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Hi Fellows,

I am facing issue while opening some programs due to bugs in the registry, keep on getting the error message "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel" while opening few .exe files, here's the history of events which took me to reach this issue.

3 days back, I pluged in an infected pen drive in my PC (from a friend of mine). Unluckyly, I had antivirus installed (ESET) but it was not working that time due to some "unable to load Kernel" kind of issue.
That allowed the torjan to sneek into my system, caused some problems while opening the drives, folders and files which most of the torjans do.
I downloaded "Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware" and updated it and run the whole computer scan, it found a virus in /system32 directory named "Sality" and destroyed it that time. But every time I logged off my pc or restart the system, virus was certainly bouncing back again. Repeated same step over and over, scaning and removing it through Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
Then I downloaded MSE antivirus and scan my whole system with that. It worked and fixed that sality bug permanently but now I am facing this annoying problem. Ok, "FEW .EXE FILES ARE NOT OPERATING, WHEN I OPEN THOSE I GET A POP UP ERROR MESSAGE LIKE "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel". I AM GETTING THIS ERROR FOR SOME PROGRAMS LIKE SKYPE, INTERNET EXPLORER, EXCEL, CCLEANER, TEAMVIEWER ETC. ETC. FEW PROGRAMS ARE WORKING FINE LIKE FIREFOX, CHROME, OUTLOOK, MUSIC FILES, PHOTOSHOP, GRAPHIC FILES, ETC....I KNOW THERE WAS SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH THE REGISTRY, & I TRIED TO FIXED THAT BUT NOT WORKED FOR ME. USED CCLEANER, REGISTRYEDITOR, REGISTRY MECHANIC, REGISTRY BOOSTER.
ALSO SAW SOME REVIEWS AFTER I GOOGLE THE ERROR, TRIED FEW OF THE SOLUTIONS CAME UP WITH GOOGLE SEARCH BUT SAME ISSUE STILL REMAINS. TRIED TO CHANGE THE (NONE) FILE EXTENTIONS FROM "FOLDER OPTIONS" AS WELL. I DON'T REMEMBER HOW MANY METHODS I'VE TRIED TO GET OVER THIS THING....................SHOULD I FORMAT MY DRIVE AND REINSTALL OPERATING SYSTEM OR IS THERE ANY SOLUTION ON THE EARTH TO GET IT FIXED????

Many Thanks,

Edited by Ezzaral: Do not write in all uppercase or use "leet", "txt" or "chatroom" speak .

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Last Post by rubberman
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Hi,

The "Sality" virus is probably the worst virus I have come across.

The virus will infect every single .exe file, so any program you run however normal - firefox, explorer, word etc will startup the virus.

Example:

You unzip some files, one .exe file has the virus - you run it.
Next, you open "Notepad" - Notepad is now infected
Then, you open Firefox - firefox is now infected - and so on and so on.

If you are absolutely sure you have removed all infected .exe files:
You could run a repair of Windows and re-install the programs that were removed.

Remember - if you do this then download new copies of the missing programs.

What I would do:

Get / borrow an external disk for backup
Scan that disk on another machine to be sure it is clean
Backup your music / pictures etc - **NO .exe files!
**

Do a new install of Windows - before installing, delete the partion and then install.

Remember, it only takes 1 copy of this virus to get back in and you are back to square one.

When you have finished the new install of Windows:
First, get an anti virus program on such as avast (it's free)
then scan your backup disk
copy your music / pictures back
scan your computer now

If at this stage all is ok, then I would install any drivers needed, and install any programs you have lost (new copies - not the old).

Don't forget to scan all USB drives before using them again.

Please let me know what you want to do, as I can help.

Andy.

Edited by andy1966: Extra advice

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Hi Andy,
Thanks for your input.
Well, reinstalling the operating system would be my last choice. I have lot of stuff installed on my machine that I don't want to lose e.g. User history, Bookmarks, Site preferences, Auto Form/Search history, Office dictionary modifications, Added Fonts which I use in different programs, softwares logs/user history etc etc. that kind of information would be lost if I reinstall the OS.
Can I do a "File & Settings Transfer Wizard" for my current Windows User and then apply it afer reinstalling the OS? will virus stike back with this method?

Secondly, I think Microsoft Essential Antivirus + Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is doing good at the moment. I don't have the issues with sality virus, seems ok to me now.
The new programs I installed or reinstalled after clearing up the virus are working perfectly afterwards. Just e.g. today I reinstalled the SKYPE and it is working fine now, not giving that error again. I am not sure but I feel that those .exe files that were infected by the Sality were removed or dissociated by the antivirus program. I think may be some crucial system files were also disturbed along with the infected files.

I have no longer any issues with the virus itself right now, what I am experiencing might be the impacts of the virus.

I thought fixing the registry entries or doing some registry modfication would solve the problem permanently for that reason I posted the problem here. I don't know which component of windows is working fine at the moment and which one is not. I only realize when I try to access it when needed and it pop-ups that error.

Please advise.

Thanks!
Obi

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Hi Obi,

No problem, I always try to help!

I think you can try two things but it depends on what version of Windows you are using?

Option 1 - SFC:

The sfc /scannow command checks your system files and can repair / re-install them.

If you are using Windows Vista or 7 please read this
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1538-sfc-scannow-command-system-file-checker.html

Navigate to your C drive, then Windows folder, then System32 folder - find CMD.exe and right click on it (that's the command prompt) and click "Run as Administrator", and follow the instructions in the link above.

If you are using Windows XP:
You will need your Windows XP disk in your CD drive first, then go to the command prompt

Navigate to your C drive, then Windows folder, then System32 folder - find CMD.exe and double click on it (that's the command prompt)

Type sfc /scannow - and press enter - and let it run.

When running SFC: (any windows operating system)
This may take a few minutes, so be patient and let it finish, once finished try rebooting and check your system.

Obi, please note - any themes you have will be set back to their defaults - but I don't think this is too much to put up with and I wouldn't worry about it.

Option 2 - a repair of windows:

This is more complicated issue, try SFC first and let me know.

I would stay away from the file / transfer wizard for now, it's not guaranteed to copy everything I think you want.

Let me know how you get on,
Andy.

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  1. Boot a live Linux image from a cd/cvd/usb drive.
  2. Attach external hard drive or usb drive to save data. Format as either ntfs or fat-32.
  3. Mount internal system drive (windows) as ntfs volume at some specified mount point, such as /mnt/winboot, on the live linux system.
  4. Backup your data to the external drive.
  5. Reinstall Windows from scratch.
  6. Attach external drive with backup data.
  7. Scan backup data for viruses.
  8. Reinstall all needed software.
  9. Restore user data from external drive.

And don't bother trying to restore from the restore partition on the system disc. Most malware these days will also infect critical components there so if you reinstall from the restore partition, you will still be infected!

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