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Explorer.exe fails to load at startup sbs 2003

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Server lost power for extended time over weekend. on restart it hung, on subsequent restart Explorer failed to load when loggin in as administrator. Only blue screen but can get Task Manager.

If I log off / Log on as another user it comes up fine...

Tried to log off and on as Administrator - no luck.  Any ideas???

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Question by:Alisanne
11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Zupreme
ID: 33560622
Make sure that this registry key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

has a string value called "Shell" with a value of "Explorer.exe" (without quotes).

Then reboot the machine.
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33560904
...\Winlogon (and Shell string value) are not present.  Should I add?

If this is the issue,why does it load when I logon as different user?

Thank you for your advise!!!

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Expert Comment

by:SYSKING
ID: 33561693
open up your registry editor
go in these folders:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/WINDOWS NT/CURRENT VERSION/ then click on WinLogon in the right window, look for Shell
double click it and in the value data box delete whats there and put this:
explorer.exe
restart your computer and there you go
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Expert Comment

by:Malajlo
ID: 33565713
Start task manager, run explorer. This should work. If so, delete admin profile (you have to login as other administrator)
If only administrator has a problem, then hklm should not be the probelm. It's hkcu.
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33569684
I created an additioanl admin profile and this worked. Then after 2nd restart that profile did the same.  I will check both preceding suggestions and go from there...
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33569769
@SYSKING - That value is present.
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33569781
@Malajlo - If I delete Administrator Profile, it will impact many softwares that use Administrator to login/authenticate. is there another approach?
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Expert Comment

by:Malajlo
ID: 33575294
No, it won't impact. All services and scheduled jobs will recreate profile.
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33581134
@Mahajlo - This may sound like a stupid question, but how do I delete profile without deleting user?
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Author Comment

by:Alisanne
ID: 33730533
Problem persists, for new and old users (Administrator and Admin) user logins...  Not sure where to go from here.

Any suggestions?
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Accepted Solution

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Malajlo earned 2000 total points
ID: 33733880
To delete local user profile:
Login as other admin. Right clik on My computer, Properties, Advanced, User profiles. Delete the profile of "corrupetd" administrator.

Did you scan server for malware? I think something else is instead of original explorer.exe. But can't tell what to look. Also could be additional value in registry added (where, it is a big question....)

But if new profiles get corupted, some malware should run and change startup/shell. When you connect second time, profile loaded is already corrupted.

Scan for malware (malware bytes is quite good for a start; it will find anomalies in registry).
Also check startup programs with msconfig. Search for weird execs.
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