Why can't my computer find the program it needs to open a file?


In attempting to view a photo that was recorded to a floppy disk by my Sony Mavica (digital camera) I got the following message: PROGRAM NOT FOUND - WINDOWS CANNOT FIND PMORPH.EXE. This program is needed for opening files of type 'JPEG.Image'

I'm able to see the photo if I bring it from the floppy drive into a photo imaging program but when I attempt to access it from a file I created for it on my hard drive I get the message shown above.

- Rosalind


This question was answered on June 27, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This type of Windows error is one that everyone has likely encountered and it is due to something called “file associations”.

Windows associates file types (based on the 3 letter extension) to programs that are installed in your computer For instance, when you install Microsoft Word, the installation program notifies Windows to associate all *.doc (document) files from then on to Word and use it to open any files that are directly accessed.

This is how Windows knows to use Word when you double-click on any file that has the *.doc extension.

If you need help figuring out what a particular file extension stands for, I have posted a chart of the most common file types and some possible program associations at <a href="http://www.datadr.com/files" target="_blank"><font color="#003399">www.datadr.com/files</font></a>.

In your case, you have a file association that tells Windows to use a program called PMORPH.EXE that apparently was removed from your computer at some point in the past Either a poorly written uninstall routine (by the software company) or removing the program manually can cause this error.

My assumption is that PMORPH.EXE is part of the image program that came with your camera The quickest fix would be to re-install the graphics program that came with your camera.

Another option is to associate *.jpg files to another program so that it will no longer look for the PMORPH.EXE program To do this, hold down the shift key, then right-click on any of the *.jpg files on your floppy disk This should open a dialog box with an option to “Open with” Click on “Open with” to access a window that will alphabetically list all of the programs currently installed on your computer *.jpg files can be opened by any program that can process images such as the photo imaging program you mentioned, paint programs, word processors or even your browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape)

Once you find the program you want to associate to this file type, click it once, then put a checkmark in the “Always use this program to open these files” box, then click OK

If you have ever wondered why a new program has suddenly “taken over” the association to a file type, it’s because the most recent program installed will generally “grab” control of the file types that it most commonly uses (Anyone that listens to MP3 files has experienced this irritation!)

You can change any file association back to your favorite program by using the method above or experienced users can open an Explorer window (right-click on the Start button, then choose Explore), then click on Tools/Folder Options/File Types.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 27, 2001