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Two Explorer.exes


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#1 dmoney101

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 12:24 AM

I opened up process explorer just for the heck of it, and noticed there was an additional explorer.exe with nothing linked to it. it said the directory was in my documents and settings (i think). i killed it and nothing happened. What could it be? i don't think it's a virus.

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 12:48 AM

This usually happens when Windows has been set to open explorer windows (like My Computer, My Documents, or any other folder) in a new process.

You can check whether this is the case for you by opening My Computer, going to the Tools menu and selecting Folder Options. If this setting has been enabled, it will have a check mark next to it as in this image:

Posted Image


Why is this setting available, you may ask? Well, with this enabled, if your Desktop crashes, then any folder windows you had open won't go down with it. Of course, you take a small (usually unnoticeable) performance hit due to each window being a separate process rather than having them all under one process.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 21 November 2007 - 12:50 AM.


#3 dmoney101

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 09:46 AM

ok, i did have it enabled, but i didn't have any explorer windows open.

#4 Andrew

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:30 PM

Is this the first time you've noticed two explorer.exe's? Try looking again right now with Process Explorer, without any other windows open. Is it still there? If so, double click on its entry in ProcExpl to bring up its properties. The path should be C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE (unless you have Windows installed on a drive other than C:\, in which case replace C:\ with the appropriate drive)(See the image below). If it's not listing C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE as its path, then we'll need to investigate it very aggressively.

Posted Image


If there is only one Explorer.exe process listed, then I'd wager that what you saw was merely a fluke; an instance of Explorer.exe that didn't die when it should have (hey, it happens).

As for the Explorer.exe process listing its current directory as C:\Documents and Settings\username, that's okay, it's designed that way.




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