windows explorer hangs on my computer after random time

Windows explorer hangs on my computer.  The strange thing is after start it works fine, then after some random period it just hangs and gives me the flashlight.  I can access My documents, But I have  noticed when this happens I cannot open Control Panel.  I then have to reboot.

Windows -  XP SP3
envirospatialAsked:
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FOXActive Directory/Exchange EngineerCommented:
When you bring up the computer the next time open up task manager leave it on the side while you are working and see what process is taking up all the cpu resources before it freezes.  You are more than over your time limit with xp buddy.   Time to move to windows 7 or better.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows Explorer is fundamental to the Windows operating system (any version). Try two things (you need the XP CD to do both):

1. Run System File Checker. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW twice. For XP you will need the XP CD. When done, close, shut down, start up and test.

2. Boot with the XP CD and use the Repair function to repair XP. Back up first just in case.

And to the above post, yes. XP is dead and gone. Move on to something supported.
nobusCommented:
look in event viewer for errors - it may show the cause

here is how to do the repair install in XP :
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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envirospatialAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for response.  I was on travel,  sorry for the delay in responding.
This XP PC is still needed as I have several legacy client applications that I am still supporting.  They are still using XP.

I have opened up task manager, there are no processes that are using a bunch of CPU when this happens.
I have checked Event viewer... There are no warnings or errors listed in either Application or System when this happens.

I have tried System File Checker also.. as per directions by John.. no change.

I have noticed that this seems to happens after the system hibernates and wakes up.  If I am constantly on the PC it seems to work OK.

I will try repair install and see what happens.  Thanks for the help.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You may need to reinstall XP at this point. Back up first, but it may be faster at this point to reinstall XP.
nobusCommented:
are ther no errors either in event viewer ?
some task may have been stopped   - causing further havoc
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
Thanks John and Nobus

There are two event viewer errors, but it seems they are on startup.... there are no errors when the problem happens.

Hoping .. like everyone else, not to reinstall.  But if that is only recourse, I can do that.

Thanks for your help.
nobusCommented:
if explorer hangs - the whole OS is locked, since it's the hart of it
so you can go 2 ways to find the trouble, hard or soft :
soft :
- run msconfig and disable all programs in startup tab,
- or check if it happens in safe mode
hard :
-use the minimum setup, as described in my article below,
-or run diags on ram and disk
i use the ubcd for running diags :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
---------------------------------------------------
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

***did you run a repair yet ??


http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html                  (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
Thanks Nobus,

Will look at doing your suggestions..

One of the things that is interesting to me, is that:  If I open an explorer folder and nav to the C drive, or any other drive and have that window open when explorer hangs on My Computer... I can still navigate and access any file on that drive via the open explorer window....

Thanks again
nobusCommented:
i don't understand the above
first you say "If I open an explorer folder and nav to the C drive, or any other drive and have that window open when explorer hangs on My Computer...

then " I can still navigate and access any file on that drive via the open explorer window...."
 how can you navigate when it hangs??
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
If I open an explorer window and navigate to any drive and leave it open....  I work for a while..then I stop being active on the PC..   it hibernates..  I come back and try to open a new explorer window to My Computer.. it hangs and I get the flashlight...  

PC still works...

I can still use the previously opened explorer window and navigate to and access any folder and file in the drive.  If I go up to MY Computer level.. it hangs and I get flashlight.

PC still works....  unless I go to control panel..  then PC freezes and I have to reboot thru task manager..or hard boot..
nobusCommented:
are you sure the drives are not turned off to save power? if so, explorer will become active after about 1/2 minute (time to get the drive up to speed)
check in control panel, energy settings
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
I checked power options..  

Turn off hard disks is set to Never...
nobusCommented:
so it is hanging after hibernating?  turn it off then -  at least for testing
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
Thanks..  I am testing now and will let you know results

Thanks
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
I turned off hibernate and still had the same problem...

I uninstalled Norton 360 and the problem went away.  Seems as if a Norton process was making it hang.

Thanks a bunch for your help Nobus.

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nobusCommented:
no problem - since it is solved - don't forget to close this
envirospatialAuthor Commented:
Solved the problem by uninstalling Norton 360...
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Windows XP

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