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I am running Windows 7 x64. Some time ago I was trying to modify Windows themes using something I downloaded from deviantart. I remember some of the files installing a bunch of unwanted trash and needing to modify system files, although since it was a long time ago I do not remember which ones. After installing something from there, Windows Explorer has stopped executing 64 bit applications: double clicking on the .exe file simply does nothing, right clicking and selecting "Open" or "Run as Administrator" is also ignored. 32 bit applications execute normally, and launching 64 bit applications via other means, such as a third party file manager, also works fine.

I have tried locating the problem, but haven't found anything out of the ordinary with system files. It is also not a problem with uxtheme.dll, since I specifically checked that file. Reinstalling Windows is not an option. So the question is: what are the libraries that Windows Explorer uses to execute files and which of them could have become corrupted without issues spreading beyond the scope of this question?

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Use the SFC (system file checker) built in to Windows.

sfc /scannow

Or use DISM (recent Windows versions).

Both are well-documented and appear on many forms. It sounds to me like there is been some sort of DLL injection which is preventing Explorer from running 64-bit executables.

So, thoroughly try an Antivirus as well. Good free ones include AVG.

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  • I can not use SFC, because technically I'm running Windows Embedded (just didn't want to mention it so as not to cause further confusion) and the Application Security package is not installed in my system. DISM can't even work in this context on Win 7, so I have no idea why you're mentioning it. I have also used Process Hacker to check Explorer for any suspicious DLL injections, but haven't found anything that shouldn't be there. This is a generic answer that doesn't address my problem, I need a specific answer. – Windows User Jun 3 '17 at 22:50
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    Update your question...if you want a specific answer – Ramhound Jun 3 '17 at 23:35
  • I suggest you upgrade to Windows 10 embedded. – Alexander Burchell Jun 10 '17 at 18:04

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