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Windows 7: Windows explorer will not open on Win7 x64 Ultimate

05 Jan 2016   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Windows explorer will not open on Win7 x64 Ultimate


I'm having a problem with my computer over the past couple of days.
Windows explorer does not open. When I click on it, I can see in Task
Manager a second explorer.exe process open up, but it disappears
within a few seconds. No window appears on the screen even
temporarily. Occasionally, an error dialog with "Server execution
failed" will appear, though not always. At the moment, no
such error comes up.

The explorer.exe process associated with the taskbar on the bottom is
running fine. I can use the computer seemingly normally -- Firefox,
Chrome, IE, Thunderbird, etc. all work. But Windows components like
Explorer, Windows Update, Control Panel, etc. do not. I can use
Multi-Commander as an Explorer replacement in the meantime. I can
startup and shutdown fine.

I do not see any obvious related messages in the Event Viewer,
although I do see tons of (unrelated?) logging messages to the effect
of "The backing-file for the real-time session
"NT Kernel Logger" has reached its maximum size. As a result, new
events will not be logged to this session until space becomes
available. This error is often caused by starting a trace session in
real-time mode without having any real-time consumers"

I have researched this message online, and have tried both
applying the hotfix for KB2444677, and changing the registry keys for
Shell Folder and User Shell Folder as described in
Explorer.exe server execution failed

I have seen some other references to this being caused by disk
partitions changing drive letters, but I am not seeing that here.

I have no restore point that goes back far enough to solve the
problem. I also tried a Repair Install, but it wouldn't work because
I have moved the libraries for Document, Downloads, etc. from the boot
drive to the E:\ drive, and the installer didn't like that. I'm not
sure I can change them back to the boot drive, repair the install,
then change them again to the existing data drive folders while
retaining all the files in place.

What else can I try to resolve the problem?

System config:

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Core i7 2600K
Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 motherboard
256GB SSD boot drive (C:)
2TB data drive (E:)
128GB SSD used for indexes for Windows Search,
Archivarius, Everything, and other similar programs. Also is temp
folder when RAM drive not in use (see below) (F:\)

I usually have a RAM drive (AsRock xFastRAM) for temp files
configured. I have tried disabling this, and it did not solve the
problem. (I:\)

Thanks for your help,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2016   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

Try booting to Safe Mode with Networking. If it works there then something is starting at boot that is causing the problem so use Clean Boot to determine what the cause is.

Also here: Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or program
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2016   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Safe Mode with Networking allowed me to start Explorer, so I was encouraged.

After disabling all startup and services, Explorer still worked.

After going through a selective reenablement process, bizarrely, I was able to restore all services and startup items to enabled, and Explorer still works.

In other words, things seem to be back to normal! Hooray!

I am not sure what actually changed, but thanks for the suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jan 2016   #4

Windows 10 Pro X64

That's weird for sure. Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows explorer will not open on Win7 x64 Ultimate

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