Not sure if a virus or spyware/malware caused this problem but all windows xp icons and programs open to a File Type Helper box that gives an option to 1)search the internet for a software that can help you open the file, 2)read and learn about the .exe file, or 3) Open the file with a software that is already installed. I cannot edit the registry, cannot open explorer, cannot run any program executable not even from a flash drive. All icons and program shortcuts have been changed to .lnk file extentions. I am sure I can fdisk and reload all software but how do I get my files back? I was able to scan the drive on another computer to remove viruses and spyware/malware but the file structure is still screwed. What can I do to retrieve the files?
Icons & Programs changed to .lnk files, Win XP .exe files opens File Type Helper(4 posts)
Try to use this to recover your files: http://www.howtogeek.com/forum.....?replies=1
Then I absolutely recommend a clean install of an Operating System. But please, take into consideration that Windows XP is 11 years old, and support for it ends in April 8, 2014. Consider upgrading to a newer Operating System, such as Windows 7 or Ubuntu 12.04.
You can install and test Windows 7 for free during 30 days with the same ISO to recover your files. You will need to buy a license after that.
Ubuntu is free, you can download the ISO image of Ubuntu Live CD from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop . Select 12.04.1 LTS (32-bit version). Burn it to a CD, you can boot and test Ubuntu from this Live CD before installing. You can recover your files with it too.