Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Problems Opening .Exe, .Com, And .Lnk File Extensions

Problems While Opening Files with .exe, .com, and .lnk Extensions: When you try to open files with .exe, .com, and .lnk file name extensions, the files will not open and the Open With dialog box is displayed. This problem usually occurs when your computer is running in Safe Mode and these extensions have default registry entries.

Cause of the Error: Problems with these extensions occur if either one or both of the following conditions holds true:
  • The registry entries of the file name extension are either corrupt or missing.
  • Your computer is infected by some type of virus.
Resolution Steps
Warning: The steps discussed below require you to work with the Windows registry. You must be very careful while editing the registry because there is no undo option in Registry Editor and any mistakes in registry edits may render your PC unbootable. This is the reason why, it is recommended that you back up the registry before you make any edits to it
  • 1. Restart you computer.
  • 2. When the computer is starting up, press F8 and then from the options displayed, scroll down and select Safe Mode.
  • 3. When your computer opens is Safe mode, open Start menu, select Run, and then type the following command in the Open box and press Enter.
command /c copy %Windir%\regedit.exe
Note: Because of the problem you will be unable to launch the Registry Editor window by running the regedit command because it has the “.exe” extension. Running this command will create a copy of the regedit.exe command with .com extension. And, you can now edit the registry by running the new file.
  • 4. After copying the regedit.exe file to, open Start menu, select Run, type regedit, and then select OK. This will open the Registry Editor window by running the file.
  • 5. In Registry Editor, search for the following registry entries, for the file name extensions that are not working and compare them with same entries on another working computer:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.< FileNameExtension >
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\< FileNameExtension >file
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.< FileNameExtension n>\<SubFolder>
For example if you are unable to open .exe files on your computer, compare the values of the following registry keys with the values of a working computer with similar configuration.
  • 6.  If the registry entries on both the computers is not same, then restore the default values on the computer that is generating the error by doing the following:
    • 1. On the right pane of the Registry Editor window, right-click on the incorrect registry value, and then select Modify.
    • 2. In the Edit StringName dialog box that is displayed, type in the correct value that is available on the working computer, and then click OK.
  • 7. If the problem is still not resolved, navigate to the following registry key, and note down the CLSID number.
Note: Double-click on the value of this key, the CLSID will be in the Value data field, comprising a log set of alphanumeric characters enclosed in braces ({}).

Next, open the following registry key and compare its value with the value of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.com\PersistantHandler key. If these values are different copy the value from the CLSID key and paste it in the Value data box of the PersistantHandler key.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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