It's your combatility issues. You know the option where you can tell applications this os is say windows 98 in xp. My reg was glitched out and it was some how set to default Windows 95. Just check that and also try search msdn or technet.
I had a similar problems, look in the registry on the default to open .exe files.. a virus or whatever screwd up mine, and tried to put all these extra commands inside of the program. It can be very messy to fix, and I'm not sure how to, but i did mange it, so you can too.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS