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I'm experiencing several symptoms, but I believe they are all related to web link files not working.

First, I can't create we link files anymore. When I try New > Shortcut and put an URL, I get the following error message:

Unable to create shortcut.

Second, existent shortcuts are not working. The default context menu action (or double-click) is Print, which simply prints an empty page. If I try to see its properties, there's no URL there.

Third, IE bookmarks are also not working. One difference is that the default action is Open, IE does nothing when I click it. Adding a new bookmark only creates one more dead link file.

I'm almost sure this problem occurred after I tried to install IE 7 on Windows 7. Unfortunately, it didn't work because the OS seems to be bound to IE 8. I already tried to reinstall/repair IE 8, but it made no difference.

Does anyone experienced a similar problem? I need a working solution, but I welcome any reasonable suggestion.

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System Restore is your friend here. – moioci Mar 5 '10 at 17:47
I only use IE to access some intranet sites that don't support better browsers. So, I don't have enough motivation for such an extreme solution. :P – jpbochi Mar 5 '10 at 18:11
jpbochi Do you still have the issue? – user89272 Jul 8 '13 at 8:18
@Gryllida I migrated to windows 8. If I remember correctly, I ended up using a virtual machine to use IE7. This strategy is specially good for testing wbe applications. However, my recommendation as a programmer is to cut support to older IE's completely. – jpbochi Jul 8 '13 at 15:07

Unfortunately, Windows Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer are tied together in some pretty shady ways, and that includes the ability to execute shortcuts.

Glad that the user found a workaround for himself, but for any users experiencing a similar issue:

From the user's accounting, it sounds exactly as if the .lnk file extension (shortcuts) became bound to an invalid execution type. If it were unbound from that invalid or corrupted execution type, then the global attribute in Windows 7 would have been utilized instead. In Windows 7, it is entirely too easy to reassign this particular extension's default handling method.

Utilizing the following application would allow a user to unbind the .lnk file extension association globally, thereby resolving the conflict:

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