Windows 7 gadgets show a white box with greater than sign

Recently had a Windows 7 user who had some desktop gadgets from MSDN that were showing up as a small white box with a greater than sign in it while other gadgets were showing up fine. The fix was surprisingly simple.

Go into the control panel, choose default programs, set program access and computer defaults, select the Microsoft Windows option and click ok. Close down the sidebar process and restart it.  Gadgets should show up normal again.

You can reset your default programs back after this.

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