None of my icons work

  Gav1983 00:04 29 May 2006

I have a strange problem with my PC. It's running Windows XP Personal.

I started it up yesterday and everything seems to have broken. When it boots up, I get a strange option window with none sensical stuff in it. I have to click Ok for Windows to load.

When Windows boots, none of the startup icons load and I get error messages saying the shortcut whatever.lnk can't be found.

All my icons have 'broken' like this - Windows can't understand how to open any files. For example, clicking on Paint says:

"Windows can not open this file.

To find out how to open this file, Windows needs to find the program that created it..."

It's the same story with everything. I can't open any Control Panel icons and can't run any Spy ware scans. I have used Microsoft's online scans and they come up clear.

No programs have been remmoved, it's just like the shortcuts have. Literally, it was fine one night and the next morning it was like this.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.


  Gav1983 00:06 29 May 2006

PS Even the icon images don't load. I just get rows of the standard Windows blank notepaper style icon.

Another weird thing - Paint won't load up from the start menu icon, but if I right click an image and click open with Paint, Paint loads and operates fine! It's the same with Media Player.

  Taff™ 00:17 29 May 2006

Are you using the machine to post the thread? If so how did you do that? First of all check that you haven`t left a disk in the drive. Can you boot into safe mode and if so do the links work then? Could also do with knowing if the Operating System was installed on the Hard Disk drive or do you have disks?

  Kev.Ifty 00:28 29 May 2006

Try this click here

  Taff™ 00:32 29 May 2006

You`ll need your disks or know where the set up files are installed but System File Checker (sfc) is where I was going too! Try safe mode first though it will give us some more information.

  Gav1983 14:09 29 May 2006

I tried entering:

sfc /scannow

in the command prompt, but Windows says:

Windows cannot open this file:


To open this file, Windows needs to know what...

It's the same old story!

  VoG II 14:13 29 May 2006
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:13 29 May 2006

OPTION 2 - Repair XP by install over the top of existing systm

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

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