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How to repair a broken .EXE file association

A system that I'm working on got the Windows 7 Anti-Spyware 2012 virus. Before it was giving to me it had been running a while with it in it. I managed to manual remove it, but before i could terminate it, it managed to mess up all the file associations, including *.com, *.exe.

If you attempt to run anything it comes up with a box asking which program to use. The only to options are Internet Explorer, and Notepad. Now this is messed up for the user only, not the system, Administrator is still intact. It has been a very long time since i have had to mess with the the reg keys for assoc for a user profile...think maybe windows 98. So either i don't remember, location has changed.

Now all this has to be done from the Administrator account to repair. Can anyone help me out with this?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, 8088, Nifle, ChrisF, studiohack Jan 7 '12 at 23:46

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2 Answers 2

Not sure how to fix them enmass but here is a page you can repair them one at a time

Merge these registry fixes while logged into the user account.

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Most programs look up file associations through HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, which is a merged view of both user and system settings. However, they are stored in two places: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes contains user associations, while HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes contains system-wide associations.

Since your problem only affects one user account, you should be able to fix it by clearing the user's HKCU\Software\Classes. This key is kept separately from the rest of HKCU, in C:\Users\tonyd\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Usrclass.dat. A quick way of cleaning up user associations would be to find this file and rename it to Usrclass.old or something like that. (You must do this as an administrator, when the affected user is logged out.)

If you want to browse the associations, you can do so from Registry Editor (regedit). Select HKEY_USERS, go to File → Load Hive..., select C:\Users\tonyd\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Usrclass.dat, load it as tonyd_classes or something like that. (Don't forget to unload it when done editing, otherwise the user won't be able to log in.)

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Thank you very much, that worked. I had to use the first method. I was unable to load a hive under the "Administrator" account. This may be another issue. –  TonyD Dec 16 '11 at 0:39

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