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can't open "my computer", can't launch explorer.exe

Posted on 2004-04-20
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a WinXP Pro system that I cannot access my computer.  I also cannot launch explorer.exe.  When I double click on my computer icon, the desktop refreshes, but program doesn't launch.  Taskmgr show very high utilization (99%) for svchost.exe.  When I terminate svchost.exe a message displays indicating Remote Procedure Call will shut down in "x" number of seconds.  

The system is running Symantec Corp Edition antivirus software that is completely up to date.  I have run virus scan on this system.  I have installed, updated and run SpyBot Seatch and Destroy.  I have also installed and run ADAWARE.  (I've uninstalled ADAWARE now for licensing reasons.)

I have also gone into MSCONFIG and selective startup.  The only programs coming up at start up are the Symantec AV program and the MSDE engine.

Any ideas?
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Question by:dbldiamond
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Expert Comment

by:SheharyaarSaahil
ID: 10872558
Hello dbldiamond =)

And what happend when u try to open them in safemode ??

!! GOOD LUCK !!
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sramesh2k earned 500 total points
ID: 10872599
Please see these PAQs

Windows XP: "My Computer" "explorer" "start/explorer" Fail to load:
http://oldlook.experts-exchange.com:8080/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_20950500.html

Windows XP: XP Pro cannot explore or IE:
http://oldlook.experts-exchange.com:8080/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_20945997.html
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Expert Comment

by:Worked4me
ID: 10873054

Hey dbldiamond,

  I know you said you've already scanned with Norton and some adware programs but
try this free online virus scan http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
I recently had a machine that would not allow me to open My Computer, TaskManager
and the updated Norton Antivirus didn't detect anything.
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Author Comment

by:dbldiamond
ID: 10873161
Thanks for all your suggestions.  I'm going back out to the client site tomorrow.  I'll try your suggestions.  FYI, when I boot in safe mode, it works OK.  Will post another comment as soon as I try your suggestions.  Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Orientgal19
ID: 10873720
RPC will shutdown in X amount of seconds, is a variant of the Blaster Worm

 http://www.freevideo.nu/rpc/  full instructions for blaster patch and removal  

Blaster Removal http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.removal.tool.html 

and also download Stinger http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/

Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10874511
Since it works ok in safe mode, have you tried disabling your startup items?

Run msconfig, click "Selective startup" then uncheck "Load Startup Items" and say ok.  Now restart and try it again.
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10874512
Never mind, I just noticed you did that already.
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10874535
If the online virusscan comes back negative, have you tried running check disk and the System File Checker (SFC)?

       chkdsk c: /r

      SFC /SCANNOW

      Description of the Windows System File Checker Tool
      http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;310747
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LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:SheharyaarSaahil
ID: 10876240
So if it running fine in Safemode, just try to open My Computer and explorer in another user on the system.
And if it alos runs fine on the other user then u just habe the problem with this profile, and u just need to create another fresh profile to carry on :)

!! GOOD LUCK !!
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Author Comment

by:dbldiamond
ID: 10883514
Here's an update:
It works in safe mode but does not work booting normally for any users.  I've run SFC purge and scannow options.  No luck.  Went into regedit set IE to uninstalled.  Cleared out %temp% and %systemroot%\temp.  No luck.  Disabled EVERYTHING in startup.  No luck.  Went to control pane, internet settings, advanced and turned off 3rd party browser extension.  No luck.  tried to run the following:    rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g "C:\WINDOWS\IE Uninstall Log.Txt" .  Got an error that it could not find setupwbv.dll.  Can't do the online trendmicro virus scan cause I'm in a rural area and dial up conneciton speed is a whopping 24K!  Tried several times to run trendmicro virus scan and the line kept getting dropped.  Downloaded and ran fixblast.  Didn't find virus.  I have not gon to webattack.com/get/ieradicator.shtml.  Wanted to double check about this cause I thought IE was intrinsic to the OS and completely removing it would totally blow up the PC?  

Have I missed anything?  Any other ideas?  Thanks for your efforts.

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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10883566
do you have the installation cd for your virusscan software?  If so, try putting that in and see if you can boot from it and do a scan.

You could try running the xp setup and choose the repair option, but I wouldn't recommend doing that until you run a virusscan.

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341
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LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:SheharyaarSaahil
ID: 10883573
How abt a Reinstall :)

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315341
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10883726
You could try disabling unnecessary services and see if that makes any difference.  Go to start->run, type "services.msc" and say ok.

Go through and set the services as it recommends for "SAFE" and see if it makes any difference.  Just make sure you note how the services were configured, just in case.

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/service411.htm
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Author Comment

by:dbldiamond
ID: 10883748
SUCCESS!!!!  Problem was finally resolved by disabling 3rd party browser extensions.  The "gotcha" was that I had to reboot in safe mode to get to control panel to make changes.  When I'd log in in safe mode, I'd use "Administrator" acct.  The I'd reboot normal and log in as user "Kris" and nothing changed.  I finally realized I had to log in as user "Kris" in safe mode, disable 3rd party browser extensions and then it worked.  I did this for all three users on the computer and it works now.  Thanks for your work and suggestions!
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 10883770
Glad to hear it's working again!
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Expert Comment

by:bberman1042
ID: 11575379
Thanks for your help. I just experienced the same problem (couldn't launch MY COMPUTER or IE) as dbldiamond and turning off the 3rd party browser extensions solved the problems for me as well. Does anyone know why this solution worked?
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 11576275
Have you tried scanning for spyware?

Also, have you recently installed any toolbars or anything in IE?  Because that could be causing this.

These articles have descriptions on what exactly that setting disables:

How do I disable 3rd-party Tool Bands and Browser Helper Objects so I can troubleshoot Internet Explorer 6.0?
http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBM/tip6100/rh6196.htm

How to Disable Third-Party Tool Bands and Browser Helper Objects
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=298931
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Expert Comment

by:bberman1042
ID: 11577620
I did the following:
dskchk /f - no problems found
Spybot - removed all spyware it found
Nortin AV - complete scan
None of these worked. Not until I turned off the 3rd party browser extensions did it solve my problem. Yes, I did have some toolbars in IE - Google and a few others, but I had installed those months ago. The problem did not show up immediately after I had installed an IE toolbar.
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