Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Windows Explorer constantly crashing in normal and safe mode

Last response: in Windows Vista
Share
April 25, 2009 10:41:15 PM

I'm having a problem with Windows Explorer constantly crashing regardless of whether I start in normal mode or safe mode. I don't even get a chance to do anything in either mode, as in 5 seconds Windows Explorer will crash and if I try to run a program it will crash and the Show Details window shows Problem Event Name: APPCRASH and Application Name: Explorer.exe. I suppose this might not be detailed enough but I just can't stay on long enough to do anything. Also, the screen in Safe mode flickers alot in addition to the crashing. I had my hard drive for about 3 years, could it be dying? I'm pretty sure I don't have a virus since I have Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 and did a scan recently.

I also tried using the Windows installation DVD and ran Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool which found no problems, then I ran Startup Repair which found no problems, but when I ran System Restore I got, "System Restore failed due to an unspecified error. Cannot create a file when that file already exists", several times and when I finally got a restore point that worked that didn't fix anything.
April 26, 2009 3:06:07 PM

lol. Can't stay long enough? Ever heard of live OS? In this age, I can't fathom running a pc with only 1 OS. No backup OS. I got a few. Live XP for my Vista. When my vista is down or I suspect malware infection, I boot up live XP, start netconfig, install/run firefox portable on USB drive, d/l the latest antivirus, scan, chkdsk, defrag, and even edit registry. In one case, I stopped the chkdsk from going into a loop.

http://nu2.nu/pebuilder/

Another is ubuntu live Linux. It's full-featured. Runs firefox, read/write NTFS, for rescuing files and such.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

There are USB stick Linux distros that boot off a USB drive. From 50MB to 1GB.

If explorer crashes in both modes, you'll need to do a repair install. I suspect some programs like system utility or optimization or OS mods screwed up something. If none of them, then it may be your harddisk. You can scan it for errors & even fix them. Best do sector-by-sector scan & repair with a tool made by your harddisk manufacturer.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
April 26, 2009 5:25:10 PM

What happens when you log in and let the explorer crash? Your mouse and kbd still run, I hope. Can you launch a cmd window or restart explorer.exe or hit ctrl-alt-del to get the task manager? If you're resourceful you might be able to launch firefox to get some tools.

I think it is a software problem, but a disk scan and a few virus and malware scans are in order. No scanner catches everything, so make use of the various online malware and virus scanners.

It sounds to me like you have a broken "shell extension" added into your windows explorer. When you install something like winzip, you get the ability to rightclick on a file to send it to a zip... that's a common example of a shell extension. It might even be something in the system tray. What things have you installed lately? It might be worth uninstalling some things. Of course if something is broken, it might not uninstall cleanly.

A hardcore windows explorer cleaner (person or tool) could find and remove the extensions via registry searches/edits. I'd love to find such a program, but I've had no luck. Sounds like a job for Sysinternals, but their utility list doesn't have an explorer cleaner yet.

Similarly, a cleaner for internet explorer would be nice. Extensions and add-ons can be broken, especially if a naive user clicks on just anything in web pages. I find it's really really hard to remove all of the funny stuff and start clean. Anyone know of any start-clean registry cleaners for the shell or IE?

Related resources
April 27, 2009 6:07:43 PM

"It sounds to me like you have a broken "shell extension" added into your windows explorer. When you install something like winzip, you get the ability to rightclick on a file to send it to a zip... that's a common example of a shell extension."

that is common, as well as trying to process a a bad vid (windows tried to get details as a video folder for bad videos) that can cause crashes. resetting explorer to something basic would help, I do not know how to do that.
April 27, 2009 7:46:19 PM

Well, I've went ahead and did a reinstall and I'll be adding a second OS when I get the chance to as well. I hope somebody makes a cleaner for Windows Explorer soon.
!