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Notepad not available in "Open With"

By Eric9 ·
Hello all,

Got another bizzare problem...

I have a machine that looks like it has been heavily modified by a user. One of the problems it is currently having is when you try to double click a text file you get an error stating that Windows can not find the file, check the spelling.

The other oddity is if I choose to open a file with another program, the window opens asking which program I want to use, Notepad is not there... So I navigate to Notepad in c:\windows\system32\NOTEPAD.EXE but when I hit open, I go back to the Open With screen, and Notepad is not there even though I just selected it!

I went into Folder Options and looked at the default choices for what to do with a text file, and the default is Open, and it has an action of "%SystemRoot%\system32\NOTEPAD.EXE %1" so I paste that line into my Run line, and sure enough it lauches like it should.

I have virus scanned and spyware scanned this machine, and it did have some major spyware, but removing those did not affect this problem.

The machine is Windows XP SP1 with all patches applied. I do not know when this problem started or what caused it.

Any tips would be very appreciated!


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by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Notepad not available in ...

about 2 years ago I found a virus that was doing that.
check in the registry hkey local machine/software/microsoft/windows/current version/run if you see something suspicious.


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by Eric9 In reply to

Good idea Leopold, but nuttin too odd there, just the usual stuff. I did boot into safe mode and do a virus scan just to make certain nothing was there too.

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by voldar In reply to Notepad not available in ...

And if you do a reinstallation of the system? I know it's the last option, but sometimes, it's the ONLY one.

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by Eric9 In reply to

I'm sure a reload would fix it, this behavior is not displayed in a fresh load of Windows. However I would have liked to know how to fix it in case it comes up again.

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Might try to Delete Notepad.exe which you found and tried to run directly. After deleting copy it from another system into the same location and try to run the file - could simply be the Notepad program file has been corrupted. Another possibility is that the extention on the NotePad program file has been changed. Be sure to look at it with your options set to show full extensions even for known filetypes.
I have to agree with the previous answer though, if the system has been too heavily modified by a user it may be time re-install (an image software like Ghost works well in these cases if you have simular machines).

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by dbowlin In reply to Notepad not available in ...

There is a command line utility. Assoc that I have used in similar situations. Look in Windows help for the syntax.

Good luck,

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by Eric9 In reply to

Hi dbowlin, the assoc utility was able to free the binding of text files, and is allowing me to open them again by double clicking them. However I am still unable to pick Notepad as a program in "Open With."

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by Eric9 In reply to Notepad not available in ...

This question was closed by the author

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