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HELP - cannot open .exe files

When I attempt to open MS Works word processor I get "this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel."

When I attempt to launch previously used programs such as iTunes, MS Office and MS Outlook or Outlook Express I get "Application Not Found".

When I launch IE I get a window "Open With", choose the program you want to use to open this file: iexplore.exe, with recommended program IE. If I click on IE then 2 more windows open; the one in back "File Download" says Getting information but everything else is blank. The window in front says "File Download - Security Warning" Do you want to run or save this file? file is iexplore.exe from C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer. If I chose SAVE it prompts me to overwrite the same file name; I am afraid to do this for fear it will make the problem worse. If I chose RUN then the process starts over with the "Open With" window.

I couldn't re-download iTunes but was able to download Spyware Terminator finally by chosing SAVE then running but I'm not sure how I got it to install. Nortons is up to date. I've ran both and nothing was found. Geeksquad told me it sounded like I have a virus but I cannot afford $200 at this point and would prefer to try to fix myself with help from online resources.

I'm able to get IE & OE pulled up by right clicking and selecting "Run as Adminstrator".

I don't know what changed. Please help me undo whatever was changed.

I am using a Compaq Presario SR5605F
Windows Vista
Nortons Internet Security
IE8
MS Office 2007

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Re: HELP - cannot open .exe files
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It worked!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I saved me $200 bucks in less than 5 mins!

Everything is working fine and I was able to re-download iTunes and all my apps are working!

You are an angel from heaven!

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(NT) Glad it worked and glad to help.

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