Windows Explore keeps freezing

Posted on 2011-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am running Windows Vista Home Premium   whenever I try to access directories or even just the system properties Windows Explore keeps freezing and I have to reboot but if I am in safe mode I don’t have this problem.
I’ve ran Combo Fix, and Malware bytes but now I’m not sure what’s going on any ideas

Question by:ahmad1467
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Expert Comment

ID: 36573111
It may be something hardware related, bad gfx card or the HD is failing.
You could keep your focus on a software issue by bring the System Update readiness Tool:

If that does´t help then perhaps a "InPlace Upgrade" = Vista repair?
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Expert Comment

ID: 36575722
Combo Fix isn't supposed to run unless you are advised to do so by someone well versed with Combo Fix and certified in it's use with malware.  I am curious as to why you would do this to start with.

Video drivers are very often the cause of freeze ups.  To eliminate a bad video driver, go to Safe Mode, and and use the Windows+R key combo to open the Run box and type MSCONFIG and hit entier.  Select the "Boot" tab and check the "Base Video" box and restart.  This loads the generic video driver that you see during setup when Windows is first installing before the actual video drivers have been installed for your particular graphics hardware.

If this fixes your issue, you need to uninstall and re install your video hardware and its drivers.  If not, post back to the forum with your results for more troubleshooting information

Author Comment

ID: 36577478
I tried this but it didn’t work it’s still freezing up, as soon as I open anything tied to  Window Windows Explore it says not responding but I can open other files.
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Expert Comment

ID: 36578100

When you say, "I tried this but it didn't work", I am just guessing, but I think you are referring to what I suggested?  Please specify when replying so we know which  suggestion you are writing about.

Next thing to do also uses MSCONFIG.  

Perform a clean boot by using MSCONFIG to:

1. Disable ALL start up items in the "Startup" tab
2. On the "Services" tab, check off "Hide All Microsoft Services"
3. Disable ALL other services.
4. If Base Video didn't help, UNcheck it again so your regular video drivers are enabled again.

Reboot.  See if you still have the freezing problem.

Post back to the forum with results

Author Comment

ID: 36579972
I Performed a clean boot by using MSCONFIG
and that seem to work now I’m not getting the freezing.
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Expert Comment

ID: 36580060
OK, this means that one or more of those disabled services or programs is causing your problem.

Now use MSCONFIG to turn these items back on, but "selectively".  

First re enable all your services again and see if the problem appears.  Leave everything else in the Startup tab disabled.  If your problem still doesn't appear, you can leave these services re-enabled.  If the problem comes back, you have to find out which one is causing the freezes by disabling all but one or two of them each re boot and eventually you will find the bad item.  Re enabling ALL the services again is sort of a shortcut gamble based on services not as commonly causing problems as much as other startup programs.  Once the services are eliminated from causing your problem, then you can start re enabling the start up items one or two per re boot.  Again, eventually the bad item will cause your issue and when you find out what item it is, we can decide what to do about that when you find out.

Author Comment

ID: 36584663
Ok  I thought I had it fixed, Explore is back to freezing up
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Accepted Solution

Jim-R earned 500 total points
ID: 36584965
Keep using the process of elimination on those services and start up items.  If you have normal operation with those items disable, it has to be one or more of them causing your problem.  When you get a freeze up, and if you are forced to "crash" the system to get it going again, make sure you schedule a disk check in between tests using your hard drive's properties and tool dialog.  This also requires a separate reboot.  The hard drive could have errors forced upon it when the system freezes and you crash it to get going again.

I don't know what sort of progress you've made so far or exactly what has happened with your troubleshooting.  Each time you disable or re enable an item, you have to reboot to check.  Keep a mental tracking of everything you do leading up to your freeze up.  You could also run Task Manager to monitor CPU usage to see if something is maxing out your processor and monitor your hard drive activity LED if the HDD LED is on, the hard drive is active and the system isn't frozen, just trying to catch up.  Check to see if your Caps Lock and Num Lock lights still go on and off when everything seems frozen.  If these keys appear to function, the system isn't totally frozen either.

Some more different ideas.  You can also check the event viewer for problems.

Start=>Run type


click OK or press <enter>

Click "Windows Logs" and pick "System" from the sub folder listings.  There may be errors recorded

You can also check the "Applications" sub folder for problems as well, especially if you found that one of your start up items was causing your freeze ups.

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