Windows XP forum: Programs will not open in Windows XP

by: jjamjatra June 12, 2007 9:08 AM PDT

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Programs will not open in Windows XP

by jjamjatra - 6/12/07 9:08 AM

Suddenly, nothing seems to behave as it should. Some examples of what I am seeing on my Win XP Home Edition service pack 2 system:

-- applications do not launch or open anymore from the taskbar or from program tree
-- right mouse-ing on any icon reveals a context menu that has been trimmed of choices such as OPEN or Run As..
-- Click Start, Run, and typing CMD results in a "cannot find" error message
-- Right mouse on My Computer and click of Properties does nothing
-- Several icons in quick launch area of taskbar (and others on the desktop) have been changed to the "generic default". I seem to be able to change them but they don't "stay" that way across reboots of the system
-- The "system tray" area of the taskbar used to have several icons always resident there but now just the clock.

I was able to launch VirusScan 8.0 from McAfee and do a complete scan of my only local harddrive C and found no viruses. The virus definition file was very recently updated.
The only thing I can think of that is new on this system is that I updated Mozilla Firefox to Version 2.0 recently.
One last item of strangeness is that I can launch IE7 or Firefox from the Start->All Programs tree but not from shortcuts in the taskbar. Yet nothing else seems to be able to start in this manner. I can bring up control panel but I cannot get "Add Remove Programs" to do anything. I would love to be able to fire up some anti-spyware I've got such as Ad-Aware and/or Spybot Search and Destroy but I cannot get these things to launch.

This is a private laptop (Dell Inspiron 700) that only I use. It is protected by a router and the Windows SP2 firewall is always ON. This is my tale of woe. Does this sound like any symptom anyone else has recovered from ? Any suggestions?

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