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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Thumbs down Crashes like Windows 95!

    I've been having a load of problems with Windows 7 here. I'm operating four different Windows 7 computers, and they are all exhibiting the same issue. And that issue is this: Whenever I am navigating to a location on a drive - networked, or local - the application will suddenly freeze and restart.

    At first I thought it was my Wacom tablet driver. Three of these machines have pen tablets installed. But the fourth machine is nothing like the others, and it's doing the same thing.

    Other than the pen tablets, there really isn't anything about the four machines that is alike. Well, except they are all running Windows 7. The laptop is running 32 bit, and the others are all 64 bit. One has 12 Gigs of ram, two have 4 gigs, and the 32 bit laptop has 2 gigs.

    When I ask others at work about this, they are all surprised that I'm having this problem. Yet my work PC (the one with 12 gigs of ram) has apps crash a dozen times every day. And it's not just one app. Every Office app has done it. All of my Adobe apps have done it. Internet Explorer has done it. Chrome has done it. And every time, the crash occurs while I'm navigating the file system via a dialog.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Am I the only one seeing this, or is there some problem that I've overlooked somehow?

  2. #2
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    Have you checked the Event Viewer for more information?

    What sort of "tweaks" have you done?

    If this is a recent occurrence, have you tried a System Restore back to a time when it was working correctly?

    Do you have the most recent BIOS & drivers for all the systems?

    Do you have Windows 7 SP-1 installed?

    Are all the systems up-to-date with patches?

    Do you have any shell addins installed?

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Does it happen in safe mode? If not, try the clean boot diagnostic procedure.

    Jerry

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    Lounger rlg118's Avatar
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    I haven't had as many problems as those listed above, but I have not seen so many "Explorer Not Responding" messages since Windows 98. I seriously considered changing my computer's name from "HP" to "AppHangB1".

    Now F5 no longer refreshes the screen. (Ctrl+F5 still works, though.) And clicking on a file sometimes will not open it - the "Working in Background" cursor just flashes. But clicking a second time opens the file immediately - only now there are two copies open. Erk!

    Time for a another clean install, I guess. It's a wonderful way to spend a weekend.
    Rob G

    "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain

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  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you checked the Event Viewer for more information?

    What sort of "tweaks" have you done?

    If this is a recent occurrence, have you tried a System Restore back to a time when it was working correctly?

    Do you have the most recent BIOS & drivers for all the systems?

    Do you have Windows 7 SP-1 installed?

    Are all the systems up-to-date with patches?

    Do you have any shell addins installed?

    Joe
    OK, I hadn't checked the event viewer, so just now popped in there on this machine since I've seen these problems here recently. However I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I see tons of problems with Explorer.exe with reports like the following:

    Faulting application name: Explorer.EXE, version: 6.1.7601.17567, time stamp: 0x4d6727a7
    Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.1.7601.17514, time stamp: 0x4ce7b96e
    Exception code: 0xc0000374
    Fault offset: 0x000c37b7
    Faulting process id: 0x734
    Faulting application start time: 0x01cc74cb261af087
    Faulting application path: C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll

    I've done no specific "tweaks" on any of these machines - they are vanilla as far as I can tell.

    It is not that recent - I have been seeing these crashes of apps while navigating the file system via dialogs since almost the beginning of my Windows 7 experience. It does seem to be getting worse though.

    As far as BIOS and drivers go, I have not done anything specific in that area, but four utterly different machines having the exact same issues tells me that would be a load of work with not so much payback. Still, you make a good point and I'll see what I can do about those.

    Windows 7 SP-1 on all four machines.

    All patches that flow to the machine are installed. I often find that my work has been dismissed so that updates can be applied and the machine restarted. As far as I know I have the latest of everything, and that is always confirmed when I check.

    No Shell Add-ins that are not part of the vanilla install.

    Steve

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    Have you tried booting into safe mode to see if the crashes still happen?

    Joe

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you tried booting into safe mode to see if the crashes still happen?

    Joe
    No I haven't, because normally I can go all day without trouble, and then I have all kinds of trouble. Since the issue only appears while working from within applications, it would mean I would have to start Word, for example, and actually try to do work in it to get to "that place" where it decides it wants to crash. I'm not certain what limitations are present under safe mode, but suffice it to say I'm also not certain I could perform any useful work.

    I just checked my work PC and virtually every application crash for the last month includes a line like this:
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ntdll.dll


    My log goes back to late last year, and there are 192 such Application Errors listed, including Outlook, Visio, Word, Excel, RoboHelp, Photoshop, Acrobat, etc. They all list that WOW64 path as the faulting module. It is the same on all three of my other machines.

    I'll investigate doing a safe mode start at home - I'm certain I can't do it here at work. If I can get my apps to start, I'll have to just keep fiddling to see if it ever crashes. If it doesn't in twenty minutes, I guess I'm saying that I don't think I've proved anything, since there are times when it seems to work all day without trouble (like today for example).

    Any other ideas are appreciated....

  8. #8
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    For some troubleshooting help on ntdll.dll errors see Resolve ntdll.dll errors.

    Joe

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    This is sounding a bit like a bad AV engine update, or at least AV scanning related. Try disabling your AV software and see if there is any improvement. I turn off active scanning when opening files. Too much of a performance hit for very little gain in protection.
    Chuck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
    This is sounding a bit like a bad AV engine update, or at least AV scanning related. Try disabling your AV software and see if there is any improvement. I turn off active scanning when opening files. Too much of a performance hit for very little gain in protection.
    Disabling AV isn't an option at work, but I'll give that a try here at home.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Do your workplace computers have anyform of IT support that should be made aware of these issues?

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like a total Nube, what is "WOW64" and why is it on every PC?

    For troubleshooting purposes, can it be Un-Installed or deleted?

    It's pretty obvious to this old tech, that you've got something in those PC's that is conflicting with W-7,
    something that the rest of us don't have on our own PC's.
    As much as I personally dislike W-7, on my own PC, it's perfectly stable and never crashes or gives me BSOD's.
    But then, neither does any other OS.

    When some program tries to grab a section of memory, already in use by Windows, a crash or freeze usually results.
    Something like, "Windows has detected a problem and will now close".

    Good Luck on your quest!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    sysWOW64 is a Windows subdirectory in the Windows 7 64 bit operating system that helps to ensure smooth running and compatibility with the 32 bit applications installed.
    The sysWOW64 directory should not be deleted or tampered with.

    More info...

    Windows 64-bit: The 'Program Files (x86)' and 'SysWOW64' folders explained

    Some 16 or 32 bit programs can be forced to run on a 64 bit os by installing dll's and ini's to this directory. I know I have at least 1 program that I use that requires installation there. Just because one can do this it doesn't automatically translate to a trouble free operation.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-09-25 at 13:51.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Do your workplace computers have anyform of IT support that should be made aware of these issues?
    Only one of the four that are giving me fits is a workplace computer. Our IT department just re-images for everything - I'm not about to go there unless it is a last resort. It takes weeks to get back to productive and I just can't do that every time there is an issue.

    Today I went in and started RoboHelp, worked for about five hours, and had no troubles at all. But there is one specific sequence that has caused a problem in the past, and sure enough it crashed RoboHelp again. However this time I went back and paid attention.

    I was inserting an image. The dialog came up, and I wanted to change the view from thumbnails to a list. So I clicked the down-arrow and boom, RoboHelp froze. It was totally repeatable (at least for about five tries). Then I discovered that if instead of clicking the down arrow, I just clicked the icon next to the down arrow, that worked. No crash. This is the type of crash I've been having with Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. I even get this type of crash with Windows Explorer. Note that Windows 7 does NOT crash - just the app in which I'm navigating to a file.

    Here is the RoboHelp event from Event Viewer:

    Faulting application name: RoboHTML.exe, version: 8.0.0.203, time stamp: 0x4944f3bb
    Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.1.7600.16559, time stamp: 0x4ba9b29c
    Exception code: 0xc015000f
    Fault offset: 0x00084391
    Faulting process id: 0x2d90
    Faulting application start time: 0x01cc7c5fd06cb427
    Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2\Adobe RoboHelp 8\RoboHTML\RoboHTML.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ntdll.dll
    Report Id: 9622294f-e876-11e0-88a6-70f395003573

    I did read through the list of things you can try with ntdll.dll issues. Only a couple seem to be relevant, so I'll give those a try when I get a minute here.

  15. #15
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    Popping this back to the top to see if anyone else has any ideas. I'm surprised that no one else is seeing this, since the four machines I'm seeing it on are all so different. Different Anti-virus, different editions (32/64), different apps, etc. And they all behave this way - I just lost a weeks work in Robohelp when Windows Explorer hung while I was navigating the file system via a dialog and accidentally clicked just off the button. That's one of the things I've noticed causes this - clicking anywhere on the dialog except where you are supposed to click. I've also noticed if I go too fast it may happen, so I have to measure my pace and give Windows a chance to "catch up."

    Booting to Safe Mode is not a viable test because I can't really work in that mode, and besides, sometimes I can go all day without this happening. So if I boot into safe and it works all day, did I learn anything? I'd have to do it for a week before I started to get the idea that maybe safe mode resolves it. But then what? I still don't have any idea what causes it in standard mode, or how to address it.

    Also none of the tips about NTDLL.DLL panned out. They are good tips, just not of any value in this particular case I guess.

    Other ideas? Am I really the only person on the planet seeing this? Wild...

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