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I need help! I've been getting this message anytime I try to open any ".exe" file. Every other file on my computer opens fine except for the ".exe" files. I can't open RealPlayer, but I can open a RealPlayer video (which automatically opens RealPlayer) and it works fine. I have a video clip saved as an HTM File, which opens my web browser, but I can't manually open Firefox or Internet Explorer by themselves. I'm sure this has to be a virus, but none of my virus programs can be opened or run. Does anyone know of a way to fix this?

I tried downloading Spybot from the web and just replacing the .exe file, but I can't even run the installer program. So, does that mean something's wrong with the way the computer reads .exe files and not the actual files themselves? Also, obviously I can't run HiJackThis either. I'd be happy with pretty much any solution that doesn't involve wiping my hard drive. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
 

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download and extract This zip file. Inside will be a registry file called xp_exe_fix.reg. Double click that file and allow it to merge with the registry when prompted. Try to run HijackThis again and post a log for review.
 

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Okay, I downloaded and updated the registry with the file. Unfortunately, I'm still not able to run any programs, including HJT.
 

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I'm assuming you're Operating System is XP:

Click Start>Run and type in sfc /scannow (there is a space between sfc and /) and let is scan for missing/corrupt files. You may need your Windows XP install disc, so have it handy.
 

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D:\WINDOWS\system32\sfc.exe
The archive is either in unknown format or damaged

As I said before, I can't run ANY .exe files, even new stuff that I open right from the internet. For some reason, however, I can still access files that open a .exe file in conjunction with opening the file, such as an HTM file that allows me to get on the 'net or video clips that automatically open Realplayer (though I can't open IE, Firefox, or Realplayer by themselves without getting the above error message).
 

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Oh, one more thing I just found out:

I can't run a .exe file right off of a cd or dvd either. It gives me the same "archive is either in unknown format or damaged" message. Obviously, the files on my cd's have not been infected or damaged, so what we're looking at is something that just plain messed with my ability to run .exe files. So, is there some way to replace that aspect of XP, at least long enough to run a virus scanner?
 

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Perhaps you would do best to post this problem in the Windows 2000 Forum here at TSF and let the experts there help you. Please be sure to let them know you've been declared clean in the HijackThis section.
 
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