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Explorer.exe restarts infinitely


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#1 M-One

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:32 PM

Hey everybody at Bleeping Computer,

I've recently been trawling through searches and forums over the past few days over a problem on my laptop (Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600.xpsp_sp3_qfe.100427-1650 : Service Pack 3)) that is driving me crazy, yet either users have given up or all the solutions I've found have not fixed my case.

The problem:
I've only had this installation for a week (Downgraded from Win7/reformatted), but a couple of days after I finished installing all the software and drivers I needed, I restart my laptop. After I log in, the taskbar along with the desktop icons disappear and then come back, and back and forth. Indeed, explorer.exe is stuck in an infinite loop of crashing.

The things I've tried:
I've run numerous virus and malware scans and removed any threats (all of which were residing dormant in my backup partition).
I ran a HiJackThis scan and can't find anything out of the ordinary.
I followed instructions given by Microsoft about the SP3 versclid.exe problem (adding keys to the registry).
I've uninstalled my Firewire (Comodo) and Anti-Virus/Spyware (Avira) software.
I expanded explorer.exe, versclid.exe, shell.dll, uxtheme.dll and logonui.exe from the XP installation disc.
Last but not least, I've downloaded SP3 and re-installed it to my system.

It certainly puzzles me as I've never had this problem before, so now, I throw it to you. If you need any more details, I'll be glad to give.

Thank you,

- M

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#2 John Holmes

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:45 PM

First, try a chkdsk /r /f from the command prompt, logged in, or, run as an admin. This behaviour could be caused by a bad sector on the drive, which could be a left-over of the re-install.

Post back when you´re done.

#3 Allan

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:55 PM

First, try a chkdsk /r /f from the command prompt, logged in, or, run as an admin. This behaviour could be caused by a bad sector on the drive, which could be a left-over of the re-install.

Post back when you´re done.

chkdsk /f does not address bad sectors. Here's what you need to do:

Either boot to the Recovery Console and run chkdsk /r or, if you don't have an XP CD you can right-click on a command prompt icon and open as administrator. In the command prompt window type: chkdsk /r (then press ENTER). You'll be told the disk is in use and asked if you want to run checkdisk on the next boot. Say yes, exit the command prompt window, and reboot.

#4 M-One

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 02:07 PM

A good while later after chkdsk does its stuff, here is the log:

Event Type: Information
Event Source: Winlogon
Event Category: None
Event ID: 1001
Date: 07/07/2011
Time: 20:01:47
User: N/A
Computer: EM-ONE
Description:
Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.
Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
Cleaning up 187 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 187 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 187 unused security descriptors.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
Free space verification is complete.

197005063 KB total disk space.
108656856 KB in 76808 files.
24736 KB in 6691 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
158779 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
88164692 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
49251265 total allocation units on disk.
22041173 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
b0 52 01 00 36 46 01 00 8e ba 01 00 00 00 00 00 .R..6F..........
47 01 00 00 02 00 00 00 b6 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 G...............
c2 cc 01 06 00 00 00 00 d8 7d b6 34 00 00 00 00 .........}.4....
c4 30 8b 07 00 00 00 00 c2 90 d8 2e 05 00 00 00 .0..............
cc c7 34 0c 03 00 00 00 ea aa 1f 84 08 00 00 00 ..4.............
99 9e 36 00 00 00 00 00 38 39 07 00 08 2c 01 00 ..6.....89...,..
00 00 00 00 00 60 e3 e7 19 00 00 00 23 1a 00 00 .....`......#...

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.

From what I can see, no bad sectors and the problem persists.

Edited by M-One, 07 July 2011 - 07:58 PM.


#5 bloopie

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:02 PM

Hello M-One, :thumbsup:

Since you have the disk you used to install Windows XP, maybe try running the SFC:

  • Insert your XP Installation Disk, and hold the Shift button on your keyboard while you close the CD tray for about ten seconds during and after to stall the disk from autorun.

  • Then click Start>Run and then highlight and copy the text in the codebox below, then paste it into the open Runbox.
sfc /scannow
  • Then press Enter.
You may need to be present at the machine to "Copy from CD" when asked several times.

Please let us know how it goes.


bloopie

Edited by bloopie reborn, 07 July 2011 - 09:03 PM.


#6 M-One

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:49 AM

Hey Bloopie, ;D

Ah yes, I forgot to put this in the list of things I've tried already.

I have run two SFC scans, one as /scannow and the other at /scanonce. Basically the 'Windows File Protection' dialog box says verifying files as the progress bar works its way through.. then that's it, the program ends.

Just to be sure, I'll do another while I'm here:
Yep, same thing, progress bar gets to the end, and that's it.

Sorry about that. ><

#7 M-One

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 01:24 PM

Okay, just to let everyone know, I have fixed the problem.
The solution comes with this moral; Never install anything from Stardock.

If you are having problems in terms of an explorer.exe that fails to start or keeps restarting, try uninstalling any stardock products you may have, especially IconPackager and see how that goes.

Thanks to John, Allan and Bloopie for their help.




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