I know it can be a pain to track something like this down, but give me a moment to explain the "oddness" of this error.
I first had this problem on my mother's computer. She brought to my attention that her computer kept "crashing" every few seconds. After I had some time with it I found the "cause" of the crash. Her automatic updates... every time the "Windows Update Icon" would appear near the clock (telling her she had updates available), Windows explorer would crash, you then click reset... and it loads just fine, but again crashes as soon as Windows Updates icon loads. After some quick mouse work I was able to get into the control panel and disable Windows Update from loading and magically, Windows explorer stopped crashing and runs perfectly. I then manual ran a check for updates... but again, once the icon appears another crash happens.
Assuming that this was related to the mess my brothers can make of my mother’s computer, I suggested a reformat... of course I updated the drivers for good measure, blah, blah, blah... and now her PC works perfectly again.
This was over a month ago... I just got home, turned on my monitor on MY computer and I find a "Windows Explorer has stopped working...." message. I reset and bam, another crash... and another... and another. I now find that my own computer has the same exact issue. Every time the Windows Icon appears by the clock... CRASH.
Keep in mind that restarting does NOT fix this problem.
I take good care of my PC and there have been ZERO changes to software or drivers for a good 6 months. I've kept my PC up to date through Windows Update of course, but haven't had any need for driver updates. I'm also running VERY different hardware from my mother's computer (ie, she uses ATI, I have nVidia).
I'd rather not reinstall my Windows to fix this "issue", but will if needed. I'd rather figure out what the issue is and how it could spawn a full month apart on different hardware with different Windows Updates applied.
We're both running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with all current updates at the time of the issues starting. Her error first started two months ago and I fixed it a month ago, now I have it.
Anyone heard of this before?... is this a virus or malware of some type? I've scanned with Symantec Endpoint (latest version) and Spybot S&D with nothing found.
Thanks for any tips... I can post the error info if needed as I can cause the crash on demand by simply checking for updates.
thanks for the tip.. I'll try that and report how it goes. I currently don't have any updates needed so I can't seem to get the icon up yet, but with luck MS will release updates again next week.
I also forgot to mention that the last time I reinstalled Windows 7 on my PC was well over a year ago (18months plus?)... while my mother's was reinstalled about 3 months before her issue. So it doesn't appear to be a "how long since your last Win7 install" type of thing.