I had this problem on a clients machine yesterday, except it wouldnt even load explorer.exe in safe mode either.
i could launch taskmanager from ctrl-alt-del and trying to force explorer.exe to run just resulted in a file not found error
expanding and replacing explorer.exe from the CD didnt work either
A system restore to a few days previous resolved the problem.
i was going to start a new thread but this is similar so hope I am in order to post here.
I have a Windows server 2003 network, 80 XP pro clients SP3. I am getting random lock up of explorer.exe on log on and log off. Symptoms on log on are that most of the icons are grey and default and machine goes no further. On log off PC just stops responding.
There are 2 work arounds: ctrl+alt+del and Log off. "Explorer.exe not responding window end now?" pops up. If i end now and re-log on with the same user it will invariably log on properly. I can also stop and restart explorer.exe using ctrl+alt+del and again it will work properly.
It never happens on an admin account - only on power users. So I suspect that some application is trying to write to somewhere for which it doesn't have permissions. As it is random the usual solution of msconfig to disable everything at start up will be somewhat time consuming and disruptive. I think it is only happening on my new Dell machines so is there some Dell application that runs that may be causing the problem? I couldn't spot anything in services ar task manager.
Is there a technical way I can find out what is actually stopping explorer.exe in its tracks.
I run sophos, office and a normal range of educational software.
I have trawled the net but can't find anything that actually pinpoints my problem and provides a solution.
All suggestions gratefully received. Thanks very much.
leco (18th October 2008)
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