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  1. #1
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    Explorer is gone

    Hi

    We have a laptop that will boot normally and works OK (by launching Applications from Task Manager), but Explorer is totally gone. There is no Desktop, no Task Bar, Start Icon & Menu, etc, and when we try to launch Windows Explorer (via Windows Key & E or via Task Manager), nothing happens. It's as if Explorer.exe is corrupted or something.

    Has anyone experienced this? Is there a way to reinstall Explorer, or would we have to do a complete Windows install?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. We've run a Virus-Scan (no viruses found), and the laptop has a Firewall as well, so we assume it's not a virus.

  2. #2
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    Found this at Microsoft:

    No Desktop or Blank Desktop After Logging On to Windows 2000
    The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
    This article was previously published under Q256194
    SYMPTOMS
    When you log on to Windows 2000, you may see a blank desktop or no desktop. When this occurs, you can press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to start Task Manager, but Explorer.exe is not listed in the list of running tasks or processes. Starting a new instance of Explorer.exe does not resolve the issue.
    CAUSE
    This issue can occur if there is an older version of the Shdocvw.dll file in the %SystemRoot% folder. Because Explorer.exe is located in the %SystemRoot% folder, the search path for any called files starts in the %SystemRoot% folder before the path is searched. The default search order always looks for a called file in the folder containing the program file before searching the path to locate the file.
    RESOLUTION
    To resolve this issue:
    Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Task Manager.
    On the File menu, click New Task (Run).
    Type cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
    If necessary, change to the %SystemRoot% folder.
    Rename the Shdocvw.dll file by typing ren shdocvw.dll shdocvw.old.
    Restart the computer.
    MORE INFORMATION
    Other older files that may cause problems with Explorer.exe or the shell if they are located in %SystemRoot% folder:
    Browseui.dll
    Comctl32.dll
    Comdlg32.dll
    Mlang.dll
    Ole32.dll
    Oleaut32.dll
    Shdocvw.dll
    Shell32.dll
    Shlwapi.dll
    Urlmon.dll
    Wininet.dll
    Setupapi.dll

  3. #3
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    That's great.

    I presume there's no danger in renaming this file, e.g., Windows won't boot?!?!

  4. #4
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    No Sir, but if this don't work, I would recommend a Repair Install.

  5. #5
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    OK, then I'll give it a shot! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Thanks so much for your help--it's greatly appreciated.

    BTW, if I do perform a repair, will we lose newer settings, e.g., if we've downloaded the new version of IE & OE, will these get overwritten with the older versions from the Win2K CD, or will Windows just reinstall corrupted files, such as these potentially broken DLLs? (If you know, that is).

    Thanks again. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

  6. #6
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    I can't remember it ever replacing any programs or settings. When I would do it and it was done, I always had everything I had before. But I can't guarantee you anything when it comes to computers and their cranky ways. All I can tell you is it never did that to me. All it ever did is refresh Windows and what ever was corrupted. But even if it did replace IE and OE, that is an easy upgrade.

  7. #7
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    Well, I just did that procedure, which didn't work. I then did a repair of Windows, but that hasn't fixed it. If I do run Task Manager and go to new command, when I click on (e.g.) My Documents and choose Open, Windows will launch: The Desktop is there, including Task Bar, etc. I can then run Windows Explorer, and everything is fine. Of course, we don't want to have to go through this every time we want to use the Laptop!

    What actually happens is that the following message appears: "Cannot Find the file '/idlist; :584:316, Cocuments' (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.".

    Also, in TaskManager, the following Applications is running: Shellexpi

    Even if I create a new user to see if that creates a new Desktop, no luck. But, again, if I choose Open to open a Folder from Task Manager, Windows does appear and start to work.

    Could the shell message be a problem with Windows' Shell????

  8. #8
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    I couldn't find anything on shellexpi. I wonder what the heck that is? Have you tried stoping it in Task Manager and see what happens?

    By the way, I hope this isn't a stupid question, but have you tried to restart explorer.exe in taskmanager by going to the File tab, clicking on New Task, and typing in explorer.exe and OK.

  9. #9
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    Yes. The other weird thing is that Explorer has no icon. I can see it there 'explorer.exe', but when I click it, nothing happens, and as I said, there is no icon.

    Do you think the only thing to do is reinstall Windows?

    (P.S. Hope the login isn't confusing; I have a home login and a work login).

    Thanks for the replies. I tried MS Knowledge Base and Google, but I couldn't find anything either? <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

  10. #10
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    It may be if the repair didn't work. Boy I hate saying that. Ouch. I don't recall but does Win2000 use the sfc /scannow feature? Or how about System Restore?

  11. #11
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    I remember in Win9x, you could go through DOS and rename windows to oldwin, then reinstall windows, and all your files would be there. Can you do the same with Win2K, or will it try to 'repair' the installation?

  12. #12
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    Re: Explorer is gone

    Never tried that method. Sorry.

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    Re: Explorer is gone

    OK. No worries. The laptop came with a Recovery CD-ROM, and we're just going to do that.

    Thanks for all your help--it's very kind and very appreciated.

    All the best.

    Brian

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