Error help: There is no default action associated with this location

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After I installed new software (could have been vmware or nvidia driver) on Fedora 8, the Places menu in the launcher bar seems to have lost its mime-type associations between the "file:" protocol and nautilus. The mime-type association for PDF files seems to have been changed to some wrong setting as well.

Here's what I did: When I upgraded the kernel to, I got some errors on boot (I don't recall precisely what they were) from my nvidia driver, but the graphics system still seemed to work OK. The problem seemed to be that the nvidia driver hadn't yet been updated to support the kernel. When the new nvidia driver came out a day or so later on the repo, I upgraded to that and the nvidia error went away. Around this time I also installed VMware Workstation. That's when I discovered that when I click on my Places menu and click on Home Folder, Documents, Desktop, Download, etc., I get an error dialog that says:

     Could not open location 'file:///home/tom' (or the other directories I select)
     There is no default action associated with this location.

I'm pretty sure Nautilus is the application that normally would get launched for the file: protocol. I have no clue how to fix this to again associate the file protocol with Nautilus. Oddly, going to Places-Computer correctly opens Nautilus file browser showing my Computer.

I think my problem is more than just related to the file: protocol with Nautilus. If I open Nautilus from the command line and double-click a PDF file, I get the message:

     The filename "[whatever file I clicked on].pdf" indicates that this file is of type "pdf document". 
     The contents of the file indicate that the file is of type "PDF document". If you open this file, the
     file might present a security risk to your system.
     Do not open the file unless you created the file yourself, or received
the file from a trusted source. 
     To open the file, rename the file to
the correct extension for "PDF document", then open the file
Alternatively, use the Open With menu to choose a specific application
for the file. 

Note that Gnome/Nautilus (or whatever application is handling the double-click launching) seems to have some confusion between 'pdf document' and 'PDF document' file associations. This error is a new error, by the way, which occurred after I uninstalled and re-installed Nautilus. Before reinstalling Nautilus, double-clicking on a PDF file gave me an error that said no application was association with "pdf/application" or perhaps it was "???/octet-stream" -- I forget what MIME type the error message complained about. I think even trying to open a PDF file using "evince" from the command-line gave me the MIME-type error.

Anyone know what happened to my settings and how I can fix it? I have been a longtime Linux user but I'm pretty new to desktop Linux, so please forgive me if the application names and terms I use here are wrong. I'm using the standard/default Gnome desktop environment. 

I poked through the .gconf directory in my home directory (it seemed a likely suspect) looking for file-extension/application associations, but haven't found anything yet that looks appropriate. The .gconf directory has "apps", "desktop" and "system" subdirectories. These three subdirectories contain a 0-byte "%gconf.xml" file. Those "%gconf.xml" files seemed a likely place to configure the Gnome desktop, but since they're empty files, I'm flying blind on what should go in them. Does anyone know if these %gconf.xml files are normally empty on a standard Linux system? Did something overwrite/corrupt these files? Or is my problem completely unrelated to 0-byte %gconf.xml files?

If it helps, here is my .gconf/desktop/gnome/url-handlers directory:

[[email protected] ~]$ ls -la .gconf/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/
total 28
drwx------  3 tom tom 4096 2007-12-21 17:14 ./
drwx------ 12 tom tom 4096 2007-12-21 17:14 ../
-rw-------  1 tom tom    0 2007-12-21 17:14 %gconf.xml
drwx------  2 tom tom 4096 2007-12-21 17:14 mailto/

Notice it has a 0-byte %gconf.xml file, too. Any advice or suggestions on how to fix this problem would be appreciated.


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