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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Riva Riva is offline
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file association "change" button disabled for all types

Hello :-)

I have a neighbour who's XP system is having an unusual problem.
I scanned his system with malwarebytes and no malware were found. I have a HJT log if needed, but will not post til asked for.

the problem is that the file association "change" button in the folder options section is greyed out and will not let me change ANY file associations, even in ADMIN mode.

the curious thing is that I can in "Safe mode". but when booting in full mode the button is greyed out.

by example: his Internet Explorer drags terribly, so until that is remedied, I put firefox on and all is well when surfing therein. So I wanted to put Firefox in as the default program for all .htm and .html so that when he opened a link from email, firefox would respond. No "change" button available in normal mode, and IE is listed as the default, so i went in to safe mode, and was able to change it. I exited and went back to normal mode, and IE is default and no "change" button again. So I went back to Safe mode and the default was still set at firefox for html and htm files.

So. I expect there are two approaches to this dilema, 1) change the default extension by another method and remedy the 'greyed out' button, and/or 2) what is keeping hold of IE as default by disabling the change feature for all file types? and I guess, possibly repairing IE.

I wasn't sure if this could be a xp, ie, or security issue. So if the post needs to be moved, let me know.

LIne 314 here
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
offers a script for repairing the fact that there is no files association undo feature.

however I didn't want to make changes until checking here in case doing so would obscure what the cause of the problem.

I would appreicate a reply from someone who has some knowledge about the causes and remedies of same.

have a great day.

Riva
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2012, 10:54 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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Have you tried just setting Firefox as the default browser? It's in Firefox>Tools>Options>Advanced>General tab. Click the "Check Now" button and in the window that opens, tell it yes, you want Firefox to be the default browser.

As for other files associations, right click a file you want to change the association for and in the menu that opens, go to "Open With." In the sub-menu that opens, click on "Choose from list" (or whatever the option is other than a program; I don't have an XP system to check the wording).

In the window that opens, click on the Program you want to use for files of that type to select it. Then at the bottom of that window, check the box, "Always use this program to open this type of file" and click OK.

See if that method works.
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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2012, 11:09 PM
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Riva Riva is offline
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Hi,
All the usual methods, right clicking etc don't work. The ability to change the present association is not there unless in safe mode. The assoc is changed in safe mode eleven when I go back to check, but nothing changes in normal boot. This suggests to me that something that loads in normal is interfering or corrupt. But I don't know where to look or what to adjust.
Riva
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Old April 5th, 2012, 12:08 AM
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Miz Miz is offline
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If Firefox won't let you set it as the default...which would accomplish the one goal of having all email links and html files...and since you cannot use the right-click method of changing file associations, I suspect malware of some sort.

Malware gets more sophisticated every day and much of it requires specialized tools that require some knowledge and skill to use effective. Fortunately, we have people with that knowledge and skill!

If you agree it's a possible malware problem, read this thread, then start a new thread in our Malware Removal Forum and
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  #5  
Old April 5th, 2012, 01:22 AM
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Riva Riva is offline
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Hi Miz
thanks. I will start there to rule out Malware.
take care
Riva
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  #6  
Old April 5th, 2012, 03:16 AM
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Riva Riva is offline
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Hi again
Jintan from the malware forum indicates no infection in the log. So I'm back for some more ideas.

The problem is twofold 1) how to re-enable the file association "change" button in the folder and 2) how to repair IE to run efficiently again.
:-)
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  #7  
Old April 5th, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Riva Riva is offline
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Hey Miz
Let's put this on hold for a bit. Just got another MSG from the malware forum. Will work on one thread at a time. I will get back if needed.
Riva
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  #8  
Old April 6th, 2012, 11:23 PM
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Mastersplinter Mastersplinter is offline
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You may find this link useful.
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm
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