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  1. #1
    New Lounger parkton_steve's Avatar
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    Windows explorer intermittently fails to start after boot.

    Hi gang,

    I don't know how long it's been doing this now, but for at least several weeks when I power up in the morning, I log in and sometimes get my wallpaper and nothing else. (XP sp3) If I give the three finger salute, task manager comes up, and I can run explorer and it launches fine. Of course none of my start-up programs start up (AVG,ZA, etc.), so I have to do a restart to get everything to come up. It usually takes one restart to recover. Recently, it has taken two restarts (once).

    I started googling the question "XP explorer fails to start", and haven't gotten too far , except that it appears to have been happening elsewhere. I ran an up-to-date MalwareBytes on my system, and got a clean bill of health there. I'll probably run some other on-demand checks to be sure.

    Has anyone seen the same problem? Is there a solution to be had, besides upgrade to W7?


    Thanks for your attention.

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
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    Usually its just something that's conflicting in your start up that causes it to stall. Are you ending the explorer.exe process that is already started and stalled before running explorer.exe again?
    My experience differs though in that I don't have to reboot to get everything loaded once I restart explorer so this may be a somewhat different issue.

    However you could still disable all your startup items in Msconfig (also check the startup folder) and see if the system loads normally sans those startups. If it does add them back in until you encounter the problem again to find the culprit(s). You can get more detailed control of start up with one of these startup managers to help solve the problem.

  3. #3
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    Try a clean start to see if the problem persists.

  4. #4
    New Lounger parkton_steve's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try them and report back. It may take a little while - the problem is intermittent, which begs the question: why does does a conflict occur now and not the next few times?

    Regards,

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    After doing some preliminary checks, I'd run "Chkdsk /r/f" on that drive.
    It sounds like windows is having a problem loading some needed file.
    And when you try it again, it loads. Not too unusual.
    I always run "Chkdsk /r/f" on every PC that comes into my shop.
    It just solves a pot full of little problems.

    Removing everything you don't need from your Startup, can't hurt either.
    (that was already mentioned)

    Good Luck, and Happy Holidays!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger Jagworld's Avatar
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    @DrWho;
    Do you use/like the SFC /scannow ??

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Actually, I've run it several times, but it never really fixed the immediate problem.

    Also, if you don't have the Windows CD that perfectly matches what's already on the HD,
    SFC will hang, asking you for the proper CD.

    If a program is failing to load and run, intermittently, that's a dead giveaway, that the file is OK
    but the hard drive is having some problem reading the file. It may be in a spot on the drive that
    is going bad. Chkdsk /f /r will relocate the file to a new and GOOD sector if it detects a problem
    reading it.

    I tried that recently, on a PC that was damaged by one of those Bogus AV programs.
    Chkdsk didn't fix the problem and neither did SFC.
    What finally fixed it, was when I restored a Ghost Image that I made when I set up the
    PC two + years ago.

    There's NO replacement for a Backup Image....NONE!

    * In time, the magnetic recording on a hard drive will diminish in strength and the read heads may have a hard time reading it.
    Knowing this, all magnetic storage media, whether a floppy disk or a hard drive should be refreshed.
    I have many floppy disks, from years back that can no longer be read, because the recording is just too weak for the read heads to pick up.

    To prevent this signal degradation from every affecting me, I always do a Restore right after doing a Ghost backup of my C: drive. Every bit of data on my C: drive is re-written, in perfect order, with NO spaces between files and of course, NO Fragmentation.

    My XP hard drive right after a Ghost Backup, followed by a Ghost Restore.


    This is my XP, with the 'Dark Realm' theme, with the HD in FAT-32 mode.

    Cheers Mate and Happy Holidays!

    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-12-17 at 10:28.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  8. #8
    New Lounger parkton_steve's Avatar
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    I tried the chkdsk solution. Explorer has failed to start once since that day.

    I'm not familiar with scannow - could you elaborate?


    Parkton STeve

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hello Parkton STeve,

    Check out this article for instructions on using SFC /scannow.

  10. #10
    New Lounger parkton_steve's Avatar
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    Many thanks, and Happy Holidays! I'll try it and report back.

    Parkton steve

  11. #11
    New Lounger parkton_steve's Avatar
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    Back Again

    Well guys, I said I'd be back to report.

    Since the end of December, my PC has not "failed" to launch explorer. I did the chkdsk, and it didn't report any problems. I did not do the sfc /scannow because it didn't reoccur.

    BUT

    In the last few days, my wife's laptop started doing it. Sort of like a cold moving through the old homestead. I did a sfc /scannow, and later returned to the laptop and saw that the program closed (disappeared) without any status left behind. (no news is good news?) I'm running it again to see what happens at the end, since I shut it down and it failed when it came back up. I'll run the chkdsk next. I ran Malwarebytes and Ccleaner - they ran clean.

    Is there a way to get a boot log? I'll have to google that.

    It's a pain in the tuckus.


    Happy New Year, everybody!

    Parkton Steve

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