Shortcuts stopped working

desktop taskbar, start menu anything .lnk refuses to work, i can still make new shortcuts, they just don't do anything. properties show correct path/filename.

Windows 7(Evaluation copy, Build 7100) since i have no idea what is causing the problem, I'll describe events the past week:

I've been almost exclusively playing Dragon Age Origins, occasionally checking email - when not checking email, i disconnected the ethernet cable. early this week, DA froze, causing my computer to crash. when i restarted, system message said there was a problem, would i like to use system restore? used system restore, everything working fine, reinstalled DA, saves were intact. later in the week, another freeze and crash. this time when i restarted, i had no sound, and all shortcuts were broken, and the system restore page repeatedly fails to load. I've reinstalled audio drivers, still no sound, and i cannot find any proposed solutions online
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More about shortcuts stopped working
  1. why are you disconnecting your net connection?
  2. i wanted to close all background programs, including my antivirus

    and if this is a virus, both McAfee and Avast failed to identify it as such, so it seems somewhat unikely that has anything to do with the problem
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