I have experienced a sudden problem starting programs. The computer boots
correctly, and all desktop icons appear correctly. But when I double click a
desktop icon, or start a program from the start menu, I get a popup window
displaying a list of programs and asking me which program I want to use to
start the application. I select the correct program (or browse to the
appropriate .exe file), but still the application doesn't start. This
includes IE and Windows Messenger. My virus scanner was about the only thing
that I could start up, and I did a system scan with Panda Anti-Virus, but it
didn't show anything substantial (just some cookies).
Using my WinXP set up disk, I've tried to do a repair (I guess
reinstallation without reformatting the hard disk), but after I entered the
License Key, the computer did a reboot and then stopped. It is stuck on the
XP splash screen and won't go any further (I once let it run over night, but
it was still frozen on the splash screen). I even tried to repeat the repair
process, but that didn't work.
Automatic updates did download an update just before this problem started (I
think it was the day before the problems began). I don't know what this
update was and I'm not sure it was SP3 (system does have SP2 installed).
Considering that the computer freezes now when booting up, is there anything
that I can do short of reformatting the Hard Drive????