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Windows 7: Windows explorer has stopped working error

10 May 2012   #11
AlexIsAlex

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Heh, well, I could clearly use some nose-sticking-in with this problem. All much appreciated

My laptop is an Acer Aspire 5745G and I THINK I've got the .NET updates you mention. For example, I installed the following two updates this morning:

Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems (KB2656410)
Installation date: ‎10/‎05/‎2012 07:40
Installation status: Successful

Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 on XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 for x64 (KB2656405)
Installation date: ‎10/‎05/‎2012 07:38
Installation status: Successful

By the way, if it helps to know, I've also got a new but related error when I start-up: IAStorIcon has stopped working.

Thanks again, I'm giving the Sophos AV a go right now.

P.S. Apologies if I've inadvertently taken this thread off-topic...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2012   #12
AlexIsAlex

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

No malware according to Sophos' tool, by the way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2012   #13
jmjsquared

Windows (32 & 64 bit) XP, 7, 8CP; Ubuntu 10.10; Android x86
 
 

Hi Alex,

My reasoning in suggesting this course of action is that the problematic EhstorAPI.dll could not be repaired by System File Checker (SFC) because it was provided by Intel/Acer and, therefore, not in Windows 7's Store. Acer's description of the subject drivers seems to bear out this reasoning; so, when 'we' uninstalled the "corrupted" device, Windows reinstalled it with a generic driver that Acer does not like. So, we'll try again with theirs, including one that should clear the IAStor error, as well.

Let's proceed assuming the system is clean of malware and fully updated...
Please download and install IN THE ORDER LISTED. (All are in zip format. If your WinRAR still crashes, I SkyDrived exe files here: http://tinyurl.com/jmjsquared-AIA)
1. http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Driver/Chipset/Chipset_Intel_9.1.1.1024_W7x64_A.zip?acerid=634063753020191834&Step1=Notebook&Step2=Aspire&Step3=Asp ire

After (re)installing the Chipset drivers, even if not asked to, please re-boot and get to the BIOS Setup screen by pressing F2 or F10 or ESC or... you get the idea Navigate to that area where you can confirm that the system is set to "AHCI Mode", which is usually the default. If it is, good. If it is not, DO NOT change it. Now, while still in the BIOS, find "Load Defaults" and OK-click your way to a re-start. Continue with the following, rebooting as prompted:
2. http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Driver/CardReader/CardReader_Alcor_1.3.17.05006_W7x64_A.zip?acerid=634063752712394596&Step1=Notebook&Step2=Aspire&Step 3=Aspire
3. http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Driver/AHCI/AHCI_Intel_9.5.6.1001_W7x64_A.zip?acerid=634063748588984256&Step1=Notebook&Step2=Aspire&Step3=Aspire

I believe the above will get you sorted but, as mentioned, .NET can also contribute to some of your symptoms vis-a-vis IAStor. Aaron Stebner publishes a neat, little tool that will verify the integrity of your .NET installations: http://tinyurl.com/courtesy-A-Stebner (My homemade link, not Mr. Stebner's.)

Finally, if all the above fails to set things right, the only other thing I would suggest is to run the Windows 7 Update Readiness Tool which sometimes repairs errors that SFC cannot. Beyond that, I can only refer you back to Mr. Brink with my apologies for interrupting.

Good luck, Alex.

--JmJ

Note below:
There is also a BIOS update that resolves sleep/wake issues but it is not necessary for our purposes (and many say that, "If the BIOS ain't broke, then don't fix it.")
http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/BIOS/BIOS/BIOS_Acer_1.19_A_A.zip?acerid=634390614629177744&Step1=Notebook&Step2=Aspire&Step3=Aspire
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2012   #14
AlexIsAlex

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

OK, I'm giving this a go - I've got as far as step 2 but when I use setup.exe to try installing the card reader I get, "A newer version has been installed, installation abort."

Would you recommend uninstalling the existing drivers before running setup or just moving on to step 3?

If I should uninstall, do you know what the name of the device will be in device manager? I can't spot anything obvious...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2012   #15
jmjsquared

Windows (32 & 64 bit) XP, 7, 8CP; Ubuntu 10.10; Android x86
 
 

No, Alex, do not uninstall the Card Reader. I included it as an over-abundance of caution anyway, following the preferred driver-installation order. Your system has (or can accommodate) an SD/MMC Removable Card Reader --- ala your camera's, smartphone's, etc. BTW, you can use that slot for a ReadyBoost device (memory card ~4Gb)to ease wear-and-tear on your hard drive.

Assuming the Chipset driver installed OK, things are looking good.

Proceed to #3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #16
AlexIsAlex

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Well, partial success! RST is working properly again but after running through everything on your list (except the BIOS update) I'm still getting explorer.exe crashes. I've also tried maxseven's suggestion of installing KB2515325 but that update's already installed. My explorer is v6.1.7600.16768 (not sure if that's the latest update or not). Thanks again to you both for your help.

You mentioned that EhStorAPI.dll was provided by Acer/Intel and was therefore not in Windows' store, which makes sense. Maybe the version I've now reinstalled from Acer/Intel is nevertheless the "right" one for my hardware, even though Windows marks it as corrupt? i.e. it was working fine despite what Windows said and the warnings I was getting about SFC and in my .dmp were incidental to explorer crashing? Just a wild guess, not sure if that makes sense...

So, I have...

. Scanned for viruses with Microsoft Security Essentials
. Ran ShellExView and disabled all non-Microsoft handlers (one at a time and all at once)
. Ran SFC /scannow a few times
. Created a new Windows profile
. Ran Sophos' Virus Removal Tool
. Uninstalled and reinstalled my RST software and AHCI drivers
. Tried reinstalling my card reader drivers
. Reinstalled my chipset drivers
. Verified .NET installations
. Ran the W7 Update Readiness Tool
. Tried installing KB2515325

Does anyone have any other suggestions before I bite the bullet and try a repair install (assuming that's an option with my OEM Windows 7)?

If it adds any useful detail, the events leading up to the constant explorer crashes were that every so often, when I opened the start menu, my laptop would hang for minutes at a time. I ran CHKDSK before booting to Windows and immediately after started getting the crashes. But, hey, no laggy start menu, at least...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #17
jmjsquared

Windows (32 & 64 bit) XP, 7, 8CP; Ubuntu 10.10; Android x86
 
 

This "partial success" is significant, Alex, and means a Draconian reinstall was(is?) not necessary; afterall, you would still have had to manually install the OEM/Acer-specific drivers, anyway. Right? So, with the chipset and storage drivers (RST) installed and functioning, we only have to figure out the Windows' crash problem.
Quote:
Maybe the version I've now reinstalled from Acer/Intel is nevertheless the "right" one for my hardware, even though Windows marks it as corrupt?
-- Did you run SFC after the partial success? If you got any "Cannot repair the member file" messages, then please do the following:
In order to keep the Log as small as possible for review,
a. Go to Windows\Logs\CBS and copy CBS.log to your Desktop as a backup.
b. Make a copy of the copy on the Desktop and let Windows name it as such.
c. Open the "original" copy with Notepad and delete all text, press Ctrl + S and close the file.
d. Now, copy that modified file to clipboard, navigate back to Windows\Logs\CBS and delete the CBS.log therein.
e. Paste the file from the clipboard, OKAYing any UAC prompts.

Now, re-run SFC and upon its completion:
1. Open an elevated command prompt.
2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt
3. Type sfcdetails.txt in Search programs and files and press Enter.

Quote:
My explorer is v6.1.7600.16768 (not sure if that's the latest update or not).
-- Windows 7-x64 version's of explorer.exe is 6.1.7601.17567 on ALL my rigs which were setup using two different sources, Retail and VL, and later updated to Sp1 via Windows Update. Hmmm? Please confirm that, indeed, Windows is up-to-date by:
A.
1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
2. Check the Windows edition section:
a. If Service Pack 1 is listed, Windows 7 SP1 is already installed on your computer.
b. If a version number (for example, v.153 or v.720) is listed after Service Pack 1, a prerelease version of Windows 7 SP1 is still installed on your computer and must be removed. Let me know.
B.
Running this tool which will check that all required updates are installed and intact:
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html and outputs a seachable HTML file. It also dispalys a bunch of other useful info and it's free for non-commercial use.

Please post/attach the results of the SFC scan, the Belarc findings and a copy of the CHKSUR.log that was developed when you ran the Update Readiness Tool. It's in the same folder as CBS.log .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #18
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AlexIsAlex View Post
If it adds any useful detail, the events leading up to the constant explorer crashes were that every so often, when I opened the start menu, my laptop would hang for minutes at a time.
This is probably just a distraction. But FWIW I have an Acer Netbook AO721 running W7HPx64 which has driven me about crazy for some weeks--it will without warning or any apparent "triggers" (will just start doing this on its own) light-up the "HDD Busy" LED and lock me-out from doing anything at all. I can move the mouse pointer, but any clicks I might attempt do not "take" until the HDD LED extinguishes again a minute or two or three (it seems anyway) later, at which time all the mouse clicks are executed as if they'd been held in reserve.

If this problem doesn't go away, I'm to the point of probably recovering it to Factory Fresh condition and starting-over.

I suspect an Acer driver or hardware conflict, but can NOT find it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #19
jmjsquared

Windows (32 & 64 bit) XP, 7, 8CP; Ubuntu 10.10; Android x86
 
 

Quote:
I can move the mouse pointer, but any clicks I might attempt do not "take" until the HDD LED extinguishes again a minute or two or three (it seems anyway) later, at which time all the mouse clicks are executed as if they'd been held in reserve.
If this problem doesn't go away, I'm to the point of probably recovering it to Factory Fresh condition and starting-over.
I suspect an Acer driver or hardware conflict, but can NOT find it.
Hi, maxseven. An off-the-cuff guess is that your system is experiencing excessive read/writes to the Pagefile, which may be an indication of insufficient physical memory, a bad memory stick, faulty hard drive... Then, too, sometimes Windows Update (WU) installs "updated" drivers that simply do not work properly.



Suggestions, which, generally, also apply to you too, AlexIsAlex:
-- Check whether WU recently installed any updates to your mouse/input device and consider rolling them back to see if the problem disappears.
-- If you have mouse/clipboard-sensitive apps installed, such as Arsclip, Click.to, Listary, ObjectDock, StarDock, etc., then make sure they are updated and functioning properly. If an option in Programs & Features offers to repair them, then do so.
-- Make sure Windows is set to manage your Virtual Memory/SwapFile without any "custom" sizes specified. Windows 7 (unlike XP) does a great job on its own.
-- Make sure write-caching is enabled for you system hard drive.
-- Defragment your drive(s) AFTER doing a chkdsk /f /r .
-- Check memory with something like MemTest (Bing/Google it, please.)
-- Take a look at the Belarc Advisor mentioned earlier.

But, before any of that... Windows 7 has a great in-built utility that just may diagnose these hard-to-pinpoint issues: Start > Search Programs and files , type perfmon /report and press Enter. The utility will collect data for 60 seconds and output a suberb analysis of your system in real time.

Note Below: SkyDrive, DropBox, SugarSync, Google Drive, etc., can cause elevated I/O activity that will adversely affect your mouse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #20
AlexIsAlex

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Fingers crossed that the culprit can be isolated without a repair install then!

Alrighty...

CBS.log (.txt) is here.
CheckSUR.log (.log - do you need this as .txt as well?) is here.
Belarus Advisor output is here.

SP1 is NOT listed under Control Panel\System and Security\System! However, I've been diligently updating this laptop since I got it, there are no hidden updates and a manual check for updates produces nothing (except Bing desktop, which I might just skip...). I can't see anything related to SP1 under installed updates for anything except:

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems (KB982526)
Installation date: ‎13/‎04/‎2011 02:46
Installation status: Successful
Update type: Important

Any idea why I don't have SP1 listed..? Hopefully, there are some clues in the logs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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