Vista desktop shortcut .LNK file associations

All of the desktop shortcut icons and Start program icons on a Vista Home Premium SP1 machine have had their file  association changed from whatever the default association was to another program, ie. IE Explorer, with the result that none of the links launch the correct program.  Changing the Open With setting of any one link to any other program causes all of the links to change to the selected program.  Consequently, nothing works.  Is there a default file association for *.LNK files and if so can the current file association be changed back to the correct Windows default?  The system has Norton Anti-virus running and up-to-date so no indication of a virus problem and while the user isn't certain, recalls responding to an 'open with' request while starting a game.  All other configuration settings appear to be okay.  Any suggestions?
Hi boogysk,

It sound like your system is infected with a malware.  Even though with Norton running and up to date, there is a chance it might miss something. 
Reboot the computer and login into Safe Mode by pressing F8 before Windows boot up then select Safe Mode with Networking.  Follow these instructions and download/run the malware scan.  Be sure to update the software before running the scans.

Here's few suggestion:

Let us know the results,
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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Question Info

Last updated November 5, 2018 Views 25,580 Applies to: