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EXPLORER.EXE not responding

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Anonymous
July 13, 2005 1:35:55 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

A few weeks ago it started and got worse now that Windows shows the
message "EXPLORER.EXE is not responding" during logoff/shutdown after it
has been up for a couple of hours. After 2 or 3 minutes showing this
message (I resist to abort the program), heavy hard drive activity and a
low CPU load of approx. 5-10%, mainly kernel time, it continues and
shuts down fine. Task manager shows that nothing much is happening
during this 2-3 minutes except for page faults of explorer.exe thus I
assume it must be some paging performance problem. Generally, after
these 2-3 minutes explorer.exe has accumulated another 20000 page faults
before the system continues which seems a little bit much for a 25MB
process. Sometimes, the heavy swapping for 2-3 minutes also happens
while the system is running.

The computer got a fresh XP Prof. SP2 setup from CD about two months
ago. 512 MB main memory from which there is according to task manager
1/3 still available and the total memory usage is still far from that, too.

Any ideas how to tweak the system or how to find the bottleneck? I did
not have those problems before the reinstallation...

Thanks,

Gerald
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 1:39:51 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

>After 2 or 3 minutes showing this
>message (I resist to abort the program), heavy hard drive activity and
a
>low CPU load of approx. 5-10%, mainly kernel time, it continues and
>shuts down fine. Task manager shows that nothing much is happening
>during this 2-3 minutes except for page faults of explorer.exe thus I
>assume it must be some paging performance problem. Generally, after
>these 2-3 minutes explorer.exe has accumulated another 20000 page
faults
>before the system continues which seems a little bit much for a 25MB
>process.

I did some looking in your first post now, and, according to what you
say, there could be a problem with your memory. My friend had a similar
problem. Such issues usually indicate memory card problem. Often, slow
memory makes problems with the motherboard when the motherboard is much
newer than memory card. In the attachment is the program called
"memtest" which checks your memory for errors. Run the program for at
least 1-2 hours (500-1000%) and see are there any errors. My friend I
mentioned had too slow memory for motherboard and the program reported
several fatal errors. Then the only way is to buy a new memory... :( 
When he bought a new memory card, everything in windows was great and
his PC runned much smoother.

Also, you may want to try installing Windows again, but NOT new (or
fresh) installation, rather select "Upgrade (recommended)". All your
files will be preserved and this installation will probably fix that
problem (because it replaces all system files).

And you said it started a few weeks ago. Maybe you remember what
program or something you installed then and you could solve the problem
by uninstalling that software and rebooting your PC...


+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
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|Download: http://www.pcbanter.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=253... |
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--
Madboy
Anonymous
July 18, 2005 3:22:23 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Madboy wrote:
> I did some looking in your first post now, and, according to what you
> say, there could be a problem with your memory. My friend had a similar
> problem. Such issues usually indicate memory card problem. Often, slow
> memory makes problems with the motherboard when the motherboard is much
> newer than memory card. In the attachment is the program called

a) I had the computer running for more than 2 years before the
reinstallation of Windows and I did not have those problems. I very much
doubt that a reinstallation of Windows does slow down the memory.

b) I cannot see any connection between the problem that explorer.exe
causes a lot of page faults during logout/shutdown. If it is a memory
problem any program on the computer should be affected not just and only
explorer.exe.

> "memtest" which checks your memory for errors. Run the program for at
> least 1-2 hours (500-1000%) and see are there any errors. My friend I
> mentioned had too slow memory for motherboard and the program reported
> several fatal errors. Then the only way is to buy a new memory... :( 
> When he bought a new memory card, everything in windows was great and
> his PC runned much smoother.

I checked the memory. It is fine.

> Also, you may want to try installing Windows again, but NOT new (or
> fresh) installation, rather select "Upgrade (recommended)". All your
> files will be preserved and this installation will probably fix that
> problem (because it replaces all system files).

Installing Windows again is a drastic step. I cannot see why the upgrade
installation should fix performance problems and as I have setup the
system only a short while ago and it is working fine except this one
problem, I won't try something drastic like that to possibly jeopardize
the stability of the system. The problem is not related with a system
executable as the system itself is running without errors or crashes. It
is just explorer.exe which takes two minutes to close occasionally while
the system is busy swapping. As sometimes something similar happens
during normal operation when I use the explorer (e.g. delete a file with
explorer) I assume that it is some cyclic page fault of explorer which
basically moves all the memory of explorer once to the page file and
back to memory before it finally quits.

So I really need some performance tuning tips regarding the page file
usage and how to tune it and in which way so that windows runs smoothly...

Gerald
Related resources
Anonymous
July 18, 2005 3:22:24 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Well, I am new here so I dont know how other users treat each other, but
we are all gonna try and help. . . . . . . . . . .

Some of our suggestions may be a shot in the dark, but there is still a
chance that the shot, might find its target, even though it is in the
dark, comprendez?

As explorer.exe is a backbone of the windows XP system, there could be
many factors as to why it is crashing on you during shutdown process.

Firstly I would check your systray icons, check out what is there and
remove things you do not need. Then I would goto msconfig and check
out that your computer is opening on startup, you can use this handy
website to see what should and should'nt be there .
http://www.sysinfo.org/startupinfo.html

I think this problem lies within programs tha work in the background,
virus checkers, firewalls, spyware programs etc.

Remember, if you use folders with huge amounts of files, 100GB's,
things like video files, music. They can sometimes crash explorer,
something we have to live with.

As for general performance tweeks, I have found that there are no true
performance tweeks around, other than to keep the pc organised and to
defrag it as often as poss. !!

Hope this helps.


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 18, 2005 2:29:06 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

lindendavies wrote:
> As explorer.exe is a backbone of the windows XP system, there could be
> many factors as to why it is crashing on you during shutdown process.

Again: it is not crashing, it is just slow to close with much page file
activity. It just sometimes needs two minutes to close.

> Firstly I would check your systray icons, check out what is there and
> remove things you do not need. Then I would goto msconfig and check
> out that your computer is opening on startup, you can use this handy
> website to see what should and should'nt be there .
> http://www.sysinfo.org/startupinfo.html

My system is pretty much a new setup. It has only what is needed and
that's less than it had before the new setup.

> Remember, if you use folders with huge amounts of files, 100GB's,
> things like video files, music. They can sometimes crash explorer,
> something we have to live with.

I know all that. I don't have anything like that. And explorer isn't
crashing. Nothing is crashing at all. Nothing even in event log. Believe
me, I know computers for many years and this is a performance problem. I
just don't know all the hidden tweaks of windows xp prof. Probably
windows swaps out parts of explorer while it swaps in some other part
and this causes a cycle to swap out and in the whole process.

> As for general performance tweeks, I have found that there are no true
> performance tweeks around, other than to keep the pc organised and to
> defrag it as often as poss. !!

Well, there must be some way to find crucial, performance-relevant
configurations which help to find and tweak performance problems. I was
kind of hoping that there are some experts here that know something
about advanced performance tuning of windows xp. But it seems, as if
everybody is just giving the same standard advice: check for viruses,
defrag the system as often as possible, reinstall the system.
Reinstalling takes ages and it is not even guaranteed that afterwards it
is any better than before. defrag is also not always necessary. I
suppose the original setup of windows that came with the laptop was
pretty good as I actually almost never used defrag and still it was
running very decently.

Anyway, as defrag does not handle MFT and page file and got the
diskeeper trial and let it analyze the system which does not need any
defrag actually. It seems as the one I did a few weeks ago, when the
problem started to happen more often did all what was necessary. What
diskeeper suggested, however, was to increase the size of the MFT and of
the initial page file (beyond the standard windows 1.5x of RAM), which I
did both and which seemed to solve the problem. At least no more waiting
for the page file, neither during uptime nor during logoff/shutdown. I
haven't tried which of either was the crucial one, but I guess it was
probably the MFT.

Gerald
Anonymous
July 18, 2005 2:29:07 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

oh and btw, not responding generally means it has crashed.


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 18, 2005 2:29:07 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Right, I think the only solution here is,

a) buy a mac

b) buy a computer capable of handling what you want of it.

My computer is a 3.2ghz p4 - 1gb ram - 256 gb video memory. I have a
hard drive collection of 560GB, most of that is full of my programs. I
have no problem with my pc, and it has not been 'tweeked'

There is no way to make your computer run faster safely, if there were
I would think it would be shipped that way.


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 11:23:08 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

lindendavies wrote:
> oh and btw, not responding generally means it has crashed.

Yes, but responding after two minutes does not mean that it has crashed.
Most people are not patient and just think it has crashed/it is
hanging and kill the process and by that unfortunately miss the most
important detail on which depends the cause of the problem and a
possible fix. Consequently, the general advice here seems to be
"reinstall Windows"...
--
Gerald
Die neue deutsche Money-FAQ http://money.gvogt.de/

Software-Fingerprint:
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Anonymous
July 19, 2005 11:36:00 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

lindendavies wrote:
> Right, I think the only solution here is,
>
> a) buy a mac
>
> b) buy a computer capable of handling what you want of it.

Yes. I know. The Microsoft/Intel pack. (O.K., not the a part, although
that is changing in parts, too...) Intel builds a new faster processor
and Microsoft quickly exhaust the additional power with their newest
Microsoft version.

But I find that at least in parts XP is fairly stable and worked fine
without too much slowdown for 2 1/2 years, although I
installed/reinstall/deinstalled a lot of software on that computer and
it has a whole bunch of vendor laptop support software on it.

> My computer is a 3.2ghz p4 - 1gb ram - 256 gb video memory. I have a
> hard drive collection of 560GB, most of that is full of my programs. I
> have no problem with my pc, and it has not been 'tweeked'

Can't imagine what software I could possible need that would take 560GB
altogether. I never got over 30GB... Data (those digicam pics...) is
something different.

> There is no way to make your computer run faster safely, if there were
> I would think it would be shipped that way.

Well, computer management is very complex and very much depends on very
much else and to automatically configured it in a fast way is not easy.
Therefore, many settings are in a way that work for most people. But
they are far from ideal. And they don't work always. Just think how
different a system with 95% free space on your hard drive is compared to
one with 5% free space (you probably wouldn't even try to run the latter
system ;-)

But it is possible. 20 years ago you did not say, the computer is not
fast enough just through it out because there is no way to make it
faster. This was not true 20 years ago and it is not now. There is
always a way, you just have to find it, and most people don't bother and
are happy to buy a new computer instead because that's the way it is. I
just wonder, why people don't complain more often about this, because
all this does is to secure MS and Intels sales...

Gerald
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 3:33:22 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Who needs the help here ??? ? ? ?

Right, with the crashing, if it is not responding, it might not have
crashed. But I dont have time to wait for it, if my computer has a
funny five minutes, maybe leaving it for a while will bring it back to
life, but that does not mean it should be doing it.

Just do this.

Run a complete re-install of windows xp, download a progam called
diskkeeper to defrag your computer correctly.

Then start installing your programs, install them one at a time and
reboot with every install, check out your computer performance for half
an hour with every install.

My guess is that there is a program slowing things up on your machine,
it has happened to me before, it could be happening to you.

I have tried many reg fixes to speed things up, but it screwed up my
system so I find it is not worth messing around with.

Check your background programs!!! - Check your video files, because
if you do not have the correct codecs installed it could crash your
system when windows tries to preview them. Check the system for
errors. If this does nothing, do the reinstall I mentioned above.

good luck.


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 1:40:31 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

lindendavies wrote:
> Who needs the help here ??? ? ? ?
>
> Right, with the crashing, if it is not responding, it might not have
> crashed. But I dont have time to wait for it, if my computer has a

Explorer was neither crashing not hanging but just waiting to be closed
which takes a while. It is responding.

> funny five minutes, maybe leaving it for a while will bring it back to
> life, but that does not mean it should be doing it.
>
> Just do this.
>
> Run a complete re-install of windows xp, download a progam called
> diskkeeper to defrag your computer correctly.

What kind of advice is it to tell people "reinstall". That's huge and
takes ages in particular if...

> Then start installing your programs, install them one at a time and
> reboot with every install, check out your computer performance for half
> an hour with every install.

....if I would do that, because for each and every laptop supplement
software it would easily add up to a week until I can have everything
done. Second, I wrote that I had everything installed and the problem
started gradually.

> My guess is that there is a program slowing things up on your machine,
> it has happened to me before, it could be happening to you.

No. No program is slowing anything up. It is a swapping/paging problem.
Didn't I write that a couple of times? A program slowings things up does
slow the whole machine. It consumes resources most likely CPU%. A
program slowing things up can be easily identified with task manager or
performance logging. The problem I had was not showing any signs of
that. The computer worked fine except that occasionally and in
particular during shutdown/logoff explorer.exe caused a whole lot of
page faults before closing down. It did logoff fine when it happened
during normal operation and I shortly afterwards started the logout. It
only was explorer.

> Check your background programs!!! - Check your video files, because

I don't have nor use video files.

> if you do not have the correct codecs installed it could crash your
> system when windows tries to preview them. Check the system for

Nothing crashes.

> errors. If this does nothing, do the reinstall I mentioned above.

I wrote how I fixed the problem elsewhere in this thread. As I always
wrote, it had to do with the paging file. Giving just the same general
"re-install" to any problem without even reading what people write is
pretty much poor advice in my opinion. I don't even have the impression
that you really know what the page file is to really understand what is
related with them and how to deal with page file problems. For you, it
seems everything must be just a program somewhere in the background that
slows down the computer and if it does not get away then just reinstall
the system. Worse even, you don't properly consider the evidence given
of the problem. I said from the beginning it is a paging problem. After
more then 20 years in computing I know a paging problem when there is one...

Gerald
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 1:40:32 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Do yourself a favour then, sort your own problems out and dont bother
forums.

People are only trying to help. If you knew the solution then why
bother us?

Yes you might have 20 years computer experience, I have 5, what is to
say you know more than me? You might know things that I dont, but it
works both ways.

You are RECOMMENDED to reinstal OS every 6 months, if you are too busy
to do this, deal with the fact that your maching will be slow.

Dont try and tell me you have no background programs running, how about
anti virus?? Firewall, messenger, the list is endless.

There is nothing wrong with my paging file, and I obviously have more
date on my drives, why is my explorer functioning correctly?

My conclusion is that there is something wrong with your computer!!

You seem to have a bit of knowledge on the technology front. So my
solution is fix it, and dont be so damn rude to people trying to help.



Good Day


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 4:10:13 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

"lindendavies" <lindendavies.1sfx1u@pcbanter.net> wrote in message
news:lindendavies.1sfx1u@pcbanter.net...
[...]
> You are RECOMMENDED to reinstal OS every 6 months, if you are too busy
> to do this, deal with the fact that your maching will be slow.

I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.

--

Falcon:
fide, sed cui vide. (L)
[I know that you believe that you understood what you think I wrote, but I
am not sure you realise that what you read is not what I meant.]
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 2:29:59 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

lindendavies wrote:
> People are only trying to help. If you knew the solution then why
> bother us?

If you have read the thread you know that I figured it out some time
into it. I did not know that in the beginning and I hoped that there is
a MSVP here that knows a little bit about it. As there was no valueable
feedback on my issue I researched further and finally was able to get
the system properly running again.

> Yes you might have 20 years computer experience, I have 5, what is to
> say you know more than me? You might know things that I dont, but it
> works both ways.

Yes, but if you want to help other people you have to read what they
write to understand the problem properly. Don't just give generally
advice that applies basically to any problem. You don't even have to
reda the problem, just post the same answer. This may work for beginner
users you don't even understand anything of the problem and just write
"it's not working. help!" But if there are details about the problem you
have to read and consider them in a possible solution. General advice is
just no advice at all.

> You are RECOMMENDED to reinstal OS every 6 months, if you are too busy
> to do this, deal with the fact that your maching will be slow.

What is that for advice? Would you please quote an official Microsoft
source that recommends exactly that? As I already wrote before I had the
laptop running for more than 2 1/2 years and it was not really that much
slower than in the beginning or after the reinstallation. Certainly the
increasing size of the registry does have certain effects on the
performance but beyond that your machine does not have to go slow. I had
a page file performance problem which could be fixed. Don't tell people
that they have to reinstall computers every 6 months.

> Dont try and tell me you have no background programs running, how about
> anti virus?? Firewall, messenger, the list is endless.

I never wrote that. On the contrary, I wrote that I have quite some
processes running for the laptop keys etc. I have currently 48 processes
running and it easily gets over 50. But still the computer works fine
although it is almost three years old. Before the reinstallation I had
generally about 60 processes.

So your list more applies to your computer and what your are running in
the background. Antivirus, firewall, messenger is all stuff I don't
need. I only run the things. So maybe your advice suits your for your
computer and what you do with it...

> There is nothing wrong with my paging file, and I obviously have more
> date on my drives, why is my explorer functioning correctly?

So you and no program on your computer ever touched any paging file
setting or the MFT after you installed the computer from an original
Microsoft Windows CD (and not an manufacturer OEM!)? Never ever? Are you
sure?

> My conclusion is that there is something wrong with your computer!!

Well, there is not. Not anymore.

> You seem to have a bit of knowledge on the technology front. So my
> solution is fix it, and dont be so damn rude to people trying to help.

I did fix it. It is working now for several days even after some longer
Visual Studio sessions which are doomed to pretty much swap out anything
in physical memory that is not absolutely necessary. Works like a charm.

I am not damn rude I just don't like it when people consistently try to
give advice on something fully ignoring the give evidence of the problem
and instead just try to feed off people with the general "reinstall",
"kill your background processes" stuff. You know, to get the feedback
that I got I basically did not have to write most of what I wrote in the
problem description. You can probably post that feedback on any article
that is posted in this newsgroup.

Sorry. If you are so frustrated with Microsoft and computers that you
really think that reinstalling the system every 6 months is the single
and only solution to your problems than face it: your are avoiding the
problems you keep consistenly making just by having a fresh install
until they come up again. Probably after 2 years or so and 5-10
reinstallation cycles you just buy the next computer because you think
then it must be better which won't happen. You seem to have much bigger
problems with your computer than I do if you really reinstall every 6
months...

Gerald
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 2:30:00 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Bad Attitude Man

Nothing wrong with my computer, mine works fine!

I refresh my system every six months, for the best performance.

If you back up correctly it does not take that long to do.

I Did read your thread, all you wanted to know was how to tweak windows
to run faster.

Matter is closed, your problem is solved, go and bother another thread,
and then tell them they are doing it all wrong. . . . . .


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 10:12:35 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

You do not state how you fixed the problem

YOU THREW BACK ANY INFO PEOPLE TRIED TO HELP YOU WITH

You dont know me, do not question my ability.

Dont be so damn rude, you needed help, not us. Be polite, no need to
be rude.

Once again, do not question my ability. Or anyone elses in that fact.


Next time, (assuming you have a genuine copy of windows) contact
microsoft with your issues!! I am sure you can teach them a thing or
two!!


--
lindendavies
Anonymous
August 15, 2005 8:17:40 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Gerald Vogt wrote:
> *A few weeks ago it started and got worse now that Windows shows the
> message "EXPLORER.EXE is not responding" during logoff/shutdown after
> it
> has been up for a couple of hours. After 2 or 3 minutes showing this
> message (I resist to abort the program), heavy hard drive activity
> and a
> low CPU load of approx. 5-10%, mainly kernel time, it continues and
> shuts down fine. Task manager shows that nothing much is happening
> during this 2-3 minutes except for page faults of explorer.exe thus
> I
> assume it must be some paging performance problem. Generally, after
> these 2-3 minutes explorer.exe has accumulated another 20000 page
> faults
> before the system continues which seems a little bit much for a 25MB
> process. Sometimes, the heavy swapping for 2-3 minutes also happens
> while the system is running.
>
> The computer got a fresh XP Prof. SP2 setup from CD about two months
> ago. 512 MB main memory from which there is according to task
> manager
> 1/3 still available and the total memory usage is still far from
> that, too.
>
> Any ideas how to tweak the system or how to find the bottleneck? I
> did
> not have those problems before the reinstallation...
>
> Thanks,
>
> Gerald *

This not a normal activity. When we shutdown the computer a kill
process program started it request all active process to terminate if
any process did not respond to it in a given time it shows that that
program is not responding and close it by yourself or it will be
terminated in 30 seconds or so far.
check your system for : in windows folder downloaded programs files
folder is there any downloaded programs are installed remove if any
unwanted program is there
check your control pannel for add remove programs is any unwanted
program is there.

look for a utility which trace what process is doing why they are not
closing.



--
arifiqbl
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