executable file's failure to initiate itself in a proper functioning status.

Which Edition of Windows do you have? Win. XP of any kind of Edition is most likely to bring up this unfortunate problem.

Note: A PC, in time, will react to negligence of use(been put away for too long and HDD might have deteroriated to the point that there are too many bad sectors that are affecting the O.S. sectors of it). Even reformatting such HDD will not help. Happened on a single core machine of mine with Vista SP2 on it. Had very good drivers onto it before archiving the machine in a damp basement at my parents' place for over a year. Both my mother's XP machine and mine had to be sent to the electronics recycling depot because of these unrepairable system errors.

Also, Windows has this notorious need to be patched every month of every year. It is a bad kernel programming on their part but, the continuous updating and upgrading of both the users apps and device drivers do not help, either.
If it is not the registry corrupting itself over time, the sectors on the HDD going bad/corrupted, its their O.S. itself that loses its own installation image and integrity.