How can I fix a problem with .lnk / win32 files on Windows XP?

Steph January 18, 2011

All my files turned to .lnk. As I tried to fix it myself I managed to change them all to win32, which won’t open anything but Word. I need to recover my old files but I am not connected to the internet on that computer.

Can you help? I’m on Windows XP. I read some other choices (Start / Control Panel / Programs …), but the rest of the info provided wasn’t in my system. HELP! :(

  1. Mark
    April 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    This is what I did after going round and round trying to find the answer to my .lnk problem (changing all my shortcut and programs extensions to .lnk)...

    1) Start Menu
    2) My Computer
    3) Tools
    4) Folder Options
    5) File Types
    6) Click New Button
    7) File Extension Box = LNK
    8) Click Advanced Tab... In Associated File Type Box = Shortcut
    9) Click OK

    What happen right-a-way all of my Icons changed back to normal and all my programs
    started working. I did a reboot and everything is still working.

    I hope this helps.

      May 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm


  2. Deepak
    August 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Hi Guys,
    I am facing .ink virus problem in my PC (window 7). This happen when i open a downloaded file in VLC by chossing open with option.All installed icons changes to VLC icon. When i click one by one on icons it opens with VLC icon showing extension.All programs in start window changes to VLC.I Scan the system with my antivirus but no affect. Now after 6-8 hours when i start my pc , it goes to welcome window but after that it automatically shut happens 3 -4 times.Now i am running my system in safe & networking mode. Pls provide me a solution for this problem ..i will highly thkful to u guys. Waiting for reply

    Thanks & Regards,
    Deepak Singh

    • Aibek
      August 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Hey Deepak,

      OK I see your problem has been fixed on another thread. //

      Glad we could help. Come back often :)


    • Aibek
      August 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

      OK, I see this problem was fixed by a solution recommended here //

      Glad we could help, come back often :)

  3. Openrule
    July 25, 2011 at 4:13 am

    I need help too

    • Tina
      July 25, 2011 at 11:59 am


      did you try the fix suggested by Aibek, the very first comment in this long list?

  4. __UN__
    July 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Tools - Folder Options - View - unhide this option "Hide protected opreating system files (Recommended)"

    • __UN__
      July 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

      U will be able to see your Files...copy and paste whatever you want from your files to another drive and then..format that drive.

      make sure that you clean the files before you copy them. :) good luck

  5. cannot delete file
    June 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

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  6. steph
    January 21, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I'm so tired. I will try the latest test tomorrow & advise. Thank you so much & wish me luck.... btw - no disk :( lost it

    • Aibek
      January 21, 2011 at 2:12 am

      don't forget to let us know how it goes.


  7. Anonymous
    January 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Reboot to safe mode and see if you can access to your programs, meanwhile in safe mode you can clean your pc with regcleaners and try using the archive files to open them.

    Well you can try to open it in another pc then add it to usb key and then try it again on your pc.
    Alternatively you can reboot on windows xp cd and try the repair function.

    Broken EXE Association: You can make the regkey yourself

    WAssociate 3.4.4


    how To Change file associations In Windows Xp

  8. Steph
    January 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    i cant even run a repair from ANY link. Am I just screwed? I want to aleast pull my iTunes off .... HELP! ANYONE!!

  9. Yussof
    January 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    i had same problem.Thank u very much fidelis...

    January 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Hello, the most important thing you can is to make sure you scan your system for malware. Run a complete scan with your antivirus and also make sure you download malwarebytes, update it and run a full scan. Most times when system get infected they show symptoms like the ones you are having. Once the infection is taken care of, either the system goes back to normal or it is easier to fix file extensions. Hope it helps.

    • Steph
      January 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      i cant even do that. All my files are either .ink or .exe, looks to me like the shortcut has disappeared. Nothing is working. The above links did nothing either :(

  11. Anonymous
    January 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Go to the link below and download the "Folder Association Fix" which Restores default associations for File Folders. It's a ZIP file, which contains a REG (Registry) file. Download the ZIP and open it. Extract the REG file to your hard disk and double click it. Answer yes to the import prompt
    Windows® XP File Association Fixes

    RRT (Remove Restrictions Tool) 1.0

    • Steph
      January 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      that didnt work. when you "save" the Zip folder it it wont open the file any further

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