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Windows 7: "Windows Explorer has stopped working" on startup after update

15 May 2014   #1
chaosed0

Windows 7 Premium x64
 
 
"Windows Explorer has stopped working" on startup after update

After updating yesterday, explorer.exe no longer starts correctly, either on startup or manually. A windows restore to before my latest updates fixes the problem, but installing the updates causes the problem again. I do want to keep the system up to date, so I figure I shouldn't just turn automatic updates off. Some notes:
  • I sit on the "Welcome" screen after logging in for longer than usual before getting to the desktop.
  • "Personalized Settings" seems to be what's causing the issue - this is the window that freezes.
  • I don't have a start bar.
  • Everything else works fine - I can launch programs through the command line or task manager, including windows explorer.
  • My wallpaper no longer loads - or, to be more precise, it's just a black color.
  • I have DisplayFusion installed, but I uninstalled it and this had no effect.
Here's a screenshot of the symptom along with my recent update history.

I'm not totally averse to reinstalling windows, but I do want to make sure the same thing doesn't just happen again. Anyone have ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 May 2014   #2
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Please Run sfc /scan now using option 2 in this tutorial: SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

Please post back the results.

Or option 1 at boot might be easier for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #3
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chaosed0 View Post
After updating yesterday, explorer.exe no longer starts correctly, either on startup or manually. A windows restore to before my latest updates fixes the problem, but installing the updates causes the problem again. I do want to keep the system up to date, so I figure I shouldn't just turn automatic updates off. Some notes:
  • I sit on the "Welcome" screen after logging in for longer than usual before getting to the desktop.
  • "Personalized Settings" seems to be what's causing the issue - this is the window that freezes.
  • I don't have a start bar.
  • Everything else works fine - I can launch programs through the command line or task manager, including windows explorer.
  • My wallpaper no longer loads - or, to be more precise, it's just a black color.
  • I have DisplayFusion installed, but I uninstalled it and this had no effect.
Here's a screenshot of the symptom along with my recent update history.

I'm not totally averse to reinstalling windows, but I do want to make sure the same thing doesn't just happen again. Anyone have ideas?
Are you familiar with checking update history? You can selectively remove updates or rollback the computer and selectively install them. By doing so, you can isolate the problem update and then check the purpose or reason for the update which may or may not apply to you.

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 May 2014   #4
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Do you see a watermark in the lower right corner of the main screen? The screen where your wallpaper should be?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #5
chaosed0

Windows 7 Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Do you see a watermark in the lower right corner of the main screen? The screen where your wallpaper should be?
No watermark. I'm aware that this is something that happens when you don't have genuine windows - I acquired this copy through my school's MSDNAA program, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
Are you familiar with checking update history? You can selectively remove updates or rollback the computer and selectively install them. By doing so, you can isolate the problem update and then check the purpose or reason for the update which may or may not apply to you.

HTH
There were ten or fifteen updates that I'd installed at once - might be time consuming. I figured I'd post here first, to see if anyone had a quick idea. This will be my next step though.

Quote:
Please Run sfc /scan now using option 2 in this tutorial: SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

Please post back the results.

Or option 1 at boot might be easier for you.
Sorry, I forgot to say - I already did this. Still, I did it again, just to make sure:

Code:
C:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chaosed0 View Post
No watermark. I'm aware that this is something that happens when you don't have genuine windows - I acquired this copy through my school's MSDNAA program, so it shouldn't be an issue.
I was just wondering if the updates accidentally invalidated your copy of Windows. It's been known to happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #7
chaosed0

Windows 7 Premium x64
 
 

Quote:
I was just wondering if the updates accidentally invalidated your copy of Windows. It's been known to happen.
No problem - I wasn't taking offense. In any case, no watermark.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #8
dstutzman

MA
 
 

Try removing the following update:

Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2926765)

You can do this by booting into safe mode, opening "Programs and Features" in Control Panel, and then selecting "View installed updates" from the left panel.

This update caused the same explorer.exe crash for me, and removing it resolved the issue. I do, however, still see a "Windows Explorer has stopped working" message every time I boot up, but the process just restarts and I'm able to use my computer normally. Hopefully Microsoft releases a patch for this soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #9
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Thanks for the sfc scan.

Since you stated system restore resolved the issue, do it again.

Then before manually installing them, disable your antivirus protection and all programs running-as well as by the clock.

Then install the updates 1 by 1 until you find the exact update causing the issue. When you find out which one it is post back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2014   #10
seanmcc

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
 
 

I apologize for being a "me too", but I am having the exact same problem. If you have been able to narrow down the exact update causing the issue, I would be grateful for the information.

If not, I will join you in your quest as soon as I can. Hopefully dstutzman is correct and simply ignoring that update will avoid any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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