Hey all. One of our workstations totally crapped out after the last round of updates from Microsoft. It's running 7 Pro (32 bit). Two of the updates failed to install, and ever since the computer rebooted immediately after the update failure, explorer.exe is having major problems.
The two updates that failed to install were SP1 (KB976932
) and a DirectWrite API update (KB2505438
At first, explorer.exe would go into a crash/restart loop immediately upon loading Windows. I tried all the usual suspects (clean boot, disabling all explorer add-ins, safe mode, etc.) but nothing worked. In safe mode, explorer.exe wouldn't load at all, even if I started the task manager and tried to create the task manually. I've tried logging on with different users, but the behavior is the same no matter who logs on, admin or otherwise.
I also ran a CHKDSK, which found several bad sectors, but it said that it recovered all of them successfully.
The current behavior when Windows boots normally is the same as the previous safe mode behavior: explorer.exe doesn't run at startup, and will not run even if I manually start the task. When I try to manually run explorer.exe, another task, Windows Error Reporting, starts right along with it, and then they both shut down after about 2 seconds.
I can manually start any task other than explorer. I can even start iexplore.exe, then type C:\ in the address bar and an explorer window pops open so that I can browse the computer. I've manually started Outlook, our accounting software, and other applications.
Nothing is actually stored on our workstations, so a complete format and reinstall would not be catastrophic, but I'd like to save that for a last resort. Any new ideas or insights as to how I might fix this would be much appreciated. Thanks!