file extensions changed to lnk

May 30, 2005 at 17:12:30
Specs: WinXP Home, cannot access

I downloaded and installed the latest version of Ad-Aware SE Plus (1.06)(it is a registered version paid for) and upon reboot all my desktop file extensions changed to lnk. I checked file extensions and there is no EXE and probably many more. I cannot uninstall, cannot system restore, cannot registry edit, but I can get on the web and I can access some of my programs - it's just weird. I also cannot use the Dos prompt....won't take me there.
Any thoughts? Remember, I cannot exe any fixes that involve downloading won't work if they are an exe or unzip to an exe

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May 30, 2005 at 18:11:09

You might want to try the exefix.reg found at #12 at

P.S. I don't believe it was AdAware that caused the problem.

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May 31, 2005 at 11:29:41

I agree with Bryco. Some malware probably made changes to your system. When AdAware removed the malware it could have left some problems.

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June 9, 2005 at 11:23:51

If you're running Ad-Watch, this can happen if the user definitions table for Ad-Watch get corrupted and you block all changes to the registry upon a reboot.

In such a case, Ad-Watch thinks the registry is empty, and wipes out every line that the bootup process tries to restore to normal! This results in disabling the computer's ability to run almost any program, although some Windows programs like Notepad and Internet Explorer work after you reboot again. Although you may not be able to run Windows Explorer, you can do a Search and switch the view to folders, essentially the same thing.

I just had this happen to my computer yesterday. The fix for one person is in a previous thread here:

I'm pretty confident this will work, but you have to follow the directions exactly to get regedit to run and change the registry back again.

Good luck!

Dave G

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June 10, 2005 at 05:03:17

I followed the instructions and they worked perfectly! I had to extract the zip files on another PC, and all else went perfectly! I did have to use both files.

Here are the instructions:
When double clicking the xp_exe_fix.reg file, windows asks what to use to open it. Go to select from list, then browse and find C:\Windows\regedit.exe, select it and click ok, then double click xp_exe_fix.reg again and it'll ask you if you want to add the info to the registry. Click yes and reboot your computer. You should notice that by going Start->my computer->C:\ and opening any one of the folders, all of the programs appear normal again and will function correctly.

If your desktop icons still have the *.lnk extension, run the linkfile_fix.reg by double clicking it, then reboot again. make sure everything seems back to normal and your all done!

the specific locations for the files:

Note: if winzip/winrar or whatever isn't working on your machine, either extract the files on another computer or associate the zip files with the appropriate program exe (winzip/winrar) as done for the xp_exe_fix.reg file.
Thanks to Snoopy104!

Dave G

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