Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recover Windows 7's Explorer from "No such interface supported" error

Yesterday I experienced a disaster. After I installed and removed Google Drive client, Windows 7 seemed gone crazy: if I click on a document, some times it was opened, sometimes it was not; if I click on an application, nothing happens; if I input the application name, e.g. cmd.exe, in the Run dialog, it always complains "No such interface supported".

I tried almost all the ways I could think / googled of:

  • using Windows restore to restore to the point before Google Drive was removed, it did not work. I could only find 1 restore point, which was wired.
  • try to use some registry cleaner as suggested by some internet posts, it did not work too. (though the way I start the application is a little trick that I'll talk about)
  • re-register all the DLLs on my hard drive, as some posts suggested, which also did not work
Here is the trick to execute an application, when Explorer and Run dialog does not work: it seemed in my case the shell extension to open some of the linked file extensions was still partially working, so I created a file with a non-registered extension and dbl click to open it, then select the application you want to execute. This way, I managed to still execute applications. But applications started from this way could not elevate to administrator mode. Luckily I already made cmd.exe by default run under administrator, so it was not a problem to me.

Back to the problem, I was lucky to have a backup local user account with administrator rights, and I decided to try it out and it was not poisoned as my domain account. So I guess that the problem was the registry database of my domain account. So after I have backup my files, I went to the "advanced system settings" dialog (type the quoted string in the search box on start menu), pressed the "settings" button in the "User profiles" group box, and deleted my domain's profile. All the files under my "C:\Users\MyUser" folder was gone. So do remember backup your files!

This worked for me, use at your own risk.

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