Question

desktop icons not working

So I'm trying to help my dad with his laptop. He has an acer Extensa series laptop, he's running windows xp pro version 5.1: service pack 3. He was having issues the other day and did a system restore back to about 3 months ago. Now, when I try to click on an icon on his desktop I get the "open with" dialog box. Also if I go to control panel and double click an icon I get a popup that says "C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe application not found". I was hoping to solve this without having to use the restore cd as he has a lot of other software on his laptop. I thought there might be a virus or malware but cannot get any programs to run.

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Answer
Usually Its Malware Related

As such, you may need to download all of the tools below on a separate, clean computer, then copy them to a CD or flash drive, then transfer them to the problem machine. Once you've copied them to a CD or flash drive, then restart the problem machine into Safe Mode and use the tools.

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 "EXE File Association Fix", and download the .zip file to your computer desktop.. ONce there, unzip the file, then double click on the "xp_exe_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 Control Panel icons.

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

Once that's done, after downloading or transferring it to the problem machine, run the
following tool to help allow the removal programs below to run.
(courtesy of Grinler at BleepingComputer.com)There are 3 different
versions. If one of them won't run then try to run the other one. Be
patient.... as a black window should open, then close after finding all
the background programs.Vista and Win7 users need to right click and choose Run as AdminYou only need to get one of them to run, not all of them.

Rkill.exe
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.exe

Rkill.com
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.com

Rkill.scr
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.scr
_____________________

IMMEDIATELY after running the "Rkill" tool above, run/install the Malwarebytes and
SuperAntispyware installer and update files from the links below which
you've also copied to a CD or flash drive, and transfered to the problem
machine. Do NOT restart the computer after running Rkill.Once
downloaded and before transferring Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware to
the problem machine, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file
to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and
the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the
problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the
update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan
and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Installer Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)
http://www.besttechie.net/tools/mbam-setup.exe

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link
http://data.mbamupdates.com/tools/mbam-rules.exe

Next, install and run a full system scan with the SuperAntispyware program
and the manual updater from the links below. As before, you may need to
rename the installer file to get the program to install.:

SuperAntispyware
http://www.superantispyware.com/SuperAntispyware

Manual Update
rhttp://www.superantispyware.com/definitions.html
____________

In a few situations, in order for the program to run, it was also
necessary to rename the main "mbam.exe" file also after installing it..
It resides in the C:\Programs Files\Malwarebytes Antimalware folder....
_____________________

And after that, if everything's fine by you can't connect to the internet,
then follow the procedures below to check your network "proxy" settings
again.Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools-Internet
Options-Connection Tab. Click on the LAN settings button. IF there is a
check mark next to "Use a proxy server for your LAN", uncheck it. Click
OK. Then OK, again.
__________________

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Thank You

I did what you said and now everything works. Thank you so much, my dad will really be happy that he can use his laptop again.

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