Here's a site that has many association fixes including the .exe one:
Good luck and think about Grif's advice at:
Weird problem with XP (SP3): Can run only browser (Firefrox) and email (Thunderbird), and then only directly from top of Start. ALL other icons/links inoperable. Links with extension .LKS, but also .PIF and even .EXE produce only this error message -- no matter what I try to open.:
"Windows cannot open this file: ([filename]. PIF or .LKS or even .EXE)
"To open this file, Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs on your computer.
"What so you want to do?"
The choices offered are 1) Use the web, or 2) Select from a list ... with OK and Cancel buttons.
I've gone to to the file association "File Types" tab in the Control Panel's "Folder Options", but these all look perfectly reasonable. ... And how could an .EXE file, for example, be something Windows can't handle?
Can you help? This is a desperate situation for me. I can get a little work done working in and through my browse and email aps, but that leaves lots of work I need to get done ... and my computer won't touch them!