ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

Main Area and Open Discussion > General Software Discussion

Windows Explorer crashing

(1/4) > >>

Starting a while ago I get Windows Explorer crashing/restarting *most times* when I open an image, save a new file or image in any app, rename a file, when opening Windows Explorer window and similar operations but those are the main ones. System function fine otherwise, and for example exe open fine. During those operations there is a delay and taskbar flashes as if reloading and any open windows explorer window is closed.

Eventviewer shows:

Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 10.0.16299.15, time stamp: 0x66e02565
Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 10.0.16299.64, time stamp: 0x493793ea
Exception code: 0xc00000fd
Fault offset: 0x00000000000294da
Faulting process id: 0x54c
Faulting application start time: 0x01d371e769a2914a
Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\system32\explorer.exe
Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
Report Id: d748cb9b-d8eb-4711-93f4-531686288592
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:
--- End quote ---

No Windows or driver updates happened just when this started and I don't recall updating any apps either.

ESET online, Defender, Malwarebytes...all fine.
Sfc, chkdsk at errors
Drivers are updated as far as I can see (I used Snappy Driver Installer to check)

Googling 'windows explorer crashing' more or less end up at a page like I have done those listed (except since I get no sfc errors I didn't continue lower in the page).
There are some mentions of indexing and network drives but those dont apply to this machine.

Any ideas?

Windows Explorer crashing

#rgdot: Commiserations. Not sure whether I can offer any useful help. It's a bit like cleaning out a toilet with some bleach, in the hope that "That should do it" - except that it doesn't necessarily always "do it".

I too have recurring problems with inexplicable Explorer long waits and crashes. I have various workarounds.

As well as what you have tried, I usually periodically run housekeeping:

* Run CCleaner - file cleanup and registry cleanup.
* Run cleanmgr in elevated/Admin status (includes expunging un-needed/redundant system files and historic Restore Points).
* Run Windows standard Defrag.
Since your problem manifested a while back (with no prior manifestation), then a Windows Update could be an indirect cause.
My last Win10 update left some weird things happening:

* My UserID Status had been changed (without notice) from "Administrator" to "Standard". Re-setting it to the Admin status helped.
* Win10 had grabbed several default file extensions off of my preferred applications to the Win10 preferred apps. (Ruddy cheek!), so I had to restore those.
* Some directories that I used were flagged as being not permitted for access by my UserID - so I had to reset the access.
* I periodically run an executable called "Restart Explorer" that does just that - to work around episodic Explorer suspended waits/crashes. Interestingly, the "Restart Explorer" app sometimes hangs, and its process cannot be deleted, leaving a deleted Explorer PUID process (which is in process of being deleted) in limbo with zero resource utilisation, and does not start a new Explorer process. By trial-and-error, I established that terminating restarting the RuntimeBroker process clears these hangs, and then Explorer may need to be manually restarted, whereupon, it behaves for a while.
EDIT: see terminating restarting, above.

Thanks for the reply.
The defrag I have not done recently, cleaning I don't believe I have done since this started, however CCleaner I have. Will try defrag and cleaning and check on the other notes you posted.

Defrag and disk cleanup, no difference
CCleaner ran again, no difference
Checked file extensions and user IDs and permissions, as far as I can tell user ID and admin/non admin accounts are fine.

Personally, I divide the storage space of my hard disks up in partitions. In my anecdotal experience, Windows doesn't do much adjusting of file/folder rights (also known as ACL) on partitions that are not the C:\ partition. I always yank user related data from the partition where Windows is installed and put those on a different partition. I also make partitions for generic data storage and even one dedicated to Temp/TMP files.

Never have I experienced ACL changes in these partitions after updates. Honesty demands that I never looked for such changes, but if everything remains working like it is configured, there has not been a real reason to do such research. Resetting my default software for specific file extensions, that does happen and is really not appreciated.

From your description I gather that things go bad after explorer.exe tries to access functionality encapsulated in file: ntdll.dll. Perhaps it might be a good idea to make a hash from a known good copy of the exact same version of that specific file and compare that hash with the hash from that file on the computer where you encounter this error.

If those do not match, that file has been compromised. Can be damage, can be that explorer.exe runs out of allotted waiting time for that specific functionality it needs from ntdll.dll, it can be lots of things. Even if they match, that file can be compromised by a bad/(too slow) block on the hard disk itself.

For that last scenario I even have an example of what happened to me not one week ago. While making backups from an Oracle database server (on Windows), I suddenly get a BSOD. After that, the database wouldn't start at all anymore. Reading out S.M.A.R.T. data from the hard disk causing the problem, no problem whatsoever. Looking at the Oracle logs, I see ORA-03113 errors appear (related to file I/O errors). Doing a complete CHKDSK (command-line version) on the offending hard disk, again no problem detected. Still, Oracle keeps complaining. It wouldn't even allow me to purge content from certain files, which is the common resolution for this problem.

In the end I cloned the hard disk bit for bit onto a brand new hard disk, then Oracle did allow me to purge these files and the database runs fine again. Further investigation on the offending hard disk (which was deemed in excellent health by S.M.A.R.T. and Windows itself) revealed that the blocks where these files actually reside on the hard disk had an access time greater than 500 milliseconds. While in essence nothing was wrong according to Windows and S.M.A.R.T., I still ended up with an useless database (located on a 3 year old hard disk).

Something similar might be happening on your system too. If your Windows installation even allows it, you could try to make a copy of the ntdll.dll file in the same folder where you find it. You might be able to rename the original 'ntdll.dll' to '' and rename the copied file back to 'ntdll.dll'. That way the file has relocated to a different and hopefully good functioning part of your hard disk. If you can now go through your reproduction steps without a problem, you have (temporarily) fixed your problem. I still would consider buying a new hard disk ASAP, clone your old disk onto the new disk and re-purpose the old disk for keeping non-essential data. 


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version