My computer won't open anything

Apr 29, 2013 9:21AM PDT

In short, my computer has gone full ******. About 3 days ago, I noticed that I cannot open any pictures. As time passed, I realized that pretty much only Word and a limited amount of websites will load.

OS - Win 7 x64 bit HP dv7 laptop

Symptoms- Pretty much any .exe I try to open, it shows the load wheel for a second, then nothing happens at all. No window pop up. This is seen in about almost everything. Here is to list a few:

Pictures won't open (Not with anything other than paint)
Movies won't play (AVI nor windows media player will open)
Itunes does not work
Steam does not work
Flash player does not work... I can't watch any videos. Whether with Chrome, Mozilla, or Opera
-Chrome doesn't even load. If i click it, it would open but the webpage, whatever it might be, will never load.
-Firefox works with most websites but any with flash it'll show an error
-Opera closes if I try to watch youtube

Solutions I have tried- None of these worked
Run files as Admin
Virus scan via avg, Microsoft security essential (nothing came up)
Restore to previous point (I dont have any point saved before the last 3 days.. so it's kinda pointless)
Reg. clean via ccleaner and bunch of others i have
Delete temp files
Google for possible solutions yet no one really have the same problems as me.

So I bessech you guys.. the only tech people I really know. To please help me.

My computer has been effectively limited to a netbook. If you have any questions on specs or other symptoms I'll be more than willing to answer

I really appreciate anyone who actually read this.
Thank you

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At this point
Apr 29, 2013 10:15AM PDT

At this point, I'd say you're likely looking at a complete OS reinstall. There are some things you could try, but they strike me as being unlikely to work, since more times than not this sort of thing is the result of a deep rooted malware issue that you're just never going to rid yourself of completely short of formatting.

As a couple of freebie bonus tips. Defragmenting has absolutely no diagnostic function at all. It simply makes sure all the various pieces of a given file are in one contiguous spot on the physical surface of the HDD. It doesn't even really give anything more than a placebo performance benefit either. You'd have to have a machine time the differences, because they're below the human threshold of perception.

Deleting temp files also has no diagnostic function. It might free up some disk space, since all too many programs are very sloppy about cleaning up after themselves, but short of a stale lock file or something, it's not going to make any real difference one way or the other.

Finally, registry programs are far more likely to CAUSE problems than solve them. Depending on how whimsy I'm feeling at the time, I either call them a solution in search of a problem or a scam. Usually the it's the paid ones I call scams, the free ones I give a small pass since they at least didn't try and hit you coming and going. If you look at these forums, along with plenty of others, you'll see they are absolutely LITTERED with people who had a perfectly good working computer before running a registry program, not so much after. The registry can look after itself, it doesn't need any help from us. So I would avoid those on the next go around. It's entirely possible one of those was the root of your current problem.

I do also want to quickly say that it is appreciated when people make an effort before coming here. It's fine if you try and fail, we've all been there, just so long as you give it an honest attempt.

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Apr 29, 2013 10:25AM PDT

Thank you for the response and the tips. I had no idea, I always assumed it was cleaning out the gunk left behind my programs.

As for a completely reinstall, how long would that take?

I bought this laptop a couple years ago with windows vista (Free upgrade to win 7) pre-installed. I don't have a CD... so how would I go about reinstalling?

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Check for a recovery partition
Apr 29, 2013 8:11PM PDT

If you don't have one, go to and order a recovery DVD set.

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A faster option to try
Apr 29, 2013 9:43PM PDT

First, open a command prompt with Admin privileges. [ START --> ALL PROGRAMS --> ACCESORIES --> Right click on the command prompt icon and choose the option to run as Administrator.]

At the command prompt, type: SFC /SCANNOW
This will verify all of the Microsoft files to make certain nothing is damaged/corrupted/malware.
This will take a while. When done, use the instructions at the following link to restore your file associations. This is what tells windows which program to open when you double click on a jpg or an avi, etc. You will most likely need to change a few afterwards in order to use other than standard Microsoft software. You can do that manually or simply reinstall the software.

To do this manually, Click START --> DEFAULT PROGRAMS
Choose: Associate a file type or protocol with a program. Find and select the extension you are looking for, such as jpg, and then click the button at the top labeled [Change program ...]. Windows will show a list of recommended programs as well as giving you the option to browse for an application. If your program isn't listed in the first section, select browse and then find the program you want to use. For example, for jpg's, let's say you want to use Picasa and you have installed it in the default location, navigate to C:\ --> Program Files (x86) -->Google --> Picasa3, and then select the executable file (Picasa3.exe).

Hopefully this will save you from having to do a clean install. If you have to do that, you will end up spending several hours just downloading the Microsoft updates and having to reboot a whole bunch of times on top of the initial install and then all the application installs ... of course, being certain to save all your data and settings first ...

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