Computer problem - not sure of technical term

March 16, 2011 at 14:12:36
Specs: Windows Vista
I have a problem that I just can't figure out. I am using Windows Vista Home Premium.
Basically for no reason at all my programs (Word, Outlook, Google Earth, Internet Explorer, AVG anti-virus, etc, etc) all seem to have lost their 'connection' to the program on the computer. I click on the icon for any one of them and the 'Open with' dialogue box appears. (I think the term is that they have lost their 'association'??)
I cannot understand why this has happened and whilst I have managed to find a few of them and 're-connect' the icon with the program I am having a couple of very strange problems.

Firstly Adobe Reader seems just to not work. I therefore uninstalled it and tried to download a new copy from the Adobe site but every time I try I get a message saying: "Operating system error! (16299.103.516 - then a whole load more numbers)".

The second strange thing is that programs that seemed to open automatically on start up previously, and for which icons would appear in the bottom left of my screen (for example AVG) are now no longer appearing there. All I have is icons for the volumn and the battery.

Last but no least. In the start up menu I used to be able to right click on 'Computer' select properties and it would then show me System details. Now nothing happens when I click on properties.

All of this happened at once today without me really doing anything. I haven't downloaded anything nor done anything else that I can imagine would lead to all of these problems suddenly appearing.

Any help would be much appreciated as I've just lost my job and can't afford a new computer!!
Thanks a lot,

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March 16, 2011 at 17:00:58
Sounds like you have a malware infection. If system restore is still working you could try restoring back to date before the problem started (malware often disables system restore, so may not be possible).

You may need a new clean install/factory restore. Many recent machines have a hidden recovery partition you can restore machine to state it was in when you got it. If yours has, should be instructions either that came with it or on maunfacturer's website. If not, you'll need a vista install DVD (you should have key on the COA sticker on the machine). If you have to do either of these processes, remember to backup your data first. The clean install option may also need additional drivers (which may already be on a folder on your machine).

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March 16, 2011 at 17:01:22
dont worry its a software error, you wont have to purchase a new computer for that :(.

Further, When the probelm started ?can you use system restore to restore your system to an earlier date ? Does this happen in safe mode as well ?

Subhash Chandra.

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