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I use Windows XP Home Edition with SP3. All my .exe files were changed to .ink. Now I am unable to open basic Windows programs because they no longer recognize themselves nor have any clue about which program created it, so that it can be opened.

I feel I have made it worse, since I'm not very experienced at this.

I use Internet Explorer 6, but I prefer to use Opera. Because it seems to be the only program working perfectly and unaffected by the .ink file change, that makes me wonder if Opera had something to do with it.

For some reason Opera is also the location of my C:\Documents and Settings folder. So if I try to open a basic Windows program like Add & Remove Programs it will open my Opera Internet browser and then tell me that there is no registered application. Then I only have the option of clicking on "OK"!

I can not download a fix because I can not open it. I am afraid if I do anything to Opera, my PC will stop altogether.

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migrated from Sep 21 '11 at 17:50

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

If you right click on any of the lnks and go to properties what is the target path? Does it lead to Opera.exe? – sealz Sep 21 '11 at 18:04
Do you have another computer and USB drive to get files to the broken computer? – jmreicha Sep 21 '11 at 19:28
THese links are for vista but may help with googling an answer(also assuming its not a virus??) &… – sealz Sep 21 '11 at 19:35
Thanks for replying! When I went to the control panel I right clicked on user accounts, system, add & remove and I got the same thing, the option of open or create shortcut when I clicked open nothing happens. at the top of the page under file the properties options is not offered but I can see it in faint gray. The folders program however gave me the option to run as: I did & unchecked that protect file box. It opened! – Julie Parenti Sep 21 '11 at 19:46

Have you restored your computer from a backup image recently?

If not it sounds like you may have some type of malware, or some kind of corruption in the installation of Opera.

I would move your documents and settings folder back to the C:\ drive ASAP. Also, I would download and run an anti-malware scanner right away. I suggest, download, update, and run a full scan on your C:\ drive. Also, if you do not currently have security programs installed on your computer I would suggest Avira Antivir for your antivirus solution, and I would also suggest installing Microsoft Security essentials for real-time malware scanning. You can find all three programs by just googling the names.

Also, try renaming one of the programs and just changing the .ink to .exe, and see if the program is usable after that.

Hope this helps! Thanks!

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Also, if you have system restore enabled in Windows, just restore your computer to the most recent date that you did not have this issue. Then make sure that you have all of the security applicaitons that I mentioned installed and updated as quickly as possible so that you do not get re-infected. – Dan Sep 21 '11 at 19:34
I night be able to download, but nothing will install. If it did install it would not open. – Julie Parenti Sep 21 '11 at 20:16
Try booting the computer into "Safe Mode With Networking" and download/isntall/update/full scan Malwarebytes from If you need further instruction on how to boot into "Safe Mode With Networking" let me know. Thanks! – Dan Sep 22 '11 at 15:45

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