reading other posts and trying various fixes, nothing seems to work. Here is a list of major fixes that I've tried: (1) system restore to earliest time (from safe mode), (2) merge regfix for .exe file association, (3) reboot sequence using msconfig that deselects processes to isolate problem

    Anyone have an idea whats going on? How to fix it, preferably free?
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    268
    Do you get any response or error message when you try to execute or does it just not do anything?
     
  3. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    -I don't receive any type of error message, regardless of what I attempt to open/run.

    -I monitor "Processes" in the Task Manager and the program appears for a moment but fails to open completely. This happens for every application or program that I try to open.

    -During an early reboot attempt, a message was generated that Windows removed malicious software and that I should run an anti-virus program to clean up (paraphrased), which of course I can't do because nothing will run (even in safe mode or from a jump drive).
     
  4. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    268
    I assume the regfix you refer to was the exefix.reg?
     
  5. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,051
    Likes Received:
    302
    Hi

    First run Malwarebytes and make sure this isn't a malware problem.
    Sometimes your anti-virus isn't enough to catch these things.

    We had another user with the same issue recently, if you can find those posts, I don't remember how it was resolved.

    Have you run SFC/scannow from the prompt?

    Give that a try.

    As a last result you can a repair install of Windows 7 if you have a DVD.
    If you have service pack one installed you will have to remove it first and re-install it later.

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

    Repair Install - Windows 7 Forums

    How to uninstall Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

    Mike
     
  6. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I merged exefix.reg and it had no effect.
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3,575
    Likes Received:
    146
    > Update History & remove the Update that went in prior to the problem & reboot.
     
  8. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can run any programs, so any malware program is not an option. Scannow from the prompt does not find any problems with the registry. I don't have the cds to do a repair install because my version of Windows 7 came with the computer when purchased.I'm hoping to find a solution that doesn't require a clean install.... but I'm losing hope at this point.
     
  9. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've uninstalled all the updates, but a couple can't be removed. The system fails to completely remove those updates during the reboot process.
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    Microsoft as a bootable virus scanner called System Sweeper. You will have to download, burn and boot to the CD.

    Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta | Microsoft Connect make sure you get the correct bit version.

    In some cases, changing the name of an application will allow it to run. Especially if you were to have a virus that is looking for certain names.

    Can you open an Administrative command prompt (Winkey and type cmd then CTRL+Shift+Enter) and type the following command.

    assoc

    If you check the .exe entry, it should say .exe=exefile and if it does not, what does it say.

    If you want to put it back to its default setting, type the following

    assoc .exe=exefile
     
  11. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, I will try this when I return home this weekend... I am out of town working this week... I'll let you know if this works.
     
  12. AUoptimo

    AUoptimo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry its been a couple of busy work weeks and I couldn't update the post.

    I was able to run a full scan using Windows Defender via a bootable startup disc. The scan was unable to detect any improper files or malicious software on the computer.

    I'm beginning to think the software was removed my anti-virus program but the processor has been damaged???
     
  13. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,051
    Likes Received:
    302
    Hi

    You can download the Windows 7 installation disk legally.

    Download Windows 7 ISO

    Make sure you download the version that you have.

    You will need to download ImageBurn to burn the ISO file to the DVD to make a bootable install disk.

    The Official ImgBurn Website

    If you have service pack 1 installed you need to remove it first (kind of a pain, this was a lot easier before SP1).

    How to uninstall Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

    Then follow these instructions...

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

    It's not likely that you have physical damage but some kind of bad Malware.

    When you get everything up and running again make a backup of the C:\ drive.

    Mike
     
    #13 MikeHawthorne, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  14. Scotty369

    Scotty369 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    This smacks of a registry problem with missing keys. However, strange if you restored to an earlier time than the download that it didn't solve the problem. I recommend going to Sysinternal's website and download their Suite of products, and unzip them into a directory of your choosing. I would focus on using Autoruns, Process Explorer, and particularly Process Monitor. These progrms do NOT install using Msie, they just exist so should be able to run fine by clicking on them. Process Mon will show what processes are returning errors and you can set filters to narrow down the results as you get 1000's of entries very quickly.
     
  15. Scotty369

    Scotty369 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sounds like a registry problem. Strange that a restore to a previous point didn't resolve it but I've had similar problems with restores right after I thought I did a boo-boo, and performed immediate restores yet the restore state was different, and some damage remained.

    I'd recommend visiting Sysinternals website and download their suite of programs and unzip it in a directory of your choice. These programs don't require an install process and just run when clicked on. I'd use Autoruns, Process Explorer, and particularly Process Monitor to see what is going on. They show what programs auto start when you boot for Autoruns. Proc Explorer is a better replacement for task manager and shows what is loaded from which company so you can take steps to shut down unnecessary processes using msconfig. Proc. Monitor shows all process running and whether they succeed or fail. It can be filtered to capture just what you want as it produces 1000/s of entries very quickly. Awesome tool to find what's misfiring.

    PS - sorry for 2nd response. I replied earlier from my iPad but didn't see my message, which just popped up after I typed this. Double your pleasure, double your fun!
     
    #15 Scotty369, May 6, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012

Share This Page

Loading...