Can't open EXE files

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 555067 - View products that this article applies to.
Author: Yuval Sinay MVP
Expand all | Collapse all

SYMPTOMS

When you try to open EXE files, you may get errors messages like: "Access Deny", "Runtime error" etc.

CAUSE

Corrupt registry settings or some third party product (or virus) can change the default configuration for running EXE files. This may lead to failed operation when you try to run EXE files.

RESOLUTION

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
 

2. Type "command.com" , and then press Enter. (A DOS window opens.)
 

3. Type the following:
 
         "cd\"

         "cd \windows"
 
    Press Enter after typing each one.
 
4. Type copy "regedit.exe regedit.com" and then press Enter.
 
5. Type "start regedit.com" and then press Enter.
 
6. Navigate to and select the key:
 
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command
 
7. In the right pane, double-click the (Default) value.
 
8. Delete the current value data, and then type:
 
     "%1" %*
 
 Tip: Type the characters: quote-percent-one-quote-space-percent-asterisk.
 
9. Close Regedit utility.
 

Note: If you are using Windows XP and you enable "System Restore" , you need to 
           disable "System Restore" in "Safe Mode" before using the instructions above.

 

MORE INFORMATION

A Description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;315222
 
How to Turn On and Turn Off System Restore in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;%5BLN%5D;310405
 
Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;256986

Properties

Article ID: 555067 - Last Review: March 1, 2004 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
  • Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbpubtypecca kbpubmvp kbhowto KB555067
COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS CONTENT DISCLAIMER
MICROSOFT CORPORATION AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, OR ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED HEREIN. ALL SUCH INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WORKMANLIKE EFFORT, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. YOU SPECIFICALLY AGREE THAT IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED HEREIN, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF MICROSOFT OR ANY OF ITS SUPPLIERS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES.

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com