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Problems with explorer.exe at start up & programs constantly fail

Last response: in Windows XP
August 31, 2009 1:11:50 AM

Hello, I've recently reformatted and re-installed windows xp home, but keep getting the same problems. For a while now every time I start up windows after the splash screen it will show everything as it normally would, but I have to open the windows task manager, close the current running explorer.exe file and start a new one to access anything.

If that problem weren't enough after installing some programs such as Itunes or 7zip, they will work on initial set up, but once there closed after 10 to 15 minutes they will fail to open. In the task manager under processes I will see the itunes image name start then immediately quit, where as 7zip just gives "unknown error".

I'm not sure if this is a result from a virus that may have gotten into my system, but I reformatted all of my drives: 2 sata 300GB hdd and 1 sata 70GB hdd that windows is currently on.

its not vital that these problems have to be solved, but they are still very irritating.
September 1, 2009 7:59:07 PM

The problem still happens after the format?
September 2, 2009 6:59:58 AM

yep, even after I reformat. I would say that the start up problem started around almost a year ago, while the failing program problem started a month or two after. I've tried both xp home and professional as well as installing them on different hard drives.
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September 2, 2009 12:37:17 PM

Check the event viewer for error logs.
September 2, 2009 2:49:30 PM

error logs were clean on any system errors, only a few application errors. Only thing that might be system related was windows installer 3.1. That failed the first time I tried to install it, but was successful on the second time. But I doubt that, that would be the problem on the count that I've had this problem even before I tried windows installer.
September 2, 2009 3:49:50 PM

It sounds like maybe a firewall or AV is shutting them down.
September 2, 2009 10:35:34 PM

currently, I have disabled windows firewall and have yet to install any type of av.
September 2, 2009 11:43:55 PM

Try winpatrol (freeware) by BillP Studios to monitor your startup items and services.

Disable all but the unnecessary ones and enable them one by one until you zero in on the culprit.
September 2, 2009 11:45:27 PM

Disable all the unnecessary ones


Disable all but the necessary ones

Sorry I confused myself there for a sec.
September 3, 2009 2:02:12 AM

Are you connected to the internet while you are installing windows?

I say this only becuase I have found in past that if I have a active internet connection before installing all Service Packs and before I have any kind of anti-virus installed I always have some little issue like this. I will follow up on this and see if I cannot find a soultion for your issue.
September 3, 2009 2:26:34 AM

^^How could you be on the internet while windows is installing?
September 3, 2009 11:46:02 AM

An active internet connection. After installing and when trying to connect to the activation server.
September 3, 2009 12:36:02 PM

kstrife said:
Are you connected to the internet while you are installing windows?

So you mean after windows is installed, not while windows is installing. :lol: 
September 3, 2009 12:51:02 PM

Something like that aford10.

Do you have anything else to add or are all your 'suggestions' this mundane?
September 3, 2009 1:06:21 PM


Try this for a explorer.exe possible fix:

Upon researching this it appears to be a common issue with SP2 for Windows XP.
If you haven't tried it already, go and download SP3 and try installing that.

What I generally do when I do a clean install is:

1. Unplug my network connections
2. Format
3. Install Windows XP (I have SP1)
4. Install SP2
5. Install SP3
6. Install remaining system drivers
7. Install Anti virus software
8. Connect all network connections
9. Update Anti virus definitions
10. Activate Windows
11. Connect to Windows Update and download all available updates.
12. Repeat step 11 until there are no more updates.

I hope this helps.
September 3, 2009 2:12:13 PM

kstrife said:
Something like that aford10.

Do you have anything else to add or are all your 'suggestions' this mundane?

Relax kstrife. I was merely pointing out that you can't have an active connection while windows is installing. Pointing out bad advice is valuable, so the OP isn't on a wild goose chase.
September 3, 2009 2:23:18 PM

I Understand and I apologize for over reacting.

September 3, 2009 2:41:26 PM

Dam right you better!

Lol, j/k kstrife...i got no problems with you, we're good.

I wasn't trying to be jerk and call you out. I thought it was a lil funny.