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Windows 7: Explorer Bug?

14 Nov 2010   #1
Ar7ific1al

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Explorer Bug?

Hi guys, new to the forum. Registered specifically to get help with this blasted issue I've been having. I am unable to recreate the problem, as it seems to be one of those things where Microsoft's horrible crap decides to malfunction all on its own, seemingly for no reason and with seemingly no trigger.

Alright, here's the problem. This is the 4th time this has happened in the past 2 months. I'll be doing my own little thing as usual, which is talking to buddies on WLM and browsing the internet using Firefox, when all of a sudden my WLM hangs and freezes, displaying the "(Not Responding)" tag in the window bar. Waiting for it to fix itself does nothing, because it will not fix itself. At this point, my internet browsing also becomes useless. I can do nothing in any Explorer windows, such as move files, open files, view files, delete files, etc, etc. In the Task Manager, Explorer.exe shows no signs of activity, as it does when you do normal things; the memory usage fluctuates, the CPU usage fluctuates, etc. when you do things. It doesn't do this, however. Upon ending explorer and trying to restart it, it sits there in the processes list, doing nothing. It sits at an extremely low memory consumption, reporting a static 928 KB of memory usage. I can't run the command prompt, I can't do anything, really. Nothing that seems to have a direct reliance on explorer.exe will function. At this point, I am FORCED to do a hard boot. I have tried everything I can think of to determine what causes this. It is highly frustrating, and I just can't seem to find out what in the world causes it! As I said, I can't reproduce it at my own will, it's one of those things Windows does that just seems to have a mind of its own where it says "OH HEY TIME TO GIVE THE USER A HARD TIME AND MALFUNCTION!! BZZT!" One of those sorts of things. Anyone have any ideas or further questions about it?

EDIT: Forgot to mention my OS. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate x86.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Nov 2010   #2
josef613

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

Have you tested your computer's stability? It could be a hardware issue.
Another thing i suggest is try cleaning your computer by downloading CCleaner and running both the cleaner and registry cleaner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #3
Ar7ific1al

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I am 100% certain it is not a hardware issue. I have had absolutely no problems out of Windows until last month when it started to do this. I did, however, have issues out of Windows 7 Ultimate x64, where it would BSOD at any given time. This I attribute to my network card, which is AT LEAST 6 years old, and has no 64-bit drivers. Or rather, SIGNED drivers. It causes absolutely no problems with x86. I have Crap Cleaner, and I do use it frequently. I've been an avid Crap Cleaner user for the past 4 or 5 years, as it works wonders sometimes. There is no software that I can think of that would cause any problems, and my hardware has proven to be very stable. My system was built by myself, a first-time build, in August, and as I've said, the only problems I've had out of it are driver-related with 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate. My RAM is fine, as far as I can tell. I just updated my graphics drivers, I doubt that was the problem, though. My hard drives are fine, audio chipset is fine, etc. I have no stability issues what-so-ever. I'm about 95% certain this is just some sort of bug my installation of Windows 7 has. I REALLY do not want to reinstall Windows, because I have several programs that take so long to install (Visual Studio 2008 and 2010, Adobe CS5, GAH!!) Do you have any other suggestions?

EDIT: For 2 or 3 years before I built this computer myself, I would reinstall Windows XP on my previous machine nearly every 4 months, because I seem to be cursed with Murphy's Law. Seriously. Anything that can go wrong absolutely does go wrong with me. My hardware is the only thing that hasn't gone wrong so far; I've had software bug out on me constantly, in which reinstalling usually fixes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Nov 2010   #4
josef613

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

What Antivirus program do you use?
(I'm not suggesting it's a virus, just wondering, though)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #5
Ar7ific1al

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I use avast! Antivirus. I've used it for many years, and it's great, in my opinion. But like the overall gist of an article I read about which antivirus is best: just because you can't find it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So, I never really rule out the possibility of a virus, it's just that these days, I'm not near as virus prone as I used to be LOL I used to be into all kinds of bad stuff.. I've since slowed down on those sorts of things as to avoid having to reinstall Windows every 4 months because of malware.

EDIT: Geez, I almost freaked out here... I hate this WinSAT! I had to disable it on Windows 7 x64 because I didn't like it.. I didn't disable it on x86 and I almost freaked out because I thought DWM crashed silently. Checking the task manager revealed that winsat was running, so I let it finish and then disabled the task... This brings me to another question. Do you have any suggestions as to maybe any Windows built-in functionality that might be causing my problem? I know I've had problems before where the Windows Firewall will randomly disconnect me from my home network, which is fixed by disabled the firewall in Windows. Perhaps there's some service or something conflicting, possibly, and causing a silent explorer.exe crash?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #6
josef613

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

I wouldn't think of anything that would cause it other than what i already asked you about.
You might need to do a reinstall.
One more thing, though, that you might want to check.
Go to Start, then type in msconfig and hit enter. What do you have in your startup programs and startup services lists? (I know you might've already done this, but this is just a troubleshooting step)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #7
Ar7ific1al

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Nothing suspicious, that I can tell. It's all pretty much stuff that Windows either needs or shouldn't be messed with just in case. However, I did think of something. Have you heard of DriveHQ? I installed their file manager and stuff about a month and a half ago, and before that, I never had this problem. However, if I uninstall it, it could take weeks to determine whether or not it it affected anything. This problem I'm having is very random. In fact, it hasn't occurred for the past 3 and a half weeks until just before I started this thread. It's still worth a shot, though, I guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #8
josef613

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

Shoot, might as well. just make sure you have a backup of your files or something, in case your comp blue screens and is unusable.
Edit: It would help me to know what is in your startup programs and services lists
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #9
Ar7ific1al

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Geez, really...? The services list is so long! If I check the box that says hide services from Microsoft, it's a lot shorter, however.. would you like those, instead...?

As for the startup programs, it lists the following as checked:
Java(TM) Platform SE Auto Updater 2.0
HDAudioCpl
ATI Customer Care
AMD Dual-Core Optimizer
avast! Antivirus
QuickTime
iTunes
Adobe Acrobat
Catalyst Control Center
Daemon Tools Lite

It lists the following as unchecked:
Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager
Microsoft Office 2010
DivX Update
DriveHQ Filemanager
Dropbox
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2010   #10
josef613

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
 
 

Yea, I only wanted the non-microsoft services.
As for the startup programs, you can remove:
Java(TM) Platform SE Auto Updater 2.0
ATI Customer Care
QuickTime
iTunes
Adobe Acrobat.

You could probably also uncheck the catalyst control center, as mine is, but i'd leave it there for now.
That should make your comp start up a lot faster, and it might prevent a lock up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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