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windows xp won't run any .exe files at all

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A few days ago (couple of weeks, by now) I started getting fake security alert popups and internet autolaunch attempts with redirects. I was able to fix a similar issue a couple of years ago using MBAM, also on a friend's computer, and the fix worked fine both times. So I was familiar with the procedure. I downloaded MBAM and MBAMrules on another computer and installed it with a flash drive. It wouldn't run, so I changed the name, tried it in safe mode, a few different combinations. Then all of a sudden (days later, of trying different things) the fake virus messages stop popping up and every time I try to run an .exe file I get the "choose program you want to use to open this file" message. This now happens on any .exe file, not just MBAM. I couldn't find anything specifically addressing this in the forums.

Just now I discovered that when I click on any icon in the Control Panel I get the message "C:\Windows\System32\rundl32.exe Application not found" The rest of the computer seems to work normal - I can open My Documents, etc, and all the data is intact.

I was able to run Norton Internet Security full scan, at one point before the .exe's cut out. It said one file found and dealt with "fakeAV" or similar name. It didn't fix the problem, I was still getting virus alert popups after that.

I have not plugged in to the internet since this started, and the computer has been completely off when I'm not tinkering with it trying to fix it. Running Windows XP and Firefox.

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Please download EXE (lnk and regfile) Fix for Windows XP and save it to your desktop.

Double click the exefix.reg on your desktop, if it gives you an "open with..." error, you might have to right click the file, and go to run as, then uncheck the box that says "protect my computer and files from programs" then click okay and run it. This will prompt you with a new window asking if you want to make the change to the registry, click "Yes" then restart your computer.

Let us know if you can now run programs...such as Malwarebytes, if you can please run Malwarebytes doing a full scan and post the log file here in this topic.

Note: Firefox and chrome seem to just open it as text, so copy all the text and paste it into a notepad document. Then go to File, Save As. Under "Save as type:" select "All Files" and name it "exefix.reg" (without the quotes).

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  • 1 year later...
  • Staff

Glad we could help. :)

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