Re: Windows explorer error??

07-10-2005, 12:54 AM
"Mike Parkman" wrote:

> Don,
> Any further development on this? I am using a Tablet PC with Windows XP
> Tablet Edition installed. It seems my Windows Explorer problem started after
> installing XPSP2. I get the "encountered a problem and needs to close" error
> when using the mouse to navigate in the task bar area, or bring up the Start
> menu -- things where I would think Windows Explorer is not even involved in!
> Eventually, it will hang the whole machine and I have to reboot to recover!
> Any assistance is appreciated.
> Mike Parkman
> "Don Taylor" wrote:
> > "=?Utf-8?B?U3BpY29sbGk=?=" <> writes:
> > >Whenever i try to open any part of my computer, like my documents, basically
> > >any folder i get a pop up message saying Windows Explorer has encountered a
> > >problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Then the
> > >screen goes blank for a few seconds, all my running programs disapear from
> > >the bottom tool bar, and then everything goes back to normal.
> > >This is a real hassle and i cant get any jobs done on my computer, If
> > >someone could please help it would be greatly appreciated.
> >
> > New developments listed at the bottom of this, but still no fix, yet.
> >
> > If you have recently installed SP2 on your computer then
> > there have now been over 200 people reporting very similar problems
> > to what you are reporting. Some find that anything which uses
> > Windows Explorer (Recycle bin, folder shortcuts, control panel,
> > search, etc) all have a similar problem. Some find that right
> > clicks are their major problem. Some find any click. Some find
> > it crashes on open. Some find it refuses any clicks. Some claim
> > they know how to fix this but I've read the tens of thousands of
> > postings on SP2 and I don't think you will find any with "the fix"
> > for this, at least not yet. Less than a dozen people ever reported
> > finding a solution for this.
> >
> > But, some find it will work when you boot in safe mode.
> >
> > And, some find it will work when you create a new user and switch
> > to that user to try it.
> >
> > One of those might be a temporary work-around till you get an answer.
> >
> > Some claim it is all spyware and viruses but I haven't seen any
> > posting that confirmed this for the Windows Explorer problem. I
> > carefully and repeatedly checked, no viruses or spyware and my
> > windows explorer locks up every time. <<<Late breaking news, after
> > hundreds of people reporting this problem, ONE person did let me
> > know that trendmicro actually found a WORM_SDDROP.A virus/worm, he
> > removed that and it appeared to solve his problem, so that's 10,000
> > times people chanting "it's all viruses and spyware" and one correct
> > diagnosis>>>
> >
> > Some claim it is all "bad applications" like Divx or Spy Sweeper
> > being installed that is responsible for this, a very few people
> > have confirmed this appeared to be the source of their problem but
> > others have these installed and have no problem, most reporting the
> > problem don't have these installed and still have the problem. I
> > don't have either and it locks up every time. And unfortunately
> > there is still no list of specific files known to cause this.
> >
> > Some claim it is all "ShellExtensions", little accessory gadgets
> > that sort of script extra cute features. The advice for that is
> > to install free ShellExView and to try (carefully) disabling these
> > features one at a time, if turning one off doesn't do anything then
> > turn it back on and try again. I did that with all 75 at once and
> > it made no difference at all. Two people have reported that disabling
> > one extension they had did appear to fix their problem.
> >
> > Some claim it is all "corrupted user profiles" that are the
> > cause of this but I've never been able to track down a tool that
> > would check a user profile to see if it was corrupted. There was
> > one web page that Microsoft had which described a way of reporting
> > errors found in this but this doesn't appear feasible for XP.
> >
> > You can try to uninstall SP2, there are various descriptions of how
> > to do that, using Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs or using a
> > Restore point or doing a Repair Install of Windows or reformatting
> > your hard drive, each of those is a bigger hammer than the previous
> > method, but a number of folks have reported having various problems
> > when they try to remove SP2 or after they do so. To be fair, SP2
> > probably fixes thousands of small and massive bugs in Windows XP
> > and if you can get it to work it is probably a good thing to have.
> >
> > You can escalate to Microsoft, go to
> > and give them all the
> > details and clues and patterns you can find. There is no guarantee
> > that their analysis or directions will be correct or even not make
> > it worse. They told me I must "have some corrupted files, repair
> > windows back to install state and then reinstall SP2 twice while
> > in Safe mode." Before I did that someone posted the "switch user"
> > workaround that let me get by temporarily. I sent email saying
> > that if it worked for one user then it seemed less likely it was
> > "some corrupted files" and asked if they still wanted me to blow
> > windows away. They have not reponded to that in a number of days
> > now. But I can imagine what it is like inside now.
> >
> > You can try each one of these things and see if any one of them
> > helps, but don't expect a fix.
> >
> > <<<New Developments>>>
> > I just spent another two hours in chat with Microsoft Support, he
> > changed his diagnosis a dozen times, going back to things we had
> > already concluded had nothing to do with this, he thought that a
> > file might have been corrupted during installation and this would
> > leave an error message in /windows/setuperr.log, that file is empty,
> > so he thought there might be answers in /windows/setupapi.log but
> > he said he was not trained to know how to interpret that file, and
> > the final conclusion was that he didn't know how to fix this one
> > and I was "escalated", again.
> >
> > So the next guy had me run msconfig, in the startup tab disable all
> > items, in the service tab hide all Microsoft services and disable
> > all, reboot the machine, tell it not to show or launch the config
> > window... If the problem had disappeared after this was done then
> > the instructions were to begin enabling these items one at a time
> > until the one was found that made this fail. My Windows Explorer
> > problem was unchanged and I was "escalated" again.
> >
> > So the next guy had me download a copy of Process Explorer and dump
> > out all the dll's that are connected with Windows Explorer and mail
> > them to him. Just like the situation with shell extensions, I see
> > that all but a couple of these are Microsoft supplied. After he had
> > seen the list he asked that I rename some of the non-Microsoft dll's
> > and reboot, likely to see if they were responsible. The problem was
> > still there and I've restored the original names. Now we seem to be
> > back to square one and he's asking again if this happens in Safe
> > mode, which we have already repeatedly covered.
> >
> > Now we've sent him HijackThis logs, 3 megabytes of ntuser.dat, he
> > keeps claiming they DO have a process for figuring this out but
> > there just isn't anything that can diagnose what the problem is and
> > they just keep trying things until the problem seems to go away.
> > And he asks me to send him HijackThis logs again. He admits that
> > lots of people have problems with Windows Explorer and that usually
> > they can figure something out but that there is no list of known
> > file names/sizes/dates/version numbers that fail, there is no list
> > of steps a person can follow to track this down. And they spent a
> > billion bucks making Sp2 more secure and bug free! But that doesn't
> > put anything in the event log for Windows Explorer failures and the
> > flood of error reports send to them when people have this happens
> > apparently doesn't give them any clue what the cause is either.
> >
> > Another week goes by before he responds... and he didn't find
> > anything in the HijackThis logs this time either. And he didn't
> > find anything in ntuser.dat. Now he has me back to msconfig,
> > turning everything off in msconfig for selective startup and
> > rebooting, with a cute little note that doing this isn't recommended
> > for anyone but a pro to do. The problem is still there. As a
> > bonus, his directions have now blown away my Windows activation and
> > it is telling me that the computer has changed and I have to
> > reactivate, even though nothing has changed in months.
> >
> > That didn't do solve the problem so now he concludes it must be one
> > of the hardware drivers and he tells me to start disabling those
> > until we find the culprit. But this is senseless, we have already
> > ruled that out because switching to a freshly created new user makes
> > the problem go away. He hasn't answered whether he still wants me
> > to disable the drivers yet.
> >
> > Can you say "clueless groping, hoping for a miracle"? 3 1/2 weeks
> > of playing this game with them and no sign that any progress has
> > been made.
> >
> > So I have repeatedly told them I don't just want to randomly change
> > things until we don't notice the problem anymore, I'm going to track
> > down the real root cause of this one and we are going to get a fix
> > for this.
> >
> > I hope something in this helps someone. But it appears that the
> > large majority of people never get a fix for the "Windows Explorer"
> > problem. If someone tells you to try something and it doesn't help
> > then please make a posting so we can start accumulating what
> > suggestions don't do any good. And if someone tells you something
> > that does work then please report it.
> >

Reply from MaryM-

Thank you guys for all of the work and research you have done on this
problem. It is driving me crazy. I suspect it has something to do with
identity because creating a new user name with administrative permission and
logging off and switching from that to your regular name does eliminate this

I've seen all the speculation online re this and I am certain it is not
caused by spyware or adware or internet explorer. etc. etc. I did install SP2
about 2 months ago, but problems are recent. Also installed Microsoft
Internet Security recently and this MIGHT be the culprit.

Because I am not a computer guru, I appreciate users comments. However, I am
not stupid enough to know that some of these other sites are off the wall.
Yours is much more objective.

So again, thanks. I will be looking forward to a solution or any

Re: Windows explorer error??