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Server 2003 sp2

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 23, 2012 4:07:30 AM

So I look after a bunch of windows 2003 servers,

I have this problem where .exe files have become disassociated.

So when I log in I get a blank background and nothing else. I can start task manager (ctrl alt delete --> task manger)

When I try and run explorer.exe it says "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action"

I have tried Google, and they say to run regedit which I can't do (same error as above) I also can't run cmd.exe or apparently I can't even open .reg files. I want to avoid re-imaging the server if possible.

I can't use system restore as that won't even start in safe mode.
I was just wondering if anyone here has any ideas?

Thanks

More about : server 2003 sp2

May 23, 2012 1:25:33 PM

You got hit with a virus, if you can't do a restore or a repair, will need to re-install. Cleaning out the virus at this point won't do you any good as the virus already did it's damage. You should have current backups of the servers anyway.
May 23, 2012 9:42:40 PM

I highly doubt that it's a virus. The server has no direct connection to the internet. The other 100 windows servers on the same subnet are fine. And no one (but me) can put flashdrives / cds or anything like that in it. They also have up to date virus scanners.
It's more likely a power outage or someone (with admin rights) has done something very silly

Whole servers aren't normally backed up... the data is in a backed up database so nothing important is lost. Just time wasted if I have to re image and re install applications. The server isn't being used at the moment so down time isn't an issue (yet)
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May 24, 2012 4:13:11 PM

I don't think I have seen .exe files become an issue outside of a virus, but I suppose any type of registry change in that section can cause this. There are boot disks you can use to edit the registry of the PC without running the local OS, that should be able to get you at least to somewhere where you can try to fix the issue. http://regeditpe.sourceforge.net/ and such.
May 24, 2012 9:40:07 PM

Ah that might work, I'll check it out. Thanks!
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