There's numerous issues like this on the web. Some folks associate it with Windows Update, some with AVG antivirus, some with CD software/identification (the most common), and some with a trojan.
I just had this problem earlier today. After my dvd burning software "hicupped" and prematurely finished burning a dvd, the drive also wouldn't work properly (door wouldn't open or shut). I rebooted computer in order to get my dvd drive working again, and when windows restarted, explorer.exe did not nothing but crash and restart repeatedly (generating a new error message each time).
Fortunately I could still boot in safe mode, and after forum crawling for a while, I came across this thread and was able to fix my explorer.exe crash issue. I put a good, non-blank, dvd into the drive, allowed it to read the dvd, and then rebooted the computer again. The explorer.exe crash issue disappeared entirely. Apparently the dvd burner was looking for something to read, and this was somehow responsible for explorer.exe crashing over and over and over and over again.
A painless solution to a crippling problem, but I never would have discovered it save usasma's post.
P.S. I have been operating Windows XP for nearly two years now, and have had only two significant crash issues. In both instances my salvation has come from posters at bleepingcomputer.com. Thank you very much.
Edited by yu gnomi, 01 September 2008 - 03:06 AM.