Windows 7 application not found error

Hey guys. I recently had a virus-esque program on my computer called win 7 home security 2011. It was a fake anti-virus program that was telling me I had viruses in an attempt to get me to buy their fake product. Anyway, the program is now history but I am encountering more problems that may or may not be a side effect of the virus. When I try to open an application I get an error giving the file location of the application followed by the message "Application not found". I can get around this and open the application by following the file location given by the error message and opening it. It then forces me to choose which program to open it with, in which case I need to tell it to open it with itself...

This is very irritating and in many cases makes opening applications close to impossible. When I'm choosing the program to open it with, it won't allow me to check the box telling it to set the program as the default. Is there any way to solve this issue short of completely re-installing windows 7?
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  1. I WOULD REINSTALL....after a bad virus if you have these issues i would do a fresh clean install!
  2. SR-71 Blackbird said:
    I WOULD REINSTALL....after a bad virus if you have these issues i would do a fresh clean install!

    Well, okay. But I don't exactly have the time to do that any time soon. Is there any way to make it easier? My mom needs to do lots of work on it and she's fairly inept with computers.
  3. The virus damaged some critical files needs reinstall.....backup first!
  4. I agree with area51, after something serious like that, I wold re-install windows rather than download any other anti virus to scan for them and remove. Your best bet is to re-install. Tell your mother that as well.

    The files may be pretty much damaged .
  5. Wahoojie, I know you probably have already dealt with your issue, but said virus/spyware is still circulating today, as I just had to clean up after it myself. So, for all who are searching for the definitive answer to this specific problem...

    The virus does some simple registry edits. Deleting it, from what I've seen, is rather easy. dmb.exe , I believe was what it was when I found it, located in my Local AppData. Simply ending the process and deleting the files (permanently) got rid of the program. However, the issue of being unable to open exe files...that requires a bit of registry editing.

    I was on a Windows 7 machine at the time, and the changes were made to:

    The default value for that registry member should be "exefile" (no quotes). It had changed mine to 'ah', or something. Another change I noticed was under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\shell\open\command. The data for the two values in this piece of the registry should be "%1" %* (with quotes). As far as I can remember, those were the only two changes. Of course, you can always check HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile for errors too, as well as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe
  6. This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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