On my wife's XP laptop, going to My Computer and double-clicking any drive icon does not open the drive to show a window of folders and files. Instead, the "Open With" dialog, appears, asking us to "Choose the program you want to use to open this file." So we don't double-click (except when we forget). Right-clicking and selecting Open works, except...

...when we first right-click, but before the right-click popup (shell/context) menu appears, a dialog pops up asking us to wait while Windows installs EZ CD Creator. We click "cancel" and the dialog goes away, but may pop up again, and have to be canceled, several times before the drive actually opens and we get the window containing the files and folders.

Any suggestions would be appreciated as this is driving us nuts.

It sounds like the windows registry has been corrupted. It's possible a windows update may repair the damage.

If that doesn't help, let me know, and I will come up with some more idea's.

xetwnk.... check to see if in the root of each drive there is a file called autorun.inf. If there is please drag one into a notepad, zip it and attach to your next post [use the Go Advanced button]. Then delete each autorun.inf file that you find in the root of any drive. Tell us if they stay deleted ie are not recreated, say, at a fresh startup.

Do The following :

Open CMD (Start/Run/Cmd)
Type in :
1) X: (where X is the drive letter of the drive)
2) Type in 'del autorun.* /f /s /q /a'
3) Now Restart The Pc Immediately

Now try opening the drives, should work. Report back.

Thank you both for your responses thus far.

Alas, there were no autorun.* files in the root of C: or any other drive. I went through the motions of deleting them just in case, then rebooted, but it has made no difference -- (mis)behavior is just the same as I originally described.



It sounds like the windows registry has been corrupted. It's possible a windows update may repair the damage.

If that doesn't help, let me know, and I will come up with some more idea's.

Any particular Windows Update? Do you refer to clicking on the balloon that pops up to inform us that "there are updates for your computer," or is there a specific MS webpage I should be looking at/for? I'll try the balloon thing while I wait to hear from you.

Do you have your windows install cd?

If so, Start, Run, type sfc\ scannow press enter.
You will need a full windows cd in the drive, not a recovery cd for this.

Do you have your windows install cd?

If so, Start, Run, type sfc\ scannow press enter.
You will need a full windows cd in the drive, not a recovery cd for this.

Yes, we have it. I even more-or-less think I know where it might be. ;-)

It's an HP-laptop-specific version, if that matters.

Further bulletins as events warrant, or if you write again right away.

Okay. I inserted the Windows XP install CD and canceled / closed the autostart window that came up. I popped up a cmd window and typed the command you gave --

sfc\ scannow

and it was not recognized. I thought the syntax looked a little off, but I stuck with it as you had given it, at first. I searched C: for sfc.* and found it in C:\WINDOWS\system32, but specifying the full path still gave a not-recognized error. I CD'd to C:\WINDOWS\system32 and tried again; still not recognized. At that point I did a

sfc /?

-- with no trailing backslash -- and was rewarded with a list of options that included /SCANNOW -- with a forward slash.

So I did a


and that finally popped up a dialog box with a very slowly moving progress bar and a text about checking whether Windows protected files were in their original versions.

That ran for ten or fifteen minutes and then the window disappeared, leaving no message or other evidence of any results. Should I have seen anything else?

Just in case I did something that caused it to close prematurely, I am running it again as I write this.

Oh -- at no point did the program ask for, or appear to access, the CD.

And -- a question: won't Windows Updates done since the install from this CD, cause the files to show up as not their "original versions?"

Oops, it should be sfc/ scannow. Note that there is a space between / and scannow.

The scan should be able to tell the difference between an updated file and an altered or corrupted file.

Okay. I've done sfc /SCANNOW twice now, and both times it has done its thing and then vanished without leaving any kind of a report or message on the screen. Is there a log file or anything?


you should do what godsp3ed suggested in post #4

sfc /scannow performs as per the behaviour you noted. There is no fanfare when it closes, no logfile, it does its job and that is it. Windows File Protection system [which is what this is] takes file version information from protected files, checks for the existence of updates via the Windows\$hf_mig$ folder and then uses that info to replace any corrupted or missing files. So, no, your Windows Updates are not affected. Re the lack of cd activity, you may have a [hidden] i386 folder which is pointed to in registry as the source of valid files, while updated versions are kept iin that $hf_mig$ folder.
And yes, autorun.inf may be hidden; godspeed's del cmd will work if it is.

caperjack:Whoops -- my mistake; I forgot to mention that I did as Godsp3ed recommended, right after he recommended it. No effect on the problem.

gerbil: Thanks for the details. So if something were out of date it would just quietly fix it? I haven't tried rebooting since I did the sfc thing...

Ultimately we will likely just wipe the HDD and reinstall XP, but that could be months or years away, as my wife doesn't usually have enough downtime to allow a day or three for that process... so I'd still like to try to fix this "in place."

Um... always reboot after doing sys file work, because the files that are already in memory won't be affected until they are reread.
Just in case malware did this [some do, because it is a lazy way of getting your files to execute], run MBAM, It finds various of the malwares that exhibit this behaviour:
==Please download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
from: http://www.majorgeeks.com/Malwarebytes_Anti-Malware_d5756.html
or: http://www.besttechie.net/tools/mbam-setup.exe
=Dclick that file, mbam-setup.exe, to install the application,
-ensure that it is set to update and start, else start it via the icon, and UPDATE it.
Select "Perform QUICK Scan", then click Scan; the application will guide you through the remaining steps.
ENSURE that EVERYTHING found has a CHECKMARK against it, then click Remove Selected.
If malware has been found [and removed] MBAM will automatically produce a log for you when it completes... do not click the Save Logfile button.
Examine the log: if some files are listed as Delete on Reboot then restart your machine before continuing.
Copy and post that log [it is also saved under Logs tab in MBAM].

Sorry to leave you all hanging; I was unemployed for seven months while taking a graduate college class and this is the first chance I've had to even remember this board's existence and check back here.

I never did get this problem fixed, and the laptop's hard drive died in early December. So now I'm trying to find someone with the same make-and-model drive so I can try swapping circuit boards... I'd consider this thread closed at this point.

Swapping HDD circuit boards never works!