Question "this file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action"

May 31, 2022
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every week my pc goes on bsod and it takes about 20 minutes to fix. it wasn't that big of a deal but yesterday something weird happened, as usual, it took 20 minutes to fix. but this time windows doesn't let me open up any folders with an error window that says "this file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action". i've tried so many guides and not even a single one worked, for some reason i can't use the "sfc /scannow" command in the command prompt because the files are "protected by windows".
I'm running out of ideas, one solution could be to reinstall windows but i would prefer to not do it. (if there aren't any solutions i'm going to reinstall it anyways)
pc:
gpu: AMD R9 280X
cpu: Ryzen 5 5600X
ram: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 8x2
psu: Maxima Power 650w (im going to raplace it asap)
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Jun 12, 2015
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could try running system restore and see if you can roll system back a few days

search for "restore" then open "create a restore point"
create a new Restore Point now for C-drive
then open the newest restore point that is prior to the problem happening (if you have one)
(you only create one now to make sure you have one)

tried resetting all file associations?
  1. Press Win+I to open Windows Settings.
  2. Go to Apps > Default apps.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom.
  4. Click on the Reset button.
  5. Click the Ok button.
if system restore works, set this up for next weekly BSOD

Can you follow option one on the following link - here - and then do this step below: Small memory dumps - Have Windows Create a Small Memory Dump (Minidump) on BSOD - that creates a file in c windows/minidump after the next BSOD
  1. Open Windows File Explore
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Minidump
  3. Copy the mini-dump files out onto your Desktop
  4. Do not use Winzip, use the built in facility in Windows
  5. Select those files on your Desktop, right click them and choose 'Send to' - Compressed (zipped) folder
  6. Upload the zip file to the Cloud (OneDrive, DropBox . . . etc.)
  7. Then post a link here to the zip file, so we can take a look for you . . .
What BSOD do you get the most?
 
Last edited:
May 31, 2022
18
0
10
0
could try running system restore and see if you can roll system back a few days

search for "restore" then open "create a restore point"
create a new Restore Point now for C-drive
then open the newest restore point that is prior to the problem happening (if you have one)
(you only create one now to make sure you have one)

tried resetting all file associations?
  1. Press Win+I to open Windows Settings.
  2. Go to Apps > Default apps.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom.
  4. Click on the Reset button.
  5. Click the Ok button.
if system restore works, set this up for next weekly BSOD

Can you follow option one on the following link - here - and then do this step below: Small memory dumps - Have Windows Create a Small Memory Dump (Minidump) on BSOD - that creates a file in c windows/minidump after the next BSOD
  1. Open Windows File Explore
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Minidump
  3. Copy the mini-dump files out onto your Desktop
  4. Do not use Winzip, use the built in facility in Windows
  5. Select those files on your Desktop, right click them and choose 'Send to' - Compressed (zipped) folder
  6. Upload the zip file to the Cloud (OneDrive, DropBox . . . etc.)
  7. Then post a link here to the zip file, so we can take a look for you . . .
What BSOD do you get the most?
I always get error 0xC000021a. it fixes itself after 20 minutes with the pc turned off.
i was about to say i can't open the windows minidump folder because i can't open folders, but if i paste C:\Windows\Minidump into the bar of the file explorer, for some reason, it works, its like windows deleted the action of opening folders, its weird.
If i try to compress the files it says "File not found or no reading permission" (its in italian and i don't know if it is translated correctly) and it doesn't let me compress the files.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
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this one?
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/bug-check-0xc000021a--winlogin-fatal-error

It sounds to me like windows is broken and I don't think there is a way to fix it in the state its in.
Likely a reset would have problems with permissions
a repair install probably fail cause you can't use folders
So a clean install is likely only fix.

Anything you have to save?
You don't have to do this right now, I am just showing how :)

right click start
choose shutdown or logo off
while holding shift key, click restart button

[another way to get here is from logon screen, choose power menu in bottom right, hold shift while clicking restart button]

should start windows in a blue menu
  • choose troubleshoot
  • choose advanced
  • choose command prompt
  • type notepad and press enter
  • in notepad, select file>open
  • Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or another hdd
if this doesn't work windows is really broken

if that doesn't work, we might have to boot off a USB and follow same steps to copy info.

On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB
see spoiler for getting there off USB
  • on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.
  • choose troubleshoot
  • choose advanced
  • choose command prompt
  • type notepad and press enter
  • in notepad, select file>open
  • Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or hdd

We can boot the USB from the initial blue menu using the Use a Device choice, so you don't need to change any info in bios to reinstall windows. Just put USB into pc and pick it from list on this page & PC should boot from it.

follow this guide: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 
Last edited:
May 31, 2022
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thanks, and one question, what files do i lose? because i have both an ssd and an hdd, windows is installed on the ssd, does the data get wiped only on ssd?
btw, yes, that is the exact error that appears on the bdos
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
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A clean install will wipe the C drive. It won't touch the hdd*

Copy anything that is in your documents folder, or pictures folder, or music. Any files you made. Take time, make sure you don't miss anything.
You can't save programs, will need to reinstall them
Any Steam game library folders on C could be copied to hdd. You will be able to reuse these after reinstall.
I am not sure about other games but things like Epic might let you reuse, not sure.

*when you go to install windows again on the ssd, unplug the data cable from the hdd (while PC is unplugged) so it doesn't show as connected and installer won't try to put any files on it.
Install wouldn't wipe hdd during install process but windows has nasty habit of putting parts of itself on other drives if given chance. Unplugging it stops that.

Since you have 2 drives, on next install you might want to move the library folders to the hdd so that you don't lose anything if you had to reinstall windows again. Do this for each library folder - these are Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos.

  1. make target folders before doing the next step, it stops you accidentally making the entire hdd into your Documents folder
  2. follow steps here, when you reach step 10 make sure its the right folder before clicking okay - link
 
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