Unable to run some few games and programs, Error: Windows Explorer Hangs

Original Title: Explorer keeps crashing!

I am running windows xp sp3.My explorer hangs every minute.The desktop and taskbar hangs but the programs running on top keeps running smoothly and even i can work with them.Then i open task manager and end explorer and starts it again.Then it works fine for a minute and then it again crashes.
  Now i am unable to run some games and programs.They close automatically when explorer hangs.Plz help!

If I were you, I would uninstall the problematic Windows Desktop Search (you can always reinstall it later), reboot and see how things work.

Since it doesn't make sense to troubleshoot a system that might be afflicted with malicious software, I would then scan your system for malicious software:

Download, install, update and do a quick scan with these free malware detection programs (not at the same time):

Malwarebytes (MBAM):  http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
SUPERAntiSpyware: (SAS):  http://www.superantispyware.com/

SAS will probably report a bunch of tracking cookies that you can just let it delete them.

They can be uninstalled later if desired.

When the scans run clean, reboot and see how things work.

Here is how to troubleshoot Explorer Shell Extensions (these are generic instructions, but still good for troubleshooting):

When Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer) is misbehaving (especially when right clicking), start to suspect third party Explorer extension add-ons.

Those would be Explorer extensions that do not belong to Microsoft.  That means extensions that you added.  Explorer extensions are usually okay and installing some applications will install Explorer extensions for you, give you a choice and sometimes they can be added without your knowledge when you
install new software.

Explorer extensions are sometimes added as a new right click option you see on folders and files (like scan this file, open this file, play this song).

If there is a particular thing you do when Exploring that you know will cause the problem, that will help zero in on the problem and help you know for sure when you have found and fixed it.  If you can make it happen anytime you want, make an adjustment and then there is no message the next time you do whatever it is you do, you have found and fixed it.

First you need a way to see what Explorer add-ons you have installed now and a way to disable them (not uninstall them) so you can figure out which one is causing the problem.  You may have lots of non Microsoft extensions installed you don't even know about.

Download ShellExView from here to see which Explorer extensions you have loaded:


ShellExView doesn't install anything on your computer, it just runs and displays.

After you launch ShellExView (double click shexview.exe) and acknowledge the security warning, adjust the column widths so you can see everything
clearly.  Under Options, choose to "Mark Non-Microsoft Extensions" and the non Microsoft extensions will be in light pink, but on some systems that is a hard color to see, so click View, Choose Columns and move the Microsoft column closer to the top (Move Up) so you can see it on your screen without having to scroll left and right.

Next, click the column header called Microsoft to sort the display (by clicking the Microsoft column header) so all the non Microsoft extensions are at the top and easy to see.  They will say "No" since they are not Microsoft extensions.

The non Microsoft extensions would be things you have added (non Microsoft) and are what you need to be suspecting.

You can also Google the name of a suspicious add-on and see if there are any hits regarding DEP errors and what other people have done about it.

You might Google something like:

<my-suspicious-add-on>  XP explorer crashing

You have to fill in the name of your suspicious add on.

See what kind of search results hits you get and look for solutions or situations that sound like yours.

I am not a trial and error advocate, but I can't think of another way to do this...

Right click and disable the non Microsoft extensions one at a time (or perhaps in groups of 3-5) keeping a list so you can enable them again later if desired. The result of the change is immediate and no reboot is required.  Test your failure condition.  If Explorer starts to act normally, you will know that some extension you just disabled in that group of 3-5 is the culprit so you can start to enable them one at a time until explorer fails again.

If you recognize any extensions that may have been added or downloaded recently, start with those first.

Disabling an extension does not uninstall the extension - it is just disabled.  You can always enable it again later, so keep track of things by writing them down.

Disable them one at a time or in little groups (to make things go faster) until your right click does not generate an error, then reboot and test again.  That last extension you disabled would be the suspicious one.

You can also just disable all the non Microsoft extensions, reboot, test your failure condition and enable them one at a time until you find the one that generates the failure condition.

If you have a lot of extensions, you could disable them is little groups, 3-5 at a time instead of 1 at a time until your system starts to behave.  When it does behave, you will know that the problem is one of the extensions in that little group and you can enable those in the group one at a time until the problem comes back, then the problem will be with the last extension you enabled.

The hope is that you will find the one extension that causes the problem and then you can figure out what to do about it - either uninstall it or see if you can get an update from the maker of the extension from their web page.

I don't have your issue but I can when you disable/enable the extensions, the extension is immediately disabled, so disabling an extension does not seem to require a reboot but if you think you found the problem, I would reboot and retest anyway to really be sure the problem is gone.

If you post up a list of your non Microsoft extensions, maybe someone will recognize it as a potential problem.

If you find the offending extension that is the problem, please let us know what it is so I can add it to my list.

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Question Info

Last updated March 26, 2018 Views 145 Applies to: