I've never posted on a help forum before, so please bear with me.
I have a Dell Studio 1749 laptop, running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
Windows Explorer is not working. That is, Windows Explorer, not Internet Explorer. It seemed like every forum I already checked this confused people. The only way I am able to communicate with you fine folks is to manually run Firefox using the Task Manager interface. Here are the things I have tried, and the things that I am incapable of trying, and why:
1.) I tried booting in safe mode. Windows Explorer still would not work.
2.) I tried booting with only the bare necessities through System Configuration (msconfig) by selecting Diagnostic Startup, but the problem still occurred when I would boot to my desktop.
3.) I tried doing a system restore to 3 days ago, before the problem ever occurred, but it simply didn't seem to take, as some software I installed just last night was still here when it booted. That was a weird one.
4.) I tried rebooting with a chkdsk /r, but I could not get this to work because in order to set that up, you need to be able to run the command prompt with administrative privileges, which I cannot because Windows Explorer is not working. (I feel that maybe there is some secret way to do a chkdsk without needing the command prompt, but I couldn't find instructions anywhere.)
5.) I tried uninstalling the software that I believe to be the culprit, which happens to be Skype. Last night I received some pictures through Skype, and whenever I tried to view them, Windows Explorer would stop responding and need to restart. I deleted the pictures but didn't think at the time to uninstall Skype. I can't uninstall it now, because I can't access the Programs section of the Control Panel, because Windows Explorer doesn't work.
6.) I tried repairing my OS install, but the problem here is that I cannot eject my CD drive to insert the OS disk (there is already a disk in there.) My computer is a Dell Studio 1749, and there is no physical way to eject the CD drive. There is a touch sensitive button that I would press to eject the drive, but I cannot use it because I don't have the necessary driver. I would install the driver, but I can't, because Windows Explorer does not work (there is no way to save it somewhere, or even simply run the driver installer through firefox.) And going to Start > My Computer and manually ejecting the drive that way doesn't work, because... Well, Windows Explorer still doesn't work.
It's really discouraging how many things depend on Windows Explorer working properly.
I will gladly do a complete reinstall of my OS if somebody can fix my disk drive problem, but obviously that is a last resort. If I didn't provide enough information, just tell me what you need. Thanks in advance to anybody who can try to help me.
I should clarify, the problem is not that Windows Explorer won't launch, it is that it tries to launch over and over, every time giving an error, to which I can either restart, or check for solutions and restart. It just gets stuck in an endless loop until I end the explorer.exe process. Just thought I should clear that up.