sonicmolasses, Go to the link below and scroll down to line 12 (left column) and click on "EXE (lnk and regfile) Fix for Windows XP" to download a reg file fix. Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt.
If you can't access the Internet use another computer to download it onto a floppy or CD and transfer it to the problem computer. If you can't run the file do the following:
Press CTRL-ALT-DEL and open Task Manager. Once there, click File, then hold down the CTRL key and click New Task (Run). This will open a Command Prompt window. Enter REGEDIT.EXE and press Enter. Once regedit is open click File>Import and locate that reg file fix, hilite it and click Open.
I have done nothing new to my computer, but I am unable to run any programs except Microsoft Office and Explorer. When I try to open anything else, I get a one-second blip of a black box and nothing. From the startup menu, I can't even open "help and support" or the control panel.
I have a Dell Optiplex GX280 running Windows XP.