Windows XP forum: Cannot access programs with desktop icons

by: leaningtowardapple January 10, 2013 6:41 PM PST

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Cannot access programs with desktop icons

by leaningtowardapple - 1/10/13 6:41 PM

Here are my symptoms and the actions I've tried:

Windows XP Pro SP3 with all automatic updates applied.
IE8 with all updates applied.
Windows Security Essentials as virus software with automatic updates.
Two years + with no problems.
Recently ran Cleanup with compression (ran a LOOOONG time) which finished normally. Continued working and shutdown. When I rebooted the next morning, I have found the following symptoms:
1. Cannot launch programs from desktop shortcuts
2. Quick Launch is gone from desktop toolbar and when I add it back it disappears again after restart
3. Search function does not work from Start Menu or on Windows Explorer
4. IE8 will not start (starts, but immediately ends)
5. I must start all programs by accessing Program Files and doing OPEN on the requested programs
6. Google Chrome will work when accessed via Program Files/Open
7. Outlook will not recognize Word as my editor (tells me it is not installed)
8. Malwarebytes will not install
9. Malwarebytes Chameleon will not work (will not launch DOS prompt as expected on any selection)
10. Malwarebytes Rootkit finds nothing
11. Microsoft security Essentials full scan finds nothing
12. Doug Knox XP restore of file associations has no effect
13. Several registry updates for repairing EXE problems and LNK problems has no effect
14. Reinstallation and update of IE8 has no effect
15. Comparing numerous registry entries with a working XP pc shows no differnces
16. Resetting IE8 and other settings to default has no effect.
17. Tried all of this in safe mode as well
18. Set up a new user id and recreated shortcuts with no effect
19. Searched the web diligently for any possible solutions for two days.
20. Tried suggested .LNK fixes

I have absolutely no clue what to do next. I am a volunteer with a non-profit organization and really NEED my Outlook to work. I know I'm back-level on my technology, but I can't do anything about it right now.

Can anyone help me, pleeeeeease!!

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