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Thread: How to restore default .EXE file association?

  1. #1
    FUBARinSFO Guest

    How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Hi:

    I've lost my file association for .exe files and now don't know how to
    restore it. Running regedit.exe doesn't work, nor does opening up a
    command prompt windows nor Run from Task manager.

    Rebooting in Safe Mode doesn't work,neither does rebooting from last
    known good configuration. All the .exe files open with the new
    association (list.com, in this case).

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

    <name withheld pending mental examination>

    Windows 2003 SP2


  2. #2
    Dave Patrick Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    What is the history? How did this happen?


    --

    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "FUBARinSFO" wrote:
    > Hi:
    >
    > I've lost my file association for .exe files and now don't know how to
    > restore it. Running regedit.exe doesn't work, nor does opening up a
    > command prompt windows nor Run from Task manager.
    >
    > Rebooting in Safe Mode doesn't work,neither does rebooting from last
    > known good configuration. All the .exe files open with the new
    > association (list.com, in this case).
    >
    > Any ideas would be appreciated.
    >
    > <name withheld pending mental examination>
    >
    > Windows 2003 SP2
    >


  3. #3
    FUBARinSFO Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Correction to original post:

    1. Booting <F8> Safe Mode Command Prompt allows me to invoke
    regedit.exe.
    2. Booting normally, Ctrl-Alt-Del to get Task Manager, then File then
    Ctrl-Run (not plain Run) gives me a command prompt, where I can also
    run regedit.exe, but now with the full Windows GUI.

    In answer to Dave Patrick, I was cruising around with Explorer File
    Types and inadvertently changed the .exe file association to list.com
    (Vern Buerg's old program). So now everything comes up in list.

    I've since renamed list.com to xlist.com, which prevents Windows from
    executing the program since it can't find it now. That was critical
    to getting back into the system, sort of. Now it asks to browse,
    which is more benign, but still can't make the direct association wth
    c:\windows\explore.exe.

    I'm exporting all the registry keys and comparing them with an XP
    machine. It doesn't look as simple as just deleting all the refs to
    list.com, since some associations (like for .com) don't have an
    alternate and will have to be replaced.


  4. #4
    Dave Patrick Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    What happens if you logon as a new user? You might also delete the key named
    EXE below

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts


    --

    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "FUBARinSFO" wrote:
    > Correction to original post:
    >
    > 1. Booting <F8> Safe Mode Command Prompt allows me to invoke
    > regedit.exe.
    > 2. Booting normally, Ctrl-Alt-Del to get Task Manager, then File then
    > Ctrl-Run (not plain Run) gives me a command prompt, where I can also
    > run regedit.exe, but now with the full Windows GUI.
    >
    > In answer to Dave Patrick, I was cruising around with Explorer File
    > Types and inadvertently changed the .exe file association to list.com
    > (Vern Buerg's old program). So now everything comes up in list.
    >
    > I've since renamed list.com to xlist.com, which prevents Windows from
    > executing the program since it can't find it now. That was critical
    > to getting back into the system, sort of. Now it asks to browse,
    > which is more benign, but still can't make the direct association wth
    > c:\windows\explore.exe.
    >
    > I'm exporting all the registry keys and comparing them with an XP
    > machine. It doesn't look as simple as just deleting all the refs to
    > list.com, since some associations (like for .com) don't have an
    > alternate and will have to be replaced.
    >



  5. #5
    FUBARinSFO Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Dave:

    Deleting the .exe key under
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts

    wasn't the solution (since it still points to the offending list.com
    location).

    I explored the registry, and found a key with three entries: HKCU
    \Software\Classes\Applications\ which has explorer.exe., list.com and
    rundll32.exe - deleted the list.com branch. But note that neither
    explorer.exe nor rundll32.exe are present in the XP registry. So
    unclear (at least to me) what this was doing here exactly.

    In any case, I got .exe files working again by whatever I did in the
    registry, and then restored C: from last night's differential backup,
    I think. I say 'I think" because I haven't yet actually compared
    last night's files with the current user, syatem, etc files.

    This is a real problem, and this hacking of mine here gives me little
    comfort.

    -- Roy Zider

  6. #6
    Dave Patrick Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    I would tend to agree. You might want to either start a new installation or
    at least do an in-place upgrade.


    --

    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "FUBARinSFO" wrote:
    > Dave:
    >
    > Deleting the .exe key under
    > HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts
    >
    > wasn't the solution (since it still points to the offending list.com
    > location).
    >
    > I explored the registry, and found a key with three entries: HKCU
    > \Software\Classes\Applications\ which has explorer.exe., list.com and
    > rundll32.exe - deleted the list.com branch. But note that neither
    > explorer.exe nor rundll32.exe are present in the XP registry. So
    > unclear (at least to me) what this was doing here exactly.
    >
    > In any case, I got .exe files working again by whatever I did in the
    > registry, and then restored C: from last night's differential backup,
    > I think. I say 'I think" because I haven't yet actually compared
    > last night's files with the current user, syatem, etc files.
    >
    > This is a real problem, and this hacking of mine here gives me little
    > comfort.
    >
    > -- Roy Zider



  7. #7
    FUBARinSFO Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Dave:

    Subsequent to my last posting, I went back to my nightly backup and
    found that I had been backing up System State every night (sometimes I
    do things right). So I simply restored that, rebooted, and am back in
    business.

    But a propos your suggestion, I should do something like an annual
    refresh on all my systems. Bit rot sets in, and you begin to lose
    track of "last known good configuration".

    Thanks for your help.

    -- Roy Zider

  8. #8
    Dave Patrick Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Good to hear it's sorted.

    --

    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "FUBARinSFO" wrote:
    > Dave:
    >
    > Subsequent to my last posting, I went back to my nightly backup and
    > found that I had been backing up System State every night (sometimes I
    > do things right). So I simply restored that, rebooted, and am back in
    > business.
    >
    > But a propos your suggestion, I should do something like an annual
    > refresh on all my systems. Bit rot sets in, and you begin to lose
    > track of "last known good configuration".
    >
    > Thanks for your help.
    >
    > -- Roy Zider


  9. #9
    FUBARinSFO Guest

    Re: How to restore default .EXE file association?

    Well, it happened again. But this time I solved it. I will post the
    solution in a new thread "How to restore default .EXE file
    association? [SOLVED]"

    -- Roy Zider

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