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EXE will not launch in Windows XP Media Version

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I am running Windows XP Media version SP3 and now, none of my .exe files will launch the application. When I try to launch the program, I get a pop up window asking what program I want to use to run the application. This started about 3 weeks ago. Strangely, if I go to a file (Excel or MS word) on the drive, and double click it, the application/program runs fine. Whatever the system picked up has disabled AVG and I now have a red "shield" in the lower right corner indicating "my system is at risk - Click here to resolve the issue" (which I did not click). :)

I use the below programs for protection:

* AVG Free. Is was updated a few days prior to this happening

* Malwarebytes - Also updated shortly before this started happening

What I have tried so far:

* Ran Malwarebytes in safe mode with non-updated version. It detected several threats which were removed. I was able to update MWB and rerun a full scan in safe mode. it found a few more threats, removed them. The original problem was still there.

* Updated and ran AVG in safe mode. However, AVG doesn't appear to run a full scan when in safe mode. I let it run overnight. It found some issues, corrected them. Booted back to normal mode and the original problem is still there.

* Ran the EXE fix from the dougknox.com website. This did not help the original problem. it is still there.

* Tried to run system restore, but since it is an EXE file, it will not run. I ever tried to run this from the restore CD I have. no go.

I'm at a loss as to what to do next. From the tech guys I have spoken to at the office, it sounds like the registry is hosed. i am comfortable making changes to the registry, but would need to know exactly what to edit. I have NOT made any edits to the registry so far. The system is the home system and I can use my office system at home to get on the web and communicate in order to fix this.

I can provide any other info you need. I hope you guys can help.

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Please log in into the account where exe files won't run.

Then, make sure extensions are shown, see here how to do this.

Then, navigate to the C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Antimalware folder and locate the file mbam.exe in there

Rename mbam.exe to mbam.com

Then, doubleclick mbam.com. This will allow malwarebytes to open. First use the update tab and check if there are updates. Download the updates.

Then, perform a quick scan and let Malwarebytes remove what it found. Reboot afterwards. Malwarebytes should restore the associations for exe files again if run from the affected account.

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Mieke - Thanks! I think that fixed it. Interestingly, I ran into another problem which I was able to correct as well. This may help other users who encounter this so hope it helps.

I was running the latest version of AVG 2011 and after the fix you suggested and kept getting a "reboot" message. AVG apparently needed to reboot "in order to complete the update". This message kept popping up after several reboots. I decided at that time to switch to MS Security Essentials and remove AVG. AVG wouldn't uninstall. To fix this, I had to download the latest AVG, repair it, then it uninstalled just fine.

Thanks so much for your help on resolving the EXE problem.

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Glad we could help. :)

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this thread with your request. This applies only to the originator of this thread.

Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread. Thanks!

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