Windows Legacy OS forum

Question

Can't double-click desktop items in XP

by Outlaweyes / December 31, 2012 1:44 AM PST

I've had some problems with my old laptop since installing and running AVG and Spybot S&D to clean it up. For example, I can't use Internet Explorer anymore. (I download and install from Microsoft, but it still won't run.) But right now, I'm curious as to why I can no longer double-click an icon on my desktop to launch an application. This problem is true for Firefox, Word, Skype, etc. Any ideas? I've looked all over for a setting in Windows that I can change, but no luck.

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All Answers

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Answer
Here're some things to try
by wpgwpg / December 31, 2012 2:08 AM PST

It sounds like you could have a virus or other malware. Get your antivirus program up to date and boot into Safe Mode. Note that some viruses can hide themselves from your antivirus program in normal mode, so you really need to scan in Safe Mode. To get into Safe Mode when you first power up, hit F8 about once a second until you get the menu and select Safe Mode. Then run a full system scan.
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Microsoft has suggestions and offerings at
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/how-do-I-remove-a-computer-virus
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Forum moderator Keith has some suggestions along this line at
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/windows-explorer-has-stopped-working/6ab02526-5071-4dcc-895f-d90202bad8b3
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If that fixes it, fine. If not, use System Restore to go back to a date prior to the beginning of the problem. To run System Restore, click Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore. Click the box that says Show more restore points.
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You can check for corrupted system files. Open an administrator command prompt and run SFC if the above doesn't help. Click START, then type CMD in the search box, right-click CMD.EXE and click Run as administrator. Then from the command prompt type sfc /scannow.
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Finally if all else fails, you can check the rather cryptic system event log. To do so click Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer. Once in Event Viewer click on the system log and scroll through the entries looking for those flagged "error" to see if you can find hints as to where the problem could be.
`
I hope this helps. Good luck.

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System restore.
by Outlaweyes / December 31, 2012 7:11 AM PST

That was one thing I tried. In fact, I tried the two most recent restore points that predate my problems. I got error messages both times, saying my system could not be restored to that point and suggesting I try another.

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Answer
Have You Tried Fixing The Icon File Association ?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 31, 2012 3:20 AM PST

If not, please follow the instructions below:

Go to the link below and scroll down to line 12 (left column). RIGHT click on "EXE (lnk and regfile) Fix for Windows XP", choose "Save Target As " or "Save Link As", to download a reg file fix. Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it or right click it and choose "merge" and answer yes to the import prompt.

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Or...

Click on the link below, then look to the "LNK (Shortcut) File Association Fix", and download the .zip file to your computer desktop.. Once there, unzip the file, then double click on the "linkfile_fix.reg" file that is inside, choose "OK/Yes, when it asks "Are you sure?".. Restart the computer.. It should now run those problem programs and desktop icons.

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm


Hope this helps.

Grif

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Fixed the association file ...
by Outlaweyes / December 31, 2012 7:03 AM PST

... and that helped my situation. I can now start most programs by double-clicking the desktop icons. Thank you for the help.

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Have You Tried Fixing The Icon File Association ?
by steveotm / August 29, 2013 5:50 AM PDT

Thanks for saving my bacon Grif!!!!!!!! Reg file aced it.....

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Answer
Re: Internet Explorer
by mchainmchain / December 31, 2012 3:41 AM PST

For all versions of of Windows 95 and later, IE is needed for easily maintaining and installing the latest Microsoft Security software fixes and updates. If it is not running or not installed properly, you end up with a crippled system such as you are now seeing. If IE is not working, then securing and maintaining your system is much more difficult that it needs to be.

Since Win 95, the IE Microsoft browser is integrated into Windows and cannot be removed without some damage to the operating system.

Both wpgwpg and Grif offer useful and constructive advice to help repair the damage already done by malware. Shortcuts that do not work anymore is one such symptom. Damaged IE is another.

Apply either or both fixes to resolve the shortcut issue, then tackle the issue with IE. Just because you can still access the internet with other browsers does not mean you are now safe and in the clear with your malware infection.

Your version of XP is Home Edition, Professional, SP1, SP2, SP3?

Grif's malware tools here: http://forums.cnet.com/7726-6132_102-5098912.html

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rkill, Antimalware and Superantispyware did some good.
by Outlaweyes / December 31, 2012 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Internet Explorer

Thank you for the link. Almost all my problems are gone. Only one remains: I still can't run Internet Explorer 8. All the suggested fixes helped some, but for whatever reason, IE8 just won't run. I've re-installed it again after doing the file association, malware, and spyware routines. Incidentally, it is XP Home Edition.

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Tried Uninstalling, Then Reinstalling IE8 ?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 1, 2013 11:50 AM PST

Download the full "offline" IE8 installer from the link below..

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43

Once that's done, then access the Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs, look for the "Windows Internet Explorer 8" entry, then uninstall from there.. Once it's uninstalled, restart the computer and IE will revert back to the previous version.. After the restart, then double click on the downloaded IE8 offline installer to reinstall IE8.. Follow the prompts to install and restart the computer.


Hope this helps.

Grif

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I'll try your suggestion.
by Outlaweyes / January 1, 2013 1:25 PM PST

I've been reinstalling IE8 with the file your link points to. When you run that file, the first thing it says is that it's removing an old version of IE, so I've been going with that. I'll try going through the Control Panel, doing my own uninstall, restarting, and then running the install program. Maybe that'll work. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Answer
solution
by DavidChaze / September 4, 2013 4:29 AM PDT
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Do You Realize this post is 8 months old?
by itsdigger / September 4, 2013 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: solution

Get with it dude

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