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Windows 7: Semi-random explorer.exe freeze-crashes

17 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Semi-random explorer.exe freeze-crashes

I had no idea where to put this, so I've chosen General.

I've had a major issue lately:
Every short once in a while, only when I open my primary partition Drive C, explorer.exe freezes and the only way out is to close it.

I have no idea why this occurs, and can only really tell that this closing also takes an enormous amount of time.

Any idea or direction as to why this is, and how to fix it, would be very appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

You may have a corrupted system file, so running the system file checker is probably a good place to start:

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

A full anti-virus scan in Safe Mode won't do any harm. Malwarebytes is an excellent utility:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The system file scan didn't bring anything up.

I'll give the the anti-virus scan a go during the night. Is Microsoft Security Essentials fine for this?

EDIT: Just happened again. I'm getting seriously annoyed at this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2011   #4


Restart Explorer This tutorial may offer some additional suggestions that you haven't tried. It was written for Vista but I believe the process in Win 7 is the same.

Have you tried the method below to close and restart Explorer.exe?
First go into Task Manager, Processes, highlight 'explorer.exe' and click on End Process. Then, to restart explorer.exe go back into Task Manager, and in File section, select New Task (Run). Type explorer.exe (or C:\Windows\explorer.exe) in the Run box (it may be there already). Below the command, it should say: This task will be run with Administrator privileges. Click Okay
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I have tried. It is literally a freeze-crash. It freezes, crashes and remains in a form of intermediate stasis for several minutes not responding to end process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Update: I have been able to verify that my primary harddisk, which has my Drive C in it, has no bad blocks, at least according to Windows Event Viewer.
Which brings me to a very basic question - how do I figure out what's causing this? Above is mentioned a diagnostics tool, but I have no idea what to do with that.
Meanwhile, I'm gonna ask the shop that handled my new CPU fan installation.

Another update:
I've tried for this issue in safe mode, it happened there too.
Windows Repair from my installation disk didn't impress it much either.
Any other ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Big Update:
Well, apparently, diagnostics didn't do it. I ran an Extended Test using the officially available Western Digital diagnostics tool.
That said, I officially have no idea what the issue is.
Any more pointers would be welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Are you by any chance running more than one anti-virus scanner at the same time?

You mentioned earlier that you are using MSE. Do you run Windows Updates each day to update any anti-virus defenitions for it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The MSE option to check for and download updates before every virus check is on.
I run only one anti virus at a given time, and got only MSE installed.

Semi-new development: While explorer.exe is crashing, so do some other programs. Mediamonkey always and now apparently Pidgin as well. They, too, cannot be ended from Task Manager and take a while to flush out.

Not sure if this means anything, but the Aero Alt+Tab isn't coming up, instead I get classic, after explorer.exe crashes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2011   #10


Did you try doing a System Restore to a point before all of this happened? If not, and if you have a Restore Point that dates before the problems, that's the first thing I would do.

If you can't do a System Restore, it seems to me like you need to think about doing a System Repair. If you choose to do a repair, create a Restore Point before you begin.

Here's some information on System Repair from our tutorials:

System Recovery Options (includes Repair info)
How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc
How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7
Fix broken desktop shortcuts and common system maintenance tasks
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Semi-random explorer.exe freeze-crashes

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