Solved: “Windows Explorer has stopped working” error

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jah2os

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Jan 2, 2011
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This thread was closed without a definative answer so I thought I should create this thread to post what worked for me in fixing this annoying problem.

This issue should not take an OS reload or a registry alteration that takes away form Windows functionality!!! I was plagued with this “Windows Explorer has stopped working” problem for over a week and tried every answer I could think of (SFC, chkdsk, driver rollbacks, several different virus/malware scans, In-Place Upgrade, etc.) in an attempt to fix the issue. Through this entire ordeal I could still access Windows in normal mode, I just had to clear the error every time I booted up to desktop. Nothing in device manager was splatted or appeared to have a problem in anyway. So, I did not believe it was a driver issue; however, I booted to safe mode and the error did not occur. Naturally I started thinking there was a problem with a driver or something in startup. I updated all my drivers for my ASUS M4A79T Deluxe (64bit) motherboard (including the integrated audio driver) to the highest beta version ASUS listed which made the problem intermittent instead of every time I booted to normal mode. Some progress was being made at this point. I checked device manager again and still nothing was splatted or indicated a problem of any kind. I decided to download and reinstall my ASUS EAH6870 display driver for both of my video cards, restarted and the problem was gone.

I honestly believe about 99% of these errors are related to invisible driver issues. Just remember, even though nothing is splatted in device manager doesn't mean a device driver isn't causing windows some sort of an issue. If you have this problem, update all motherboard drivers first, then the video driver and finally the audio driver. If this does not fix the issue, then proceed on with other troubleshooting. Just a note on the use of SFC: If you have never run it before it does not have the baseline file catalogue to compare your files to so it won’t find a problem. That’s why I run SFC every time I load any major update so it records the changes and knows what files and their sizes are supposed to be present. I hope this helps someone and saves them all the time I spent troubleshooting and fixing this problem. Have a great New Year all!!!
 
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