Windows XP/.LNK file error


QUESTION: attempting to use xp sp3 disc from external disc drive. dell mini 10 have no disc drive(only external). problem is all programs switched to .lnk file witch will not open nor will Any .exe files so auto run wont run or open. tried to boot from disc but unsuccessful nothing happened. any suggestions?

ANSWER: Mike:  your file associations got trashed.  Could be any of a number of things that caused this, one of the most common is a virus.  Have you checked the external drive to see if it is clean?

Can you get to the internet?  If so, go to:  Let me know how it turns out.


Mike:  try this:  boot into safe mode with network support.  I believe safe mode loads a minimal registry, which, hopefully, will bypass the bad stuff.  Then try the fix above.  Let me know if it works.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hi tommm, thanks again but no luck. it did offer outlook express which has me wondering about other safe mode settings. my object was to install a new windows os, correct? I read somewhere about opening a program somehow through notebook which, works also but that info was only viewed once. im wondering if the command prompt may help me? im spinnin'. thank you so much for your help! mike

ANSWER: Mike:  if the intent is to install a new OS, then here's another thing to try.  Boot the box normally.  If you can, find the drive designation for the CDROM.  If you can't find it, I'm guessing that it's drive letter D or E.  Go to a command propmt.  Type D:\setup.exe or E:\setup.exe.  Assuming it will read the CD, and the stars are aligned correctly, the install will begin.  Let me know what happens.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Tommm, it opened the welcome to Microsoft what do you want to do screen and presented the little hand icon over install xp but would not open when clicked or hit enter. It does open the install optional windows components but when it comes to an exe it just wont budge. thanks again, mike

Mike:  yet a couple of more things to try.  You can do the same procedure as above - except this time do it in safe mode.  See if you get anywhere.

Another thing you might want to play with is to change the boot sequence to make the computer boot from the CDROM drive.  Reboot the computer and it's either F2 or F12 (I don't remember and I'm currently on a Mac so I can't test it).  You'll see a boot preference menu and select the CDROM.  Reboot with the disc in the drive and see if it does anything.  Not sure if you've got a bootable disc.  If nothing happens, see if you can get to a command prompt.  The do the setup.exe thing.  Let me know if it blows up.


Windows XP

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Thomas Mihalik


Can assist with most issues involving XP - system configuration, drivers, recovery, home network set-up/maintenance and so forth. Can also help with issues like viruses, system cleanups and peripherals such as printers, external hard drives as well as other USB devices.


Was system administrator for over 45 users at a major research university in the Chicago area for 10 years (before I finally was able to hire someone to do it). Also have owned/configured computers for over 20+ years. Also volunteer locally to fix computers for seniors.

NACUBO SCUP United Way Humane Society

B.A. Humanities, Purdue M.S. Management, Purdue

©2016 All rights reserved.