Fix: Program with an .exe file extension fails to start in Windows XP

This article may interest you, if you try to launch a program that has an .exe file extension and the program fails to start.

Additionally, you may receive one of the following error messages:
Windows cannot find FILES32.VXD. This program is needed for opening files of type “Application”.
Path to program is not a valid Windows application

You encounter this issue, if your computer is infected by the Pretty Park virus. The Pretty Park virus creates the Files32.vxd file, and then copies the Files32.vxd file to the Windows\System folder of your computer.

Also, the Pretty Park virus modifies a registry key that causes the Files32.vxd file to run when you attempt to run any program that has an .exe file extension.

In this case,
– Your desktop may appear to be blank.
– The problem occurs many times when you restart your computer.
– Even after an anti-virus program has indicated it has cleaned the virus, the registry entry created by the virus is still in the registry.

To resolve this issue, you will need to modify the registry to remove the Files32.vxd entry from the registry. See Microsoft KB310585 for steps on how to.

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