Article ID: 310585 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q310585
Expand all | Collapse all


When you attempt to start a program that has an .exe file extension, the program may not start, and you may receive one of the following error messages:
Windows cannot find FILES32.VXD. This program is needed for opening files of type "Application".
Path to program is not a valid Windows application
Your desktop may appear to be blank. Also, the problem occurs many times when you restart your computer. Even after an anti-virus program has indicated it has cleaned the virus, the registry entry described in the "Resolution" section of this article is still in the registry.


This issue may be caused by the Pretty Park virus. The Pretty Park virus creates the Files32.vxd file, and then copies the Files32.vxd file to the Windows\System folder of your computer. Also, the Pretty Park virus modifies a registry key that causes the Files32.vxd file to run when you attempt to run any program that has an .exe file extension.

NOTE: Microsoft does not offer software for computer virus detection or removal. Microsoft recommends that you obtain current anti-virus software from a vendor commercially involved in virus detection and removal. For a list of suppliers (vendors) of anti-virus software, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
49500 List of Anti-Virus Software Vendors


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

To resolve this issue, perform the following steps:

NOTE: When you run the Regedit.exe file, you may experience the symptoms described in the "Symptoms" section of this article. To work around this issue, rename the Regedit.exe file to, and then follow the instructions described in this section. After you are finished, rename the file back to Regedit.exe.
  1. Use Registry Editor to view and modify the following registry key:
  2. Double-click the following registry string value:
    <NO NAME>: REG_SZ: "files32.vxd" "%1" %*
  3. In the String box, remove Files32.vxd from the string. The correct string for this value is:
    "%1" %*
    NOTE: The registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Exefile\Shell\Open\Command may also contact the same string value; therefore you must also modify this key to remove Files32.vxd from the string. When you remove Files32.vxd from the string, if a space is included, you may receive a "Windows cannot find .exe" message when you attempt to run an .exe file. Verify that there are no extra spaces in the string after you remove Files32.vxd.

  4. Click OK, and then quit Registry Editor.
  5. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  6. In the Named box, type files32.vxd, and then click Find Now
  7. In the Name box, right-click the Files32.vxd file, and then click Delete.
NOTE: The Files32.vxd file is not a Windows file and does not reside on the Windows media.


For additional information about the Files32.vxd file and the Pretty Park virus, visit the following Symantec Web site:
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

NOTE: Microsoft does not provide software that can detect or remove computer viruses. If you suspect or confirm that your computer is infected with a virus, obtain current antivirus software. For a list of antivirus software manufacturers, click the following article number to see the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
49500 List of Antivirus Software Vendors


Article ID: 310585 - Last Review: September 25, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbui KB310585

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from