windows 7 won't launch programs

Lenovo IdeaPad Z565 laptop. Windows 7 SP1.

System will boot in normal mode to the desktop. Programs set to launch on boot will launch. Folders (My computer, and others) will open.

No program will launch from an icon.
No program will launch when a file is launched (i.e., a double-click on a Word file will not launch Word)
Task Manager will not launch
I cannot launch a command window from Run... from the start menu
No program will launch from the start menu.

I've done a full chkdsk /f - no joy.

The machine (when booted normally) will not complete a shut down. It will sit at the final screen (the background screen) indefinitely.

If I boot in safe mode with networking, I can launch jobs.

So - any diagnostics, fixes, etc., need to be done from the command line in safe mode, or be able to run in safe mode.


 Welcome to Microsoft Community and thanks for posting the question.


 As per the description, you are having issues with programs not launching.

Method 1:
Step 1:

Boot the computer in safe mode and check for the issue.

Some options, such as safe mode, start Windows in a limited state, where only the bare essentials are started. If a problem doesn't reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers and services as possible causes.

Follow this below provided link to start your computer in safemode.

Step 2:

Place the computer in clean boot and check if the issue persists.

To help troubleshoot error messages and other issues, you can start Windows 7 by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This kind of startup is known as a "clean boot." A clean boot helps eliminate software conflicts.

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

After troubleshooting, make sure to put the computer to start as usual as mentioned in Step 3  from the above provided KB article.

Method 2: You may try the steps from the following link and check if it works:
Can't open .EXE files in Windows 7 or Windows Vista
Registry disclaimer:
To do so:
Important this section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 ( )



How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Reply to us if you face any issues with Programs not launching or any other Windows Issue, and we would be glad to assist you.


Have a nice day!


Hope this information helps.



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Question Info

Last updated November 22, 2020 Views 90,724 Applies to: