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Windows Explorer Error

Posted on 2009-04-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Ok, first off I did some searching on this error, and tried different things but still doesn't fix the problem.  The problem is this.  One of my network pc's with Windows XP SP3, I can log in as administrator and I'll have no problems at all.  If I log on as a regular network user, I get an explorer.exe error every time.  Details are:

Error Signature
     AppName:  explorer.exe     AppVer:  6.0.2900.5512     ModName:  kernel32.dll
     ModVer:  5.1.2600.5781     Offset:  00012afb

This happens "everytime" I log in as a network user, I can send the report but it just keeps coming back up no matter what I do.  I've ran cleaners and such, stopped addons, checked /run in the registry, but I just cannot figure it out.  I even gave a network user the same admin rights as I have and still gives me the error.  Just the 2 admin logins that work.  Any suggestions?

Also, don't know if its related, but I have a group policy for a company wallpaper.  All pc's work with this, except this pc with the error on network users.  Active desktop recovery comes up and will not bring up the company wallpaper.


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Question by:jdwaymire
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Expert Comment

by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24166550
You could try moving the computer object to say the Computers container (or any other OU where no GPO will apply), wait a while for this to take effect, then try logging on again? That would confirm whether or not it was any policy settings causing the problem at least...

Let me know?

Pete
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24168123
Ok, well for one, the computers are not affected by the policy, its user based.  Also, just found out that this pc was giving the error long before I created the policy... if this helps.
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24168541
In which case it's probably not policy related, though you could try creating a new test user in the built-in Users Container, and logging on as that user, just to be sure.

Although if it is only 1 PC you're having the problem, it is again unlikely to be the case.

It's more than likely related to this particular installation of the OS - Running a repair on this machine (replaces all system files etc with new ones from the install CD) may be a good place to start, if you haven't tried this already. Thought it does seem strange that local admins don't see the problem.

What if you try creating a new LOCAL user account on the PC, (NOT an administrator), and log on as that. Do you get the same problem? Just wondering if this is somehow permissions related...
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24220299
Ok, I havent done any repair yet.  I did end up making a local user and still got the error when I logged in.  Then I went back made that same user part of the local admin group and no error popped up.  So seems to be a permission issue, but still odd.  I'm going to try to repair tommorow, I'll let ya'll know if that works or not.
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24224066
Update on this.  I did an OS repair today, and alas still same problem.  I even took the pc off the domain, logged on local as standard user, same problem.  Put the pc back on the domain and again same problem.  So right now I'm just dead in the water not knowing what else to try...
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Expert Comment

by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24268460
Well that's a very strange problem... As if you didn't already know. :)

Can you check the security settings on the explorer.exe file in C:\Windows?

Ensure that the 'Users' group have 'read and execute' permissions to that file?

Pete
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24296673
Sorry, haven't been able to get back to this.  I will try this in the morning and let you know.
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24303268
I configured the security settings for explorer.exe.  The users already had read/write permissions.  I even tried adding domain users and giving them full control, but well, still get the error.
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24303758
Well I'm at a loss, something is messed up somewhere! I would be inclined to blame the explorer file itself somehow, but then as it works with any account that's a member of the local admin group, that would seem to indicate otherwise...

Just trying to think of ANYTHING that may help... Try running a "sfc /scannow" from the run dialogue and see if that finds any problems with the file.

If not, I found a suggestion that says to delete the following reg keys when having major problems with the explorer.exe file -

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\iexplorer.exe

There are several references to this working for those people who can't load explorer at all, and after deleting those keys and restarting the machine, all was then ok, however that's clearly not the exact same problem you're having. Still, I'm out of ideas really, and I guess it's worth a shot?

Pete
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24303766
Oh and by the way, I see no mention of what service pack you're using on that machine? If it's not yet SP3, and you have no luck with any of the above, you might want to consider installing SP3, as if that fixes the problem it'll be a lot less hassle than reinstalling the entire OS! :)

Pete
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24323921
sfc = fail, as far as the registry, I went with that path and I didnt see any explorer.exe or iexplorer.exe files at that location.  I'll look around and see what I can find.  Also, right now I'm using SP2, but only because I rolled back the OS.  Problem started when it was at SP3.  Bout to just wipe the entire pc, but still wanderin what this is :)
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PeteJThomas earned 750 total points
ID: 24372368
Yeah it's a weird one... When you say "sfc = fail" do you mean it ran succesfully but failed to fix the issue? Or that the actual operation itself failed?

I have to agree though, however much I'd like to actually fix the problem, at the end of the day there's a point when you have to think that flattening the machine and starting over would be FAR more time efficient that troubleshooting further.

What's the point in spending 6 weeks looking at a problem that could've been solved within 3 hours if you rebuild? :)

Pete
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Author Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 24372810
Yeah, sorry, ment that just SFC didn't work.  I ran it and still had the same problem.  Also, I agree with you on just formatting and starting over.  Was just sort of a side project to see what I could do with it.  Thanks for throwing out ideas though.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdwaymire
ID: 31571399
Reformat solves all problems..
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Expert Comment

by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24372834
Many thanks for the points, though I doubt I deserved them! :)

I agree again, I way prefer to solve problems properly too, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet... With problems like this though, you'll probably never seen that same issue again anyway!

Take care,

Pete
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