Explorer.exe fails to load on startup.

Discussion in 'Computer and Technology Discussion' started by Stealth Geek, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    I'm running Vista Home Premium 32-Bit with SP1. Well, I guess my problem started with one of two things. I was in the middle of defragging a drive and received a BSOD at some point before it finished. Then when I restarted it, there was a scheduled defrag for system files that took place. When it got to 38%, it said a certain files were too big to move (with 140GB to spare), so it continued on and never got to the desktop. Restarted...still a black screen with the mouse pointer visible.

    So, I open task manager up and see that explorer.exe isn't running, so I run a new task to load it. Now, I have to do this every single time I restart windows. It will load the desktop on its own in safe mode. It seems to be running the same as before this problem, but it's ANNOYING!

    Nothing works to correct this problem here: http://www.webtlk.com/2008/12/15/desktop-and-icons-fails-to-load-at-startup-in-windows-vista/

    I've scanned the drive for errors (none), tried to repair it using a recovery disk, and countless other stuff. I've gotten it to defrag the system files correctly another time, so...I'm not sure if something is just out of place or what the deal is.

    Anyone have any other ideas how to fix this without resorting to reinstalling windows?
     
  2. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    (this might not work) If I knew how to post pics of doing this it'd be way easier.Start up the computer and start up explorer.exe from the task manager as you would since its messed up. After you run Explorer.exe on the Task Manager Right click it and click "open file location". Then a folder will popup. It will show explorer highlighted, right click it and click "properties". Then go to the security tab and click "advanced". The first tab that it starts on it should say permissions.

    Type Name Permission
    Allow Trusted Installer Full Control
    Allow Administrators Read and Execute
    Allow Users (PC\Users) Read and Execute

    Make sure yours says the exact same (I am also running Vista 32bit SP1)

    This might not be the problem...but worth a try.
     
  3. Icharus_Falling

    Icharus_Falling Resident

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    i dont use vista, but have done some troubleshooting with it. if you boot the windows disc, there is an option to repair current install (note: i've never gotten this function to actually fix anything). you could also try going back to a windows restore point.
     
  4. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    Thanks for the help. The permissions are exactly the same, and no restore point will fix it...even those that were created 3 weeks prior to this issue. If I choose to repair current install, won't that reset Windows back to how it came when I bought the computer?
     
  5. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    So let me understand this right, in safemode explorer runs fine however when booting normally explorer will work if you manually run it by creating a new task in task manager, just not automatically?

    Have you looked in msconfg to see what programs are starting with the pc and what non Microsoft system services are running, I have seen viruses / spyware do this in the past.

    As you can get to safemode try running a system restore to a date when you could log on normally, if that works run a check disk on your hard drive just to check nothing is corrupted.

    A repair install shouldn’t delete anything, it basically installs windows over the top of your current installation and keeps your settings, installed apps and files intact. (although backup to be safe!)

    If your Windows CD hasn’t got SP1 integrated you would need to upgrade to SP1 and install everything from Windows update again.
     
  6. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    Yeah, I've been saving every single thing to my other hard drive in preparations for reinstalling windows if needed. I may have to try a repair and see if that fixes anything. I was just worried it's gonna get rid of everything! I don't run any window blinds or software that changes logon screens or any of that stuff. this is like the 3rd computer issue in 7 years of computing that I haven't been able to solve myself or without having to take drastic measures. :P
     
  7. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Humm try this, open the registry editor (regedit)

    Now go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\winlogon\

    Make sure the "Shell" variable = 'Explorer.exe'
     
  8. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    That was one of the first things I've run across along with some registry fixes...nothing has worked. :(


    I think I'm gonna have to format and reinstall windows. I've been getting lots of crashes with a lot of programs now. I'll try repairing the install first before doing that, though.
     
  9. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    Start up explorer.exe from Windows Task Manager. Then right click on explorer.exe and click open file location. What folder is it in?
     
  10. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    Location: C:\WINDOWS

    Size: 2.79 MB (2,927,104 bytes)

    Size on disk: 2.79 MB (2,928,640 bytes)


    Edit:

    I think I may have fixed it. I cleared all of my Comodo firewall settings, specifically those involving "My Protected Registry Keys" and restarted...started up on its own like it's supposed to. I guess that's why it was able to load correctly in safe mode, because it doesn't load the firewall. Now, if I can only figure out why it takes this PC over 3.5 minutes to boot up after installing SP1 last year.
     
  11. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Glad you managed to fix it, I installed some virus protection on an xp the other week and it just got a bsod before it reached the logon screen, changed some settings on it and it worked perfect after that.

    My laptop with Vista Business SP1 x64 takes about 3-4 mins to log on, it’s an AMD Turion 64 @ 2ghz thats almost 4 years old now. I find if I hibernate the laptop it will boot up and be usable in less than a minute, or even leaving it on standby means it will be ready to use in a couple of seconds.

    I suggest you look in to enabling hibernation or standby, its much quicker than waiting for everything to load up. I usually just re start once a month for Windows updates.
     
  12. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    I'd say it really depends on what it loads up when you first turn it on. When you to to the RUN screen, you have to type something in and it'll tell you every program that it'll start when the PC starts (hopefully someone can help me out with what your supposed to type in that box). More programs, obviously it will take more time to load. Also it be based on how quick your PC is too but that one is only totally obvious.

    Before I told what programs the PC should start up it would take about 4-5 minutes, after it only takes about 2-3 minutes.
    I made it to where it wouldn't start up programs like Windows messenger, things like that.
     
  13. BonezOz

    BonezOz Addict

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    PC Cleaning

    MSCONFIG is the app you need to run from the run command, then go to the Startup tab and you'll see everything that runs are startup.

    Also, dowload a copy of CCleaner and run this, you'll clear out as much as 200MB to several GB of temp crap clogging your system. Then run the Registry Cleaner tool and it will clear out shit. Lastly go to the tools option and startup (still within CCleaner) and you can disable heaps of shit.

    Key things to disable from startup:
    QuickTime
    iTunes Helper
    Any Adobe entries
    msmgs
    Java Updater

    The list above are the common ones that are safe to disable. There may be more depending on your system. Anything dealing with Image scanning, or printer connections could probably be disabled as well.

    CCleaner:
    CCleaner - Home

    Also run a defrag of the hard drive, this should help to speed things up as well. I find it's best to defrag the drives manually as opposed to letting Windows do it on a schedule, the default sched for defrag in Vista is 1AM on Wednesday mornings, and not many people leave their PC's on 24/7.

    If you need a more intuitive tool for defraging use Defraggler:

    http://www.defraggler.com/

    Hope all of this helps!
     
  14. Dark Scyth

    Dark Scyth Moderator

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    CCleaner is a very useful tool. It'll delete all of your cookies, if you don't do that, that it. You can pick certain cookies from website that you don't want to delete. Also you can delete certain types of files that aren't used. Although it will say rom games are an unused file so be sure to uncheck those. It'll also delete unused registry keys.
     
  15. BonezOz

    BonezOz Addict

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    I do home based PC repair in my second job, 75% of all jobs are standard "SLOW PC" jobs. I usually install CCleaner and run through everything in the list, so to speak, then run through the registry cleaner 3 or 4 times just to make sure I got everything. Next I go into startup on the tools section and remove all the unwanted BS that slows the PC down when starting up. I also use the Uninstall section to get rid of crap, mainly the 90 or so different Anti-spyware tools that the user installs. After that then I install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run that, clearing out tracking cookies, and finally I'll install Defraggler and set that to run. Depending on the size of the hard drive and the amount of defragmentation I usually leave the PC running this when I leave and advise the customer that they can close it when it's finished running. I'd say 99% of these customers are happy, the other 1% just suffer from PEBKAC errors that don't ever seem to get fixed.
     
  16. Stealth Geek

    Stealth Geek Resident

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    I always just put the computer to sleep 95% of the time. It's just a pain when rebooting is mandatory.


    Well, this PC used to take 40-45 seconds to boot Vista before installing SP1. AMD Athlon 64X2 6000+ and 3GB ram. It boots XP up in around 40 seconds still. It's just something conflicting with SP1 I'm guessing.


    AHHHHH...defraggler! That's the defrag utility I was using and got a BSOD. And for some reason, it took away 50+ GB of space from one of my drives, until I used the utility that comes with Vista and it fixed it again. I've used msconfig for years. I have about 10 things that are checked in there to start up right now. Even with plenty of ram, I try to keep things to a minimum.
     

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