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ShellExecuteEx failed; code 31 when launching any program


So I gave a PC to a friend been working fine besides the CMOS battery I think dying. Until today where a few hours ago he could no longer open any program on the system. Error "ShellExecuteEx failed; code 31 A device attached to the system is not functioning." Never personally encountered something like this and after googling I was left none the wiser besides the usual steps of looking for viruses and such which I'll get him to do. Anyone else encountered this though because I suspect the virus scan will be clear and I'll be left clueless again.


The system is an ivy bridge one, GTX 960, motherboard BIOS is up to date, the usual, Windows 10 Home 64-bit (doubt he's on the FCU though, probably just the CU but I'm getting him to check for me).

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