I am trying to fix one of my wife's foreign students' laptops with Vista
Home Premium. It boots to the desktop, but no programs will execute:
whatever I try to start, I get the box asking me what program I want to
use to open it, even though it's an .exe program that I'm trying to start.
The student says he clicked on an email even though it looked suspicious
because he assumed that his antivirus software would catch it if it
really was harmful -- but his antivirus software is out of date.
The backup and Restore feature works but tells me that the last backup
was two years ago. No System Restore Points are displayed.
Is there something simple to try before I try a repair install from a
"plain vanilla" Vista disk (i.e., one without Dell-specific drivers and
other add-ons)? I have a Macrium Reflect Free boot disk I could use to
backup all his personal data first -- in fact I have three such discs:
one each based on Win XP, Win 7, and Linux.