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short circuit

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On the wifes pc (windows XP) if I go to the start menu and click on "control panel" or "my documents", among others, I get an error message that says "C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE Application not found". Any idea what's happened to cause this and how to fix it? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 
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Looks like your Explorer.exe file is corrupt. Explorer is basically the file viewer, so without it you cannot open any windows to look at files or folders. Assumably the start menu is still working, and this is strange because this is run using Explorer too. But anyhow you are probably going to need to repair it using the install disks. Do you have the install disks to hand?
 
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hiya press CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring your task manager up,click on the processes tab and scroll down to Explorer.exe and end process,then go to file tab>new task and type explorer.exe.reboot your machine,hope this helps
 

short circuit

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Thanks for the quick reply, OLLIE. The pc is a DELL and I've never gotten it to boot up to any windows disk. Even when trying to network it with our other pcs (work group). Windows XP said to run the networking app from the windows install disc, but the DELL refused to look at the disc. I had to copy the needed file (on another pc) to a usb drive and use that to run it on the hated DELL.
 
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Ok, lets try to get this sorted for you. Starting from the very beginning, are you currently on the PC with the issue? If not, are you able to use the start menu?
 

short circuit

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huggie54, thanks, I tried that and when I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL, it opened up a box with nothing inside of it, no task bar at the top and none of the usual five tabs under that. At the bottom of the box are the normal three buttons "end task" "switch to" & "new task...".
 
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huggie54, thanks, I tried that and when I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL, it opened up a box with nothing inside of it, no task bar at the top and none of the usual five tabs under that. At the bottom of the box are the normal three buttons "end task" "switch to" & "new task...".
If you can get this box up you could try manually starting the Explorer process, but from the error message you explained this probably won't help. Click new task and type in "Explorer.exe". This will most likely give you the same message as before though. Still worth a try.
 

short circuit

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ollie, no I'm on my pc (built by me). On the DELL, I can click on and open the start menu but get the afore mentioned error message when clicking on anything on the start menu.
 
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Ok somehow we need to get you a new explorer file onto the Dell. Are you able to remove the hard drive from the Dell and put it into your PC?

Edit: Just in case it wasn't obvious, keep the hard drive that's already in your PC in there and make sure you boot from that one (most likely a normal boot will be fine).
 

short circuit

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can you get into safe mode?
Yes I did restart in safe mode a couple of times before posting here. In safe mode it will let me sign in on wifes account or administrator account, though wifes account does have admin rights (I know, not good & probably why there's a problem although she is fairly computer savy). In safe mode, everything works as it should. Start menu opens and what ever I click on opens.
 
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Ok ignore my previous post, if everything is working fine in safe mode, then you obviously have an explorer.exe file fine.

Can you boot it into safe mode and then download AVG anti virus and run that. It seems like its some form of virus/trojan horse that is mucking up with the registry. Also download Malware Bytes and run that once AVG is done. Remove or fix anything that pops up.

After those have run restart the computer in 'regular' mode and see if its working then.
 

short circuit

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Ok, interesting thing, in safe mode if I log on to wifes account I get the same error message when trying to open anything in the start menu, same as normal boot-up. If I log on to the admin account every thing works as it should. If I set up a new user account for the wife do you think it will work correctly? Then I would have time to try and figure out what's wrong with her original account.
 

short circuit

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Ok, answered my own question. I set up another user account and everything works correctly when logged in to it. So, it seems what ever the problem is, it only effects her original account. I would still like to get her original user account fixed and working correctly again though.
 
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