The Windows Picture and Fax View does not want to work for me. I will double click a file to have it open with the picture viewr, but no luck. But when I right click on the image and go to open with>and then choose the picture viewer the picture opens fine. any ideas?
Try right mouse clicking on the image file and choose "Open With" > "Choose Program...". Pick a different program to be the default graphics viewer and click on "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file". Now click "OK". I might even reboot the computer next.
Now do the same steps again but this time choose "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer" and click on "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file".
It sounds like your Open action for pics got screwed up. Here's somethin you can try. (I'm installing SuSE right now, so I can't check my XP at the moment. Most of this will be from memory, but you should get an idea of what to do.) Go to Windows Explorer. Tools -> Folder Options -> File Types tab. Find the type of file you're trying to use (probably .JPG). Below the file types list there should be a couple of buttons. One of the buttons will be called [Edit...] or [Advanced] or somethin like that; click on it. It will pop up another window so you can edit that file type's properties. Look under "Actions". There should be the word "open" in bold and maybe a few others. Double click on "open" and check to make sure that it's calling the picture viewer prog correctly. It should have a %1 after the "C:\~~~~\~~~\~~.exe" stuff. (The %1 tells windows to pass the file name of the file you opened to the picture viewer.) Check all the other stuff in there to make sure it's ok.
NOTE: I personally do not like the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer prog. IrfanView, in my opinion, is a much better, faster, and more versatile program (and can open a ton of different file formats). xp-erience.org had an article about it not too long ago. Check www.irfanview.com for details.