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If you go to any "normal" file in windows, right-click on it, you get a menu item called "Open With..."

The way it's supposed to work is, you're presented with a pop-up that offers you common programs that have been used in the past with that file.

The way it DOES work on my PC is it ALWAYS puts up this error message instead.

You'll notice that the file name has a quotation mark after it, and this is what confuses the system.

I asked a friend and they said "This is almost certainly a bad registry key that actually is inserting that quotation mark."

I've already spent an hour on this, and many of the things that google will show you are about how to turn the open-with feature on or off... not interesting...

Since this occurs on both Win7 and XP, old answers may well be fine. Thanks in advance!


Okay, here are some responses.

The error is for known file types. "The behavior when I click the open-with dialog is it's supposed to open THIS window...but it never gets that far. It also creates a bogus file type in the registry with the extension plus a " (for example, the file type is .css" ...see the second line in the image below)"

He doesn't want to open the file with a standard application, thus he manually chooses Open With.

Unfortunately, there are over 100 apps on each computer, so a list of conflicting programs would take some time.

He does, however, mention he found this article. Now this gets rid of the initial dialog box, but does not get rid of the extra " in the extension.

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If it happens on two OSes, then there must be something that those two have in common. Please give us a list of programs installed on both OSes. – gronostaj Mar 3 '13 at 20:13
Is it only this one file that's a problem, or is it all CSS files, or ALL unknown files? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 3 '13 at 20:18
I'll go compile a list for you. I have to ask my father--it's on his behalf I'm looking for an answer. – Nick Taber Mar 3 '13 at 20:19
I just did a test, and if there were actual quotes in the filename, the behaviour is different - the file reverts to displaying in shortform. I can't see what registry lookup would be involved if the filetype is unknown. @NickTaber, when the file type is unknown, you shouldn't get an Open With... option, you just get Open. Can you provide a screenshot of the right-click menu with the explorer window visible too? – Paul Mar 3 '13 at 20:58
Just waiting on a response from my father on all the comments. Thank you so far! – Nick Taber Mar 3 '13 at 21:27

Looks more like a rogue Shell Extension. Use ShellMenuView or AutoRuns to disable extensions you don't recognise.

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