I have had major XP problems with explorer.exe for a few days now.
When I have a few explorer-based windows open and try to do basic tasks (such as rename files/folders, copy
files, or even just give focus to one), Windows closes them all, flashes to an empty desktop and then
reloads any non-explorer windows that were open before the crash. Most of the Taskbar icons also disappear,
although the programs are still running. The same effect happens when I try to open video files in Windows Media
Player, which also closes along with the explorer windows.
When the problem occurred for the first time, I received one of the standard 'explorer.exe has crashed' messages,
asking me to debug (I've got the .Net Framework v1.1) or close. I no longer get these, but I do get Winlogon
entries in the Event Viewer stating "The shell stopped unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted".
I also get the same effect when trying to open media files in Windows Media Player 8 - the program loads fine but
when the file is opened it does the usual and crashes explorer.
I have tried many of the solutions recommended to others in various newsgroups, but to no avail. These are as
- checking iMesh and/or McAfee software (not installed)
- checking HomeSite dlls (done)
- check for viruses and spyware (clear)
- fixing broken links and registry entries (done, but managed to break IE...)
- perform System Restore (problem persisted 'in the past', and now System Restore seems to be broken as well)
- use DrWatson for diagnosis (doesn't seem to work)
- check latest video/sound drivers (done)
- clearing history and cached web content (done)
- check core windows assemblies using 'sfc /scannow' (done)
- check XP fully patched up and latest version of IE (done)
The only items I have installed recently are ODBC.Net and MSDE, the latter of which didn't last long...