Windows 10 - Windows Explorer (Start Menu) Keeps Crashing -- Started after KB3081424

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some insight with this new issue that's popped up.  My Windows Explorer keeps hanging and then crashing.  My Reliability Monitor is at 1 now, with 63 Critical Events from just this morning filled with "Windows Explorer - Stopped working" or "Windows Explorer - Stopped responding and was closed."  There are also a few "Windows Shell Experience Host - Stopped working" mixed in there as well.

The problem occurs randomly, I usually notice it when I try to hit my start menu (either via Windows key on keyboard or by clicking) and nothing happens, it hangs, then flickers as the process is restarted.  Then, I get a few seconds to a few minutes of explorer working before the cycle repeats.  The problem seems to be related to start menu/task bar, as I can use file explorer without issue and I can reliably induce a crash by trying to use the taskbar/start menu. 

I've notice this issue in the last day or so -- I had been using Windows 10 Pro since upgrading from Windows 8.1 about a week ago.  I hadn't noticed this issue earlier on, and have not made any changes to my system prior to the issue popping up. Notably, I had 0 instances of this problem prior to the KB3081424 -- installed at 3:31AM 8/8/2015, first explorer crash at 4:53AM 8/8/2015 and has been a recurring issue since then.  Reliability history report is uploaded (see link below).

The error within the events is showing as AppHangB1 events.  Please see an example at the end of this post.  

Things I've tried while troubleshooting this myself (low hanging fruit):

* Full virus scan -- Avast 2015, clean

* SFC scan -- no issues

* DISM scan -- no issues

* Clean boot -- Same issues, prompt saying explorer.exe stopped responded, manually click to end process, explorer restarts, hangs again in a few seconds to minutes later.  Only MS services loaded -- all other services/start-up processes disabled.

* Safe mode -- problem is resolved.

* Had Windows create a dump file for explorer.exe each time it crashed.  I am not an expert by any means but I tried looking through the .dmp file and didn't find anything glaring in it.

* Windows explorer was the only process that was having trouble, other applications/processes were just fine -- but just on the off chance since the crash was soooo random, I ran a memory diagnostic --> no issues (Windows Memory Diagnostic -- on boot diagnostic).

* I called Windows Support, but after I told the person I was speaking with everything I had done myself already to troubleshoot, she said that she wouldn't be able to help me and needed to bump it up a level.  They have scheduled me for a phone appointment with tech support in 2 days.

* Used WhatIsHang which showed frequent Windows Shell Experience (ShellExperienceHost.exe) hangs with the Remark "The program hangs in a single system call. You can look in the call stack and stack data to find out which API function cause this hang." 

I have uploaded one of my explorer.exe dump files here:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=9C0B31181768136E!1254&authkey=!ABfU97xoRP4Sjak&ithint=file%2cdmp

I also have my reliability history here:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=9C0B31181768136E!1255&authkey=!AGpuVfcuFodRzDQ&ithint=file%2cXML

WhatIsHang Report for Windows Shell Experience:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=9C0B31181768136E!1266&authkey=!AEAFu9l1_rr1fT0&ithint=file%2ctxt

This is my system information:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=9C0B31181768136E!1256&authkey=!APDhXspAt-sDFjg&ithint=file%2cnfo

While Windows is still usable given that each time I want to use explorer, I have to wait for it to crash and reboot itself, this is a severe annoyance. 

Thanks for any help/ideas!

=======================================================

Reliability Monitor Event

Description
A problem caused this program to stop interacting with Windows.
Faulting Application Path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: AppHangB1
Application Name: explorer.exe
Application Version: 10.0.10240.16405
Application Timestamp: 55b4596f
Hang Signature: 61d6
Hang Type: 33554432
OS Version: 10.0.10240.2.0.0.256.48
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Hang Signature 1: 61d6368c14e3c40858faccb8baf6792f
Additional Hang Signature 2: e59a
Additional Hang Signature 3: e59a7d9a74e814a49b4a6bdb702bd22a
Additional Hang Signature 4: 61d6
Additional Hang Signature 5: 61d6368c14e3c40858faccb8baf6792f
Additional Hang Signature 6: e59a
Additional Hang Signature 7: e59a7d9a74e814a49b4a6bdb702bd22a

Extra information about the problem
Bucket ID: 84780ecdfc1e59c45da16de8dd368391 (128880849708)

 

Question Info


Last updated June 8, 2018 Views 6,874 Applies to:

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In addition to the above steps, I also tried the powershell fix using:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

I also tried making a new user account and in the new user account, the start menu is broken all together, won't even pop up at all whereas on my real account, it'll at least work for a few seconds after explorer reloads itself.  

Problem still persists reliably, averaging about 100+ crashes per day depending on how much I'm on the computer. 

Yesterday, I also tried the "Reset this PC" with the "Keep my files" option.  It went through the motions and then failed stating that there was a problem and no changes were made.  Really would like to avoid nuking the entire machine and wiping everything.

Help!

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Hello,

 

Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community.

 

I request you to Uninstall and Reinstall the Graphics Drivers.

Step 1: Uninstall the Graphics Drivers

a. Press “Windows Logo” + “X” keys on the keyboard.

b. Click on “Device Manager” from that list.

c. Search for the Graphics card from the device list, right click on it and then select “Uninstall”. On the un-installation window, if you have an option: “Delete the driver software for this device” you may select that and then remove the corrupted drivers from the computer.

d. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete it and then restart the computer if prompted.

After the restart, please go ahead with the next steps to install the latest drivers and check if that resolves the issue.

Update Driver Software from the Manufacturer’s website:

Step 2:Go to the Computer or Graphics card manufacturer’s website and search for the latest Windows 10 drivers available for the Network Card model and then install it by following the instructions given in the website.

 

I hope this helps you. If you have any further query in future, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you.

 

Thank you.

2 people were helped by this reply

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Thanks for the reply.  Ack!  I forgot to mention that I already tried this!  (I've tried a lot of things so this one slipped through).  

I did clean reinstall of my nvidia drivers yesterday -- they are 353.62, which are the latest WHQL drivers.  Problem still persisted.

EDIT:  And I just did it once more for good measure.  Deleted drivers from device manager, reinstalled latest version.  Problem still persists.  I should also mention that I've had no other issues with either 2D or 3D software outside of what I've described above.  I have a pair of GTX 980s and the issue persists in both single GPU and SLI modes.  During the clean install, all profiles were also wiped and settings restored to default.

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Given the suspicious timing of the crashes in relations to KB3081424, I tried uninstalling the update to see if it would make a difference.  Unfortunately, it did not.  Even with the update uninstalled, explorer was still crashing.  The timing could be just coincidental.

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The problem has gotten worse (maybe explorer is getting more and more messed up each time it crashes).  This morning, when I tried to use the computer, the start menu wouldn't open at all! Even after explorer crashed and restarted itself.  In addition, contextual menus no longer work.  Whether I Win-X, right click on the start button, or right click on something within file explorer, all I get is a blank thin strip where the menu would be, without any text but with submenu arrows.  If you try to approximate where the selections would be vertically, you can still click on them and they'll work -- ie, I was able to navigate to cmd in my system32 and right click and run as admin by guessing where that would be located.  I ran sfc /scannow again -- did not find any integrity violations.


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I had the similar problem, the Windows Explorer keep crashing and the screen keep flashing. However, the crashing stopped after I disabled the "Windows Error Reporting Service" and restart the computer.

This is just a workaround solution and not a fix. Hope Microsoft would have some sort of hotfix later on.

 

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Thanks for your reply "SimpsonC."  Unfortunately, even that didn't work.  Explorer would still crash and without the error reporting service, it wouldn't autorestart itself.

Ultimately, I decided to just do a clean re-install of Windows 10.  Since the reset with "file preservation" didn't work, I opted to do the full re-install.  Unfortunately, something broke during that process and when the computer was rebooting, it stated: BOOT_DEVICE_INACCESSIBLE -- a common occurrence it seems, on a quick google search.  I had to make a boot USB using the media creation tool and was able to install a clean version of Win10 Pro using that.  Thankfully, the new version of windows was able to find my product key from windows.old and activated without issue.  I've since restored files from back-up and reinstalled apps/programs.  Explorer issues are now gone.  It was too bad there was not a good fix short of nuking the entire installation.  

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Thanks for the workaround, Ehigi. I guess i too will have to do the fresh install of win10 with a disk format! :( it means 1 full day wasted.

The explorer keeps crashing at very unfortunate times, such as saving a file after almost 1hr of work! that is extremely frustrating.


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Amit, I have the same issue as above and also tried reinstalling graphics card and still the same issue. It started of once every few days not it is periodically throughout the day. Something that is also happening is i get BSOD complaining about some storage issue from time to time, even when i am not using my PC, I get back and it is on BSOD. Is Microsoft working on a fix.

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Hi Lem,

Thank you for posting your query on Microsoft Community.

I understand that you are facing issues with Windows 10. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

The issue could occur if some system files is corrupt.

To assist you better, please provide the information:

1. Are you getting any error message?

2. Have  you made any changes to the Computer prior to the issue? 

3. Have you tried to perform powershell command which is provided in the previous post by Ehegi replied on August 10, 2015.

Refer to the below methods and check if it helps.

Method 1: I would suggest you to refer to the suggestions provided in the below Microsoft Help Article and check if it helps.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/troubleshoot-blue-screen-errors

If the issues still persist, refer to the below method.

Method 2: I suggest you to perform startup repair of the Computer and check if it helps.

First, I would suggest you to download the ISO file of Windows 10 from below Microsoft Help Article and create a Media Installation Disk.
Then try to perform the below methods and check if it helps.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/software-download/home
Boot the Computer with the Windows Installation Media:
1. Start (or boot) your computer from the installation media. Insert the DVD or USB flash drive and restart your computer.
2. If you see a message asking you to “
Press any key to boot from DVD,” do so.
3. When you see the Install Windows page, tap or click on
Repair your computer to start the Windows Recovery Mode.
4. In the Windows Recovery Environment, on the Choose an option screen, tap or click on
Troubleshoot.
5. Click on
Advanced Options.
6. Then on click on Startup Repair.

Reply to us with the information, so that we can assist you better.

Let us know if you need any further assistance on Windows related issues and we will be glad to help. 

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