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Microsoft KB Archive/172223

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Knowledge Base

Cannot Run Shortcuts from the Start Menu or from the Desktop

Article ID: 172223

Article Last Modified on 2/23/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172223


When you double-click on a shortcut or select an item from the Start menu, nothing happens. When you try to run any program or shortcut from Control Panel, the following error messages may appear:

Access to the specified device, path, or file is denied.


This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in My Computer by clicking View and then clicking Options.

Also, when you click Options from the View menu in My Computer, click the File Types tab, and then select Application, the "Open with:" field is blank (instead of displaying (EXECUTABLE)).


The Open and/or Open\Command key(s) in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Exefile\Shell subkey of the registry have been corrupted, modified, or are missing.


You can use the Emergency Repair Disk to restore the Software Hive.


To manually check and/or restore the Open key you will need to edit the registry. To edit the registry, perform the following steps:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

  1. Run Registry Editor, (Regedt32.exe) and verify the following registry entries exist.

          Default Value = EditFlags:REG_BINARY:00 00 00 00
          Default Value = <No Name>:REG_SZ:"%1"%*

    If these keys do not exist, modify the registry as described in the steps below. If the keys do exist, verify that the information contained in them is correct.

  2. Select the following key:

  3. From the Edit menu, click Add Key.
  4. In the Key Name box, type Open, and then click OK.
  5. Select the new Open key.
  6. From the Edit menu, click Add Value.
  7. In the Value Name box, type EditFlags. Select REG_BINARY for Data Type. Click OK.
  8. In the String box, type 00000000. Choose Hex as the Data Format and then click OK.
  9. From the Edit menu, click Add Key.
  10. In the Key Name box, type Command, and then click OK.
  11. Select the new Command key.
  12. From the Edit menu, click Add Value.
  13. Leave the Value Name box blank. Select REG_SZ for Data Type, and then click OK.
  14. In the String box, type "%1"%*, with quotation marks, and then click OK.
  15. Exit Registry Editor.

All application shortcut and program functionality should now be restored to its default state.

Keywords: kbenv KB172223