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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Question Can't launch programs from Start menu

    I rarely use the start menu, but I just noticed that several programs (i.e. MS Word, Excel, etc.; as well as some other non-Office programs) will not launch from the Start Menu. I have tried clicking on them, right click and "Open", and even moved them to the Quick Launch menu.(From the Quick Launch menu I can right click and "open" to launch, but not just click on them).

    Some of them (on the Start Menu) still work (i.e. Windows Update, Firefox, IE9), but most do not work. I have unpinned them and re-pinned them and nothing changes; they still won't launch from the Start Menu.

    Weird stuff . . . anyone got some idea of what's going on?
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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  3. #2
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    Often these types of problems are caused by poorly written third party shell handlers. Download shexview from http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html and disable 3rd party apps one by one to see if you can find the offending application.

    Joe

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    bfxtrfcmgr (2011-07-08),walldorff (2011-07-14)

  5. #3
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe. I downloaded and installed . . . .
    With 396 entries I won't have time to examine one-by-one any time soon, but I still appreciate your input and the application.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  6. #4
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    If your system was working correctly and you have updated or added software recently, see if you recognize a shell extension related to the new/updated software first.

    If you know a time when the system was working correctly, have you tried a System Restore?

    Joe

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    bfxtrfcmgr (2011-07-08)

  8. #5
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Don't recall any recent installs. System Restore failed.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  9. #6
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    Did you try the System Restore in safe mode?

    Did you disable your anti-virus solution before attempting the restore?

    Joe

  10. #7
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Nope, and nope. I will attempt to do both.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  11. #8
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Did both. System Restore worked this time.
    Problem Remains (no earlier restore point).
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  12. #9
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    If you want to use shellexview be sure to disable non-Microsoft shell handlers first.

    Joe

  13. #10
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you mean by that (what are the other "handlers"?), and I'm not certain how to use shellexview seeing as there doesn't seem to be any instructions. Can I simply stop and start each one to see if it affects the ability to lauch an app, or do I need to reboot each time?

    Sorry for being so lame about these things; I really appreciate your help.

    EDIT: I found the HTML help doc.

    I also had an error message show up on my screen when I did a reboot, and before loading any "applications" (see image). Also image of processes at time of error message.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bfxtrfcmgr; 2011-07-09 at 14:07.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  14. #11
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    You should re-boot after disabling a shell extension. That makes the whole process very tedious. If you click on "company name" in the shellexview windows mn title you can easily find the non-Microsoft extensions. There probably aren't that many.

    Joe

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    You could also try a repair of your Office installation.

    Joe

  16. #13
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Am I only looking in the "Shell Folder", or all "Types"? If the former, then you're right - there are only a few there. If the latter, then there are about 50 or so.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

  17. #14
    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    I had done that earlier (before posting here), and then I realized it was affecting more than just the Office Apps.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Lightbulb How about malware?

    I don't see that anyone has mentioned the possibility of malware, I have seen selective malfunctions like this before caused by one or another of the constantly morphing little nasties out there. Some of the other posters mentioned 3rd party shell handlers, this would be a common way for malware to control your PC. While it was at it, by its very nature, it would prevent you from changing/removing it while it redirected or ignored other calls.

    Given what you've tried already, without success, I would pursue a throrough malware scan. There are a number of good freeware tools, most will run in safe mode (preferred) and some are available to run from a USB flash drive or a CD/DVD without requiring to be installed by Windows (the malware would probably block that anyway).

    Check out posts in the Security & Backups thread for more help, here's a link http://windowssecrets.com/forums/for...curity-Backups.

    Please update us once you solve this or make some headway.

    Good Luck!

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