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Explorer.exe hangs, need a reboot

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TomWij View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Explorer.exe hangs, need a reboot
    Posted: 04 February 2009 at 9:32am
At random moments when doing a random action my explorer.exe hangs,
I'm unable to force kill the process which requires me to do a reboot to get my explorer back.


Is the problem repeatable?

The problem repeats at random explorer-related actions.

If so then note down the precise steps so other people can replicate it.
Unreplicatable, need to work with explorer.exe or applications that are dependent onit.

Are you using the latest application version?
Yes, explorer.exe from Windows 7 Beta 1 Build 7000.
Have ran sfc /scannow which didn't find any errors...
Also verified it with Process Explorer.

Do you have all the relevant patches?
Don't think there is a patch for this issue.

Note down the system information
Windows Explorer
(Verified) Microsoft Windows
6.01.7000.0000


When it hangs it uses normal memory and no processor at all.
Hard disk size is irrelevant for this issue, and yes, it's not full.

Using Process Explorer to help
=================
Does PE show a particular process using a high percentage of the available CPU?

No, all processes use a normal low or 0 percentage as in a normal workflow.

Does PE show a particular process using a lot of the available memory?
No, all processes use a normal amount of memory.

Event logs
==========
Do the logs show any relevant messages?

It does not show a relevant message for the hanging explorer.exe process.

Although it does show a application hang for a second explorer.exe process which
I closed because it didn't had any use to have it running.

Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 6.1.7000.0, time stamp: 0x494324ea
Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.1.7000.0, time stamp: 0x49434898
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x000000000001a790
Faulting process id: 0xf20
Faulting application start time: 0x01c986a7fa74cd84
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
Report Id: 7f93990e-f29b-11dd-817a-e5c97e1a1768


Process Monitor
===============
Try starting Process Monitor and getting it to log the details of the processes

Have done that, get a long list of different things.

The PM logs may include records of failed disk/registry issues.
No idea whether it includes something useful... When it reoccurs I'll post a log.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 11:42am
Hi TomWij,

Quote Windows 7 Beta 1 Build 7000
Have you checked the beta forums to see if others may be encountering similar behavior?

Quote Although it does show a application hang for a second explorer.exe process which
I closed because it didn't had any use to have it running.
Perhaps the various instances of explorer needed to communicate, and killing one is somehow related to the behavior you experience?  Or does the problem happen at other times, when another instance of explorer.exe has not been killed?

Have you tried a different user account, or uninstalling apps such as Shell Extensions, etc.?

Quote I'm unable to force kill the process
How are you trying to kill the process?


Daily affirmation:
net helpmsg 4006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 1:40pm
Hello molotov

I will check the beta forums soon.

The problem described does not include the killing of any processor not running multiple instances of it.

The way of killing the process is as seen in Task Manager or Process Explorer, even forcing a kill with pskill doesn't work. The process just remains to be there.
(The normal behaviour would be that the process would disappear)

Also, on some actions regarding explorer.exe (Restart, Run a new explorer.exe), Task Manager or Process Explorer just seems to hang too.
(Requiring me to open up a new instance of that)

Thanks in advance.


Edited by TomWij - 04 February 2009 at 1:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 1:44pm
Update:
Some weeks ago I had permission issues inside C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile causing me too give everyone full permissions there,
these issues gave me problems with my desktop.

Would this be the root cause in this problem? What are the normal settings there, anyway to restore it back to their defaults?


Edited by TomWij - 04 February 2009 at 1:45pm
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molotov View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 2:06pm
Quote The process just remains to be there.
Have you tried checking / trimming threads in the process, with Process Explorer?

Quote What are the normal settings there
Not sure...
Quote anyway to restore it back to their defaults
A repair install might do it. Or, you might check out security templates that can be used with secedit.exe - perhaps, something like this is available in 7...
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net helpmsg 4006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 10:06pm
Originally posted by molotov molotov wrote:

Quote The process just remains to be there.
Have you tried checking / trimming threads in the process, with Process Explorer?

Quote What are the normal settings there
Not sure...
Quote anyway to restore it back to their defaults
A repair install might do it. Or, you might check out security templates that can be used with secedit.exe - perhaps, something like this is available in 7...


Yes, I have already tried checking/trimming them a bit but found nothing, I always try to kill explorer.exe first making the threads unable to access. (There only remains to be one thread left)

I might do a repair install, but I'm afraid of losing a lot of things I have already applied to my system.

Or I might wait till Windows 7 RC or RTM is there...


Edited by TomWij - 04 February 2009 at 10:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2009 at 11:05pm
Are you able to see the stack of the remaining thread?

If you wait for some time, does the process eventually go away?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 10:36am
Originally posted by molotov molotov wrote:

Are you able to see the stack of the remaining thread?

If you wait for some time, does the process eventually go away?


I can't access the thread, last time this occured was more than 24 hours ago so I didn't had to chance yet to immediately go for the thread information without trying to kill the process first. Waiting didn't help either...

I have found someone with this issue and I'm going to try to upgrade all my drivers to the last Windows Vista x64 ones, rather than those from Windows Update.

Windows 7 Performance: End Process / End Task on Hung / Not responding programs does nothing!


Edited by TomWij - 05 February 2009 at 10:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote molotov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 11:11am
Process Monitor may be able to provide additional information about what the Explorer process / remaining thread were doing, if you're able to be capturing events when the problem occurs.

Does the problem occur in safe mode? Or if you're logged in as a different user?  Are you able to log off when the problem occurs?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomWij Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 1:21pm
Not able to log off when it occurs, also working in sage mode or a different user to see it occur isn't an option either.

After 26 hours, I think I now have the problem again. When opening a new Windows Explorer window, the contents of the window remain white. The section where the address bar is remains normal, although it has no functionality and there is no title. When trying to take a screenshot and opening Paint I made the rest of explorer hang.

If I search for paint in the start menu it keeps searching and doesn't show any result, when I try to type C:\Program Files it hangs on the \ so there is only C: right now. (The start menu turned into the white hang color) Also, my task bar is now inaccesible.

The process seemed to be intact when Windows Explorer was white (I was able to access stack and thread information, but I can't make something up out of it, is there any way to copy this information?), but as the rest crashes I can't access the information anymore, double clicking explorer makes Process Explorer hang too.

Oh wait, seems that after restarting Process Explorer I could access it again and it still seems to be intact, it's not just one thread this time. (Because I didn't suspend/kill anything yet)

Let me see if I can pull a screenshot, I still can access the Windows Explorer stuff within the Run dialogs. (And thus paint, let's hope print screen works; or the snap utility)
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