How come all my icons now say .lnk?

by on July 20, 2010

Q: I am having a problem with my daughters laptop. It’s an older Dell model with wireless. Last night her laptop icons all turn to .lnk and when we went to “All Programs” everything said .lnk as well. She was able to turn off computer manually by holding the power button but when you turn it on it won’t go past the Windows XP screen. Is there something we can do to fix this?

2 Responses to “How come all my icons now say .lnk?”
    Picked as best answer

    If you’re having trouble getting the computer to book properly then I wouldn’t worry about the .lnk issue for now.

    The fastest path to getting the computer running well again is to do a system reset.

    If your daughter needs to get some files off the hard drive first, you should boot into safe mode ( ) and copy any important files to another device (DVD, USB Drive, etc.). In the future she (and you) should always keep important files backed up someplace safe (Second Harddrive, DVDs, or on-line with a free service like ).

    You should now follow Dell’s restore instructions:

    Once the restore is complete, let’s do a few things to help out in the future.

    1. Run Windows update, until all critical updates are complete:

    2. Uninstall whatever Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware or Security software came bundled with the Dell restore (Anything McAfee, Norton, etc.)

    3. Download and Install Microsoft Security Essentials:


    Have you recently installed anything new on your computer? Are you aware of any viruses that have been on the computer and causing any pop ups? How old is the computer? Its possible that the hard drive could be almost dead.
    Try to power the computer off and unplug any hard ware devices from the laptop. (Printers, USB thumb drives, external Mice, etc….) And try to boot the computer again, See if it boots up. If it does not you may need to use a 3rd party utility to retrieve your data.