||What Are EXE Files?
Since the moment that the .exe application file was designed to replace the .com files originally used by the MS-DOS operating system (yes, it really was that long ago) almost everyone has used .exe files.
An .exe file is a short version of the phrase ‘executable’ application, meaning that, once you ‘activate’ the application it will begin the process that it is designed for.
Thus it is that the vast majority of software, add-on and plug-in downloads that you may want to use will arrive on your PC as .exe files.
All you need to do is download the file, and double click it on your PC’s desktop. This starts the installation process, and you then have little to do but follow the on-screen instructions.
This, however, makes one basic assumption, that is, that you actually choose to download and install this .exe file in the first place.
There are many times when this is simply not the case.
For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, then many websites that you visit will load small .exe files onto your PC, in order to allow you to view or participate in the content of the website in question.
It is unlikely that this .exe file will ask your permission to activate itself, and, indeed, in the vast majority of cases, you probably will not even know that it is there.
Whilst many such .exe files are harmless and are only on your machine to allow you to view the site that you requested in you IE web browser, this is also how most of the spyware and adware programs are installed unbeknownst onto most peoples PC’s.
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||Some Common EXE Errors
Although it would not be strictly true to say that having spyware and adware programs installed onto your PC without you knowing it is an .exe error, nevertheless, it is something that will adversely affect your PC’s performance.
For this one reason alone, you should schedule regular spyware scans – running the scan at least once a week is, in my experience a good guideline.
Other than this, the most common .exe error that you are likely to see is that the .exe file refuses to do what it is supposed to do, either when you double click it or when a program that is using the .exe file in question calls it up to do its job.
The executable file does not, in other words, execute!
Simple enough to explain what happens (or does not happen), of course, but far harder to explain why it happens.
The first suspect would be your Antivirus software and any Firewall that you might have in place.
Remember that the sole purpose for the existence of these programs is to prevent malicious software and so on getting onto your PC and so it is very easy to see that a new .exe might appear ‘suspicious’ to your AV software.
Try disabling the AV and Firewall programs and see whether that fixes the problem, as a first step.
If that doesn’t work, try downloading the .exe file again. You may for some reason have got a damaged or corrupt copy on our first attempt to download it.
After that, it can be more difficult to find the reason.
The .exe application may, for example, refuse to work because it is in ‘conflict’ with another .exe file or another program somewhere within Windows.
Which .exe file or program it might be will, however, not always be that easy to discover without the correct tools for the job.
You may find that the .exe application gets half way through an installation, and then quits. Once again the reasons could be many and various, pretty much along the lines of what we have defined above.
It could be a damaged .exe file, or it could be in conflict with other .exe files and programs, and so on.
Many programs that you have on your PC rely on .exe files to make them run.
For example, if you have a video player, than it uses several different .exe files to make each separate ‘part’ of the overall program work (one .exe file controls audio, another in a graphics accelerator, and so on).
If one .exe file chooses not to work, then the program itself will not work either (or will work very slowly) and you will see an error message along the lines of “IExplorer.exe has generated an error” or something like it, clearly pointing the finger of blame at one of the constituent .exe files that together make up the program.
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||Repair EXE Errors
As highlighted above, some .exe ‘errors’ are the result of spyware and viruses that might have been downloaded onto your machine. So, you need to run the proper spyware and virus scans to see if this is what is causing you problems.
You can turn off your AV software if an .exe file refuses to run, and try to download it again to see whether that will help.
However, the bottom line is that, if all of these (somewhat basic) steps fail to produce results, then you will need to use a proper Registry scanning tool like Error Repair to find what is causing your machine to run incorrectly.
You could literally waste days of your life trying to isolate and fix the problems otherwise!
Run a free Error Repair scan and see what the results tell you. And, be prepared to be amazed at just how many Registry problems you do have!
Then, use Error Repair to fix the problems in a quick, efficient and timely manner.