See if one of the File Association EXE fixes below helps for .exe files.
After .exe files are fixed go back to Doug Knox's for the other fixes...
Windows® XP File Association Fixes
Copyright 2003 - Doug Knox
File Association EXE fixes...
EXE files always open with Notepad or any other application
Cannot run EXE files - Programs don't open
You receive an error message when you try to start a program that has an
..exe file name extension
You Are Unable to Start a Program with an .exe File Extension
You cannot start programs when your computer is infected with the SirCam
Hope this helps. Let us know.
MS-MVP Windows Shell/User
Brrnese hunted and pecked:
> My client has an HP laptop and recently tried to download and install
> Norton Antivirus. he had problems doing it - it ran forever - and when I
> received the computer all the file associations are gone. It is very
> difficult to navigate to anything - internet explorer's blue E shows as
> does Outlook's icon but everything else is the generic unknown program
> type of icon. I have found doug knox site with various fixes but they
> are unrecognized and will not work on the laptop. I took the drive out
> and scanned and viewed it in another computer - the file structure
> appears intact and I was able to back up all the documents. Not sure how
> to proceed to resolved this. Any help would be appreciated.
> I can only get to regedit by using ctrl-alt-del and then clicking file and
> holding down ctrl while selecting new. Is t here a regedit I can use to
> restore the ability to recognize .reg files?
> I can also access explorer at the command prompt - and can view the file
> associations screen - but the options are grayed out - so no changes can
> be made.