Stupid VISTA Question

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Jeff Strickland, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Not because I'm stupid as much as Vista is the most moronic operating system

    I might be stupid, but that does not make Vista any better.

    I am trying to get my brother in law's machine going, his daughter has
    managed to screw up what happens when you Double Click an EXE file. For the
    life of me, I cannot figure out what she did.

    Double Click an EXE, and the machine responds with a dialog box, what do you
    want to use to open this file? It's as if Vista wants a File Association to
    handle the EXE.


    If I Right Click the EXE, and select START from the available options, then
    the EXE runs and performs the task that is assigned to it.

    What happened to the "file association" (for lack of a better word) for the
    handling of an EXE when double clicked?

    I get to the desired EXE through the Windows Explorer, but I had to do a
    search for the file location to find *explore*.exe, and then right click the
    results of the search. I cannot invoke any (well, Windows Explorer or
    Internet Explorer) EXE from the icon. (I'm still searching how far this
    issues goes, clicking an icon results in various degrees of failed actions,
    which got me to searching the folder structure for the basic files to run a

    The HDD had a virus from some stupid game that kid tried to install.
    Microsoft Security Essentials found it. I had to remove the HDD and connect
    it via a USB converter to another machine, then run MSE on it. I was getting
    errors with RUN32.DLL and another Main File -- KERNEL32, maybe. Errors that
    are significant, and that arise from virual enhancements that come from
    Internet Games, were happening. MSE seems to have helped fix these problems,
    and I'm left with problems running EXEs.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 4, 2011
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  2. Jeff Strickland

    GTS-NJ Guest

    When you run an .exe file on a Windows Vista-based or Windows 7-based
    computer, the file may start a different program
    GTS-NJ, Dec 4, 2011
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  3. Thankks for that, but no joy.

    My problem is not what the link addresses, but I gave it a whirl anyway. I
    do not recall the precise error messages, but my symptom set is that if I
    click an icon that is an actual EXE, there is a dialog that asks what to
    open the file with, and gives the list of the various files that I can use
    to associate with -- for example, you click a JPG, but the machine does not
    know what to handle it with, so you have to repair the association --
    normally the associations would only include programs that can actually
    handle a JPG. An EXE by definition is not opened by association. I also get
    an error that says the EXE is not in the location specified by the icon, but
    I can navigate to the location with Windows Explorer to find the EXE, then I
    can Right Click and choose "start" (not "Start") which is an odd convention.

    If I go to Programs>Office, and click <any of the Office products>, the
    program does not start. The message is that the respective EXE is not where
    it is supposed to be. But I can Right Click from within the folder and the
    program runs. I can also click the icon on the desktop for an Office File,
    and the program starts as expected. Well, it starts as it should not as
    expected, given the other symptoms.

    I cannot install an update directly from the provider, but I can download
    the update to the Desktop, then right-click and choose start, the update
    will unpack itself and then fail when it goes to invoke the EXE file that is
    contained inside. Since the update does not tell me where it is unpacking
    itself to, I cannot find the EXE to right-click so that I can check to see
    if it works, but given the other instances of EXEs that do work when I find
    them and right-click, these should go okay.

    My machine fails on the Microsoft Update for Vista Service Pack 1. I don't
    know why my brother in law has not updated to SP1, but that is another
    matter. The fact that I cannot invokke the update now is troubling.

    So, when I try to start a program from the EXE, I get either a dialog that
    asks which program I want to use to open it, or I get a message that the
    file is not in the location it should be in. I can use Windows Explorer to
    navigate to the location and the file is there, and I right-click and choose
    start, and the program runs.

    I can click a file icon -- New Word Document, for example -- on the desktop,
    and the program is invoked properly.

    I cannot select the Run option from a Website to load a new application or
    update from the 'net. I must choose the Save option to download, then I can
    right-click and choose start. The update/application unpacks itself, then
    fails at the point where the Unpacker moves to invoke the EXE that it just

    Stupid Vista...
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 5, 2011
  4. Jeff Strickland

    GTS-NJ Guest

    See the Fixit myself part of the page. As it explains, save the following
    lines to a text file saved as myfix.reg Watch out for unintended work
    Create the file on another computer if necessary. Then double click the reg
    file and confirm to make the change to the registry.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




    GTS-NJ, Dec 5, 2011

  5. I'm not understanding, I guess. My problem isn't that the wrong association
    exists. An EXE should not be associated with anything, stuff is associated
    with it.

    I have an error where the icon-click reports that the EXE isn't there, but
    it is. And when an EXE is clicked, it asks what to use to open it. These are
    not the issues that the Fixit Myself page addresses.

    I don't want to use ANYTHING to open the EXE, I want the EXE to open itself.

    I also have an error when doing stuff like setting the Desktop Properties. I
    could not set the resolution because the link to do that said that
    control.exe was not where it was supposed to be, but when I right-click
    control.exe in the place where the error said it isn't, I just get the
    control panel all over again. I found that I really wanted igfxcfg.exe
    (graphix configuration) to make the settings, and right-click and choose
    start on that file let me set the resolution to where I wanted it.

    It does not matter what EXE I want to use, I have to physically track it
    down and right-click and choose start to get it to work. To check the
    Registry where you said to look, I have to find regedit.exe and then
    right-click. It does not start when I type regedit into the Run box.

    I think that what I really need is a Vista CD so I can reload and start
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 5, 2011
  6. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    You should verify the registry keys "GTS-NJ" suggests.

    I found mention of another one, "UserChoice", which would be located
    in the same area. You would not want a UserChoice entry for an .exe,
    as near as I can tell. That implies a user manually intervened, to
    change how .exe files are opened.

    At this point, you want to verify that your registry entries, are
    the same as everybody else. If they're different, that could
    account for the issue.

    Perhaps changing the association, has also affected the thing
    that "searches" in the Run box. While the OS will use a $PATH
    type variable, to look for things, the search conducted might
    also be dependent on the behavior of the file explorer. Which
    is why you'd check the registry, just to be sure.

    Paul, Dec 5, 2011
  7. I see four keys (?) here, but they all look the same except that the first
    one has a - as the first character and the last two have "OpenWith" rules.
    The last one is the only one with a value for the OpenWith rule. On my
    machine, this value is "0 0 0 0" and I can not edit it to be "hex=0.

    I have no keys that have a - as the first character.


    For these two keys, the Name field is DEFAULT, the Default field value is
    REG_SZ, and the Data field value is, VALUE NOT SET


    For this key, the Name field is EXEFILE, the Default field value is
    REG_NONE, and the Data field value is ZERO LENGTH BINARY VALUE, and I cannot
    edit the Data field for this key. I can Right Click the key, and Modify is
    an option, but when I select Modify, the edit box opens, but I cannot make
    any changes to the value of the data.

    When I click Start>Run, and input the name of any EXE, I get a dialog box
    that gives the full filepath of the file, and the name of the file, and the
    message, "Application not found." If I doulble-click any EXE file, I get a
    dialog box with the message, "Choose the file you want to use to open this
    file." The filename is shown as <filename>.exe, but none of the choices are
    valid selections for the file that does not open.

    I have found that I can right-click any EXE and select Run as Administrator,
    or I can select "start" (I have never seen "start" as a choice here before,
    but maybe it is a Vista convention that I'm just not familiar with) and the
    file will run normally. There is a difference in Run as Administrator and
    "start", that difference is that Run as Admin., invokes a User Access
    Control dialog box that warns me that something wants to control my system;
    "start" bypasses the UAC and the program just starts without the warning.

    Notice on the Right Click Menu that all options that come up follow normal
    and customary capitalization rules. On my machine, the rules apply to all
    options _except_ the "start" option. Start is a selection I have not seen
    before, and it is not capitalized as it should be.

    I have already run the Fixit Myself utility. The only thing that happened is
    that the Open With dialog is populated with more choices, but none of them
    are the correct choice for an EXE file.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 5, 2011

  8. I'm not sure I understand what you said... In fact, I'm pretty sure I do not

    I don't know what the UserChoice entry should be for any file, and it makes
    no sense to me that an EXE would not just start because it is executable and
    does not rely on being associated with anything. I understand the idea that
    files would want to be associated with one EXE or another -- you cannot edit
    a picture with a text editor, so one would want the correct association to

    I can click START>RUN and input the filename of any EXE, and I get an error
    "FullPathname and Filename" does not exist." Yet, I can navigate to that
    specific filepath and locate the file. The file is exactly where the error
    says that it si not. And it opens with Run as Administrator (with a UAC
    intervention) or with Start (without the UAC intervention).

    My problem is with ANY executable.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 5, 2011
  9. Jeff Strickland

    GTS-NJ Guest

    The '-' is used to remove a key in a .reg file.
    You're making this crazy complicated. If you simply create and run the reg
    file as advised it will fix the problem. At least it has every time I've
    used it in a service call to address symptoms identical to yours.
    GTS-NJ, Dec 7, 2011
  10. That's the complicated part, it did not fix the problem. If it fixed the
    problem, a hearty thank you would ensue. Fixit Myself reports errors, but
    the errors cannot be cleaned because Access is denied.

    I have no intention to make it complicated, I am frustrated at trying to
    explain the symptom set. Fixit Myself does not begin to address my symptoms.
    It finds errors, but the errors do not clean out, and the remedy that is
    supposed to happen does not address the problem that I have.

    You said that I need to create and run a file, I don't understand what that
    means. Sorry. How do I create and run?

    I cannot run a self-extracting compressed file because when the files are
    extracted, the embedded EXE cannot run because of whatever I have wrong with
    the machine.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 7, 2011
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