LNK extension makes exe files inoperable

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

Suddenly all my exe files don't work. All shortcuts have a .lnk extension. I can get the programs to work eventually by renaming
them then opening them with "Open With" and "Other" and manually choosing the same program to open them, but there are often errors
occurring later so its not a valid solution. But many things have been lost. There was a little registry fix that I downloaded
called "linkfile_fix.reg" but it says its not a valid Win32 program. This is an excellent description of the problem here.
http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?t=45763)
I've tried doing a repair with the Windows CD (all 3 of them) to no avail.
Short of a total reinstall, can anyone think of a solution?
12 answers Last reply
More about extension makes files inoperable
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    > Suddenly all my exe files don't work. All shortcuts have a .lnk extension. I can get the programs to work eventually by renaming
    them then opening them with "Open With" and "Other" and manually choosing the same program to open them, but there are often errors
    occurring later so its not a valid solution. But many things have been lost. There was a little registry fix that I downloaded
    called "linkfile_fix.reg" but it says its not a valid Win32 program. This is an excellent description of the problem here.
    http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?t=45763)
    > I've tried doing a repair with the Windows CD (all 3 of them) to no avail.

    I meant all 3 of the repair options that Win2000 offers with the installation CD, not 3 CD's.
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    "Harold W." <reply_to_newsgroup.thanks> wrote in
    news:u2XZSSJXFHA.160@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl:

    > Suddenly all my exe files don't work. All shortcuts have a .lnk
    > extension. I can get the programs to work eventually by renaming them
    > then opening them with "Open With" and "Other" and manually choosing
    > the same program to open them, but there are often errors occurring
    > later so its not a valid solution. But many things have been lost.
    > There was a little registry fix that I downloaded called
    > "linkfile_fix.reg" but it says its not a valid Win32 program. This is
    > an excellent description of the problem here.
    > http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?t=45763) I've tried
    > doing a repair with the Windows CD (all 3 of them) to no avail. Short
    > of a total reinstall, can anyone think of a solution?

    I'm hoping to hear from someone on this as well. I have a customer which
    had this happen to him. I was able to fix the .exe issue by renaming
    regedit.exe to regedit.com in order to access the registry. But I still
    cannot fix the .lnk issue. No shortcuts work nor do newly created ones. I
    have tried all of the regitry edits coming from multiple sites as well as
    Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried restarting after each change as well as
    completely shutting down. Nothing...

    I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because of
    this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any issue but
    this one is starting to take too long to find the resolution.

    Can anyone else help with this?

    Thanks
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    >> Suddenly all my exe files don't work. All shortcuts have a .lnk
    >> extension. I can get the programs to work eventually by renaming
    >> them then opening them with "Open With" and "Other" and manually
    >> choosing the same program to open them, but there are often errors
    >> occurring later so its not a valid solution. But many things have
    >> been lost. There was a little registry fix that I downloaded called
    >> "linkfile_fix.reg" but it says its not a valid Win32 program. This
    >> is an excellent description of the problem here.
    >> http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?t=45763) I've tried
    >> doing a repair with the Windows CD (all 3 of them) to no avail. Short
    >> of a total reinstall, can anyone think of a solution?
    >
    > I'm hoping to hear from someone on this as well. I have a customer
    > which had this happen to him. I was able to fix the .exe issue by
    > renaming regedit.exe to regedit.com in order to access the registry.
    > But I still cannot fix the .lnk issue. No shortcuts work nor do newly
    > created ones.

    Temporary workaround: rename .exe file to anything else. Right click, Open With, Other, (make sure
    All Files and not just Programs are displayed at the bottom of the dialoge box), find your renamed
    file, rename it .exe then open it. It should work. Its a lot of work but if you have to get it
    open, that works for me.

    > I have tried all of the regitry edits coming from
    > multiple sites as well as Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried
    > restarting after each change as well as completely shutting down.
    > Nothing...

    There is a registry fix: linkfile_fix.reg

    > I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because of
    > this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any
    > issue but this one is starting to take too long to find the
    > resolution.

    http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/132017.html
    When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use to open it. Go to select from
    list, then browse and find C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click
    xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to the registry. Click yes and
    reboot your computer. You should notice that by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of
    the folders, all of the programs appear normal again and will function correctly.

    If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking
    it, then reboot again. make sure everything seems back to normal and your all done!

    the specific locations for the files:

    http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip

    http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    "Harold W." <reply_to_newsgroup.thanks> wrote in
    news:e13kWBWXFHA.2128@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl:

    > Temporary workaround: rename .exe file to anything else. Right
    > click, Open With, Other, (make sure All Files and not just Programs
    > are displayed at the bottom of the dialoge box), find your renamed
    > file, rename it .exe then open it. It should work. Its a lot of work
    > but if you have to get it open, that works for me.

    I fixed the .exe problem as soon as I started working on this client's
    PC. I don't have that issue anymore. Just the .lnk.

    >
    >> I have tried all of the regitry edits coming from
    >> multiple sites as well as Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried
    >> restarting after each change as well as completely shutting down.
    >> Nothing...
    >
    > There is a registry fix: linkfile_fix.reg

    I tried all of those files including the ones you noted below on that
    other site. I also tried the solution noted by Microsoft and JSI. Still
    no go...any other thoughts? Time is almost up for this problem as I'll
    jsut reload it. As I said, it's a customer's workstation so I can't sit
    in front of it for days on end....I just have to fix it one way or
    another as fast as possible.

    >
    >> I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because
    >> of this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any
    >> issue but this one is starting to take too long to find the
    >> resolution.
    >
    > http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/132017.html
    > When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use
    > to open it. Go to select from list, then browse and find
    > C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click
    > xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to
    > the registry. Click yes and reboot your computer. You should notice
    > that by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of the
    > folders, all of the programs appear normal again and will function
    > correctly.
    >
    > If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the
    > linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking it, then reboot again. make sure
    > everything seems back to normal and your all done!
    >
    > the specific locations for the files:
    >
    > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
    >
    > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    Harold W. wrote:

    > Temporary workaround: rename .exe file to anything else. Right click,
    > Open With, Other, (make sure All Files and not just Programs are
    > displayed at the bottom of the dialoge box), find your renamed file,
    > rename it .exe then open it. It should work. Its a lot of work but if
    > you have to get it open, that works for me.
    >
    >> I have tried all of the regitry edits coming from
    >> multiple sites as well as Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried
    >> restarting after each change as well as completely shutting down.
    >> Nothing...
    >
    > There is a registry fix: linkfile_fix.reg
    >
    >> I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because of
    >> this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any
    >> issue but this one is starting to take too long to find the
    >> resolution.
    >
    > http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/132017.html
    > When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use
    > to open it. Go to select from list, then browse and find
    > C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click
    > xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to
    > the registry. Click yes and reboot your computer. You should notice that
    > by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of the folders, all
    > of the programs appear normal again and will function correctly.
    >
    > If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the
    > linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking it, then reboot again. make sure
    > everything seems back to normal and your all done!
    >
    > the specific locations for the files:
    >
    > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
    >
    > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
    >

    Update on this issue...

    I fixed it by finding this registry entry and noting it was different than
    others. I have no clue why this entry was the way it was but you can see
    below that it is associating .lnk with win.com although ALL other entries
    were correct. Including all of the .reg files noted from others. I
    completely deleted the "Application"="win.com" entry as most other
    extensions were listed with nothing there.

    Anyway, I wanted to post this in case someone else has the same issue. It
    can at least go into the google archives.


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    \FileExts\.lnk]
    "Application"="win.com"

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    \FileExts\.lnk\OpenWithList]
    "a"="Navw32.exe"
    "MRUList"="fdeabc"
    "b"="mspaint.exe"
    "c"="NOTEPAD.EXE"
    "d"="CMD.EXE"
    "e"="command.com"
    "f"="win.com"


    --
    -=SW=-
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    It didn't work for me either.

    > > Temporary workaround: rename .exe file to anything else. Right
    > > click, Open With, Other, (make sure All Files and not just Programs
    > > are displayed at the bottom of the dialoge box), find your renamed
    > > file, rename it .exe then open it. It should work. Its a lot of work
    > > but if you have to get it open, that works for me.
    >
    > I fixed the .exe problem as soon as I started working on this client's
    > PC. I don't have that issue anymore. Just the .lnk.
    >
    > >
    > >> I have tried all of the regitry edits coming from
    > >> multiple sites as well as Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried
    > >> restarting after each change as well as completely shutting down.
    > >> Nothing...
    > >
    > > There is a registry fix: linkfile_fix.reg
    >
    > I tried all of those files including the ones you noted below on that
    > other site. I also tried the solution noted by Microsoft and JSI. Still
    > no go...any other thoughts? Time is almost up for this problem as I'll
    > jsut reload it. As I said, it's a customer's workstation so I can't sit
    > in front of it for days on end....I just have to fix it one way or
    > another as fast as possible.
    >
    > >
    > >> I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because
    > >> of this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any
    > >> issue but this one is starting to take too long to find the
    > >> resolution.
    > >
    > > http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/132017.html
    > > When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use
    > > to open it. Go to select from list, then browse and find
    > > C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click
    > > xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to
    > > the registry. Click yes and reboot your computer. You should notice
    > > that by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of the
    > > folders, all of the programs appear normal again and will function
    > > correctly.
    > >
    > > If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the
    > > linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking it, then reboot again. make sure
    > > everything seems back to normal and your all done!
    > >
    > > the specific locations for the files:
    > >
    > > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
    > >
    > > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
    > >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    > > Temporary workaround: rename .exe file to anything else. Right click,
    > > Open With, Other, (make sure All Files and not just Programs are
    > > displayed at the bottom of the dialoge box), find your renamed file,
    > > rename it .exe then open it. It should work. Its a lot of work but if
    > > you have to get it open, that works for me.
    > >
    > >> I have tried all of the regitry edits coming from
    > >> multiple sites as well as Microsoft's and JSI's. I've tried
    > >> restarting after each change as well as completely shutting down.
    > >> Nothing...
    > >
    > > There is a registry fix: linkfile_fix.reg
    > >
    > >> I'm afraid I will be reloading his workstation this weekend because of
    > >> this. I was putting it off because there is usually a fix for any
    > >> issue but this one is starting to take too long to find the
    > >> resolution.
    > >
    > > http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/132017.html
    > > When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use
    > > to open it. Go to select from list, then browse and find
    > > C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click
    > > xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to
    > > the registry. Click yes and reboot your computer. You should notice that
    > > by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of the folders, all
    > > of the programs appear normal again and will function correctly.
    > >
    > > If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the
    > > linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking it, then reboot again. make sure
    > > everything seems back to normal and your all done!
    > >
    > > the specific locations for the files:
    > >
    > > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip
    > >
    > > http://www.doughknox.com/xp/fileassoc/linkfile_fix.zip
    > >
    >
    > Update on this issue...
    >
    > I fixed it by finding this registry entry and noting it was different than
    > others. I have no clue why this entry was the way it was but you can see
    > below that it is associating .lnk with win.com although ALL other entries
    > were correct. Including all of the .reg files noted from others. I
    > completely deleted the "Application"="win.com" entry as most other
    > extensions were listed with nothing there.
    >
    > Anyway, I wanted to post this in case someone else has the same issue. It
    > can at least go into the google archives.
    >
    >
    > Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    >
    > [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    > \FileExts\.lnk]
    > "Application"="win.com"
    >
    > [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    > \FileExts\.lnk\OpenWithList]
    > "a"="Navw32.exe"
    > "MRUList"="fdeabc"
    > "b"="mspaint.exe"
    > "c"="NOTEPAD.EXE"
    > "d"="CMD.EXE"
    > "e"="command.com"
    > "f"="win.com"

    I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification. This is what I have in it.

    ..lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank
    now. Do I put in the quotation marks?

    OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    MRUList:REG_SZ:ba

    I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    Harold W. wrote:

    > I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification. This
    > is what I have in it.
    >
    > .lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have
    > "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank now. Do I put in the
    > quotation marks?
    >
    > OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    > b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    > MRUList:REG_SZ:ba
    >
    > I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.

    Honestly I just looked at three other Windows 2000/XP machines and none of
    them even have the .lnk registry entry in

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    \FileExts\

    I would actually try deleting that whole .lnk section of the registry and
    see if that works. If you do not want to delete this whole link, which I
    would definitely try at this point, you would at least have (Default)
    REG_SZ (value not set) as the ONLY thing in the right pane when clicking
    on the .lnk registry folder in the above noted location.

    Also make sure you turn the PC completely off after making your changes.
    Although I still don't know if I beleive it's different than just
    restarting...It's not worth fumbling around with the thought.

    --
    -=SW=-
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    SWalters <swalters24NOSPAM@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > Harold W. wrote:

    >> I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification. This
    >> is what I have in it.
    >>
    >> .lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have
    >> "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank now. Do I put in the
    >> quotation marks?
    >>
    >> OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    >> b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    >> MRUList:REG_SZ:ba
    >>
    >> I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.

    > Honestly I just looked at three other Windows 2000/XP machines and none of
    > them even have the .lnk registry entry in

    > [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    > \FileExts\

    > I would actually try deleting that whole .lnk section of the registry and
    > see if that works. If you do not want to delete this whole link, which I
    > would definitely try at this point, you would at least have (Default)
    > REG_SZ (value not set) as the ONLY thing in the right pane when clicking
    > on the .lnk registry folder in the above noted location.

    Agreed. My system does have the .lnk key with value "(Default) REG_SZ
    (value not set)" and below that an OpenWithList subkey with the same null
    content. This should be exactly equivalent to having no .lnk subkey at
    all.

    --
    Gary L. Smith gls432@yahoo.com
    Columbus, Ohio
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    >>> I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification.
    >>> This is what I have in it.
    >>>
    >>> .lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have
    >>> "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank now. Do I put in
    >>> the quotation marks?
    >>>
    >>> OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    >>> b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    >>> MRUList:REG_SZ:ba
    >>>
    >>> I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.
    >
    >> Honestly I just looked at three other Windows 2000/XP machines and
    >> none of them even have the .lnk registry entry in
    >
    >> [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    >> \FileExts\
    >
    >> I would actually try deleting that whole .lnk section of the
    >> registry and see if that works. If you do not want to delete this
    >> whole link, which I would definitely try at this point, you would at
    >> least have (Default) REG_SZ (value not set) as the ONLY thing in the
    >> right pane when clicking on the .lnk registry folder in the above
    >> noted location.
    >
    > Agreed. My system does have the .lnk key with value "(Default)
    > REG_SZ (value not set)" and below that an OpenWithList subkey with
    > the same null content. This should be exactly equivalent to having
    > no .lnk subkey at all.

    Can anybody else check out if they have a lnk or .lnk in their registry?
    I guess I still need to correct all the corrupted valued in their though.
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    > >>> I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification.
    > >>> This is what I have in it.
    > >>>
    > >>> .lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have
    > >>> "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank now. Do I put in
    > >>> the quotation marks?
    > >>>
    > >>> OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    > >>> b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    > >>> MRUList:REG_SZ:ba
    > >>>
    > >>> I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.
    > >
    > >> Honestly I just looked at three other Windows 2000/XP machines and
    > >> none of them even have the .lnk registry entry in
    > >
    > >> [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    > >> \FileExts\
    > >
    > >> I would actually try deleting that whole .lnk section of the
    > >> registry and see if that works. If you do not want to delete this
    > >> whole link, which I would definitely try at this point, you would at
    > >> least have (Default) REG_SZ (value not set) as the ONLY thing in the
    > >> right pane when clicking on the .lnk registry folder in the above
    > >> noted location.
    > >
    > > Agreed. My system does have the .lnk key with value "(Default)
    > > REG_SZ (value not set)" and below that an OpenWithList subkey with
    > > the same null content. This should be exactly equivalent to having
    > > no .lnk subkey at all.
    >
    > Can anybody else check out if they have a lnk or .lnk in their registry?
    > I guess I still need to correct all the corrupted valued in their though.
    >
    Wow - it looks like I was drunk or something. It should have read:
    Can anybody else check to see if they have a lnk or .lnk in their registry?
    I guess I still need to correct all the corrupted values in there anyway.
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.general (More info?)

    Harold W. <reply_to_newsgroup.thanks> wrote:
    >> >>> I wanted to confirm something - I'm new to Registry modification.
    >> >>> This is what I have in it.
    >> >>>
    >> >>> .lnk (on left), nothing on right. Should I have
    >> >>> "Application"="win.com" on the right? Its blank now. Do I put in
    >> >>> the quotation marks?
    >> >>>
    >> >>> OpenWithList (on left) a:REG_SZ:WORDPAD.EXE
    >> >>> b:REG_SZ:oodcmd.exe
    >> >>> MRUList:REG_SZ:ba
    >> >>>
    >> >>> I think the oodcmd is part of the O & O Defragmentation program.
    >> >
    >> >> Honestly I just looked at three other Windows 2000/XP machines and
    >> >> none of them even have the .lnk registry entry in
    >> >
    >> >> [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    >> >> \FileExts\
    >> >
    >> >> I would actually try deleting that whole .lnk section of the
    >> >> registry and see if that works. If you do not want to delete this
    >> >> whole link, which I would definitely try at this point, you would at
    >> >> least have (Default) REG_SZ (value not set) as the ONLY thing in the
    >> >> right pane when clicking on the .lnk registry folder in the above
    >> >> noted location.
    >> >
    >> > Agreed. My system does have the .lnk key with value "(Default)
    >> > REG_SZ (value not set)" and below that an OpenWithList subkey with
    >> > the same null content. This should be exactly equivalent to having
    >> > no .lnk subkey at all.
    >>
    >> Can anybody else check out if they have a lnk or .lnk in their registry?
    >> I guess I still need to correct all the corrupted valued in their though.
    >>
    > Wow - it looks like I was drunk or something. It should have read:
    > Can anybody else check to see if they have a lnk or .lnk in their registry?
    > I guess I still need to correct all the corrupted values in there anyway.

    You don't actually have to correct anything. Just delete the entire key
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.lnk.
    I did that shorly after posting my previous response, and I can detect no
    difference in operation whatsoever. That key is used for storing file
    associations established on a per-user basis and populating the Open With
    entry on the context menu for .lnk files. Deleting it just drops you back
    to the system default, which in this case is what you want.

    --
    Gary L. Smith gls432@yahoo.com
    Columbus, Ohio
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