Help- explorer.exe hangs at start up

By grasslands
Feb 9, 2005
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  1. I would appreciate any help. I have a Dell computer with XP. I use Norton Internet Security and run Ad-aware and Spybot frequently.

    Since I installed SP2, I have had this problem. Every fifth or sixth time I start my computer, the task bar and start menu are blank. all that is there is my wallpaper and a blank bar at the bottom. My only choice is ctrl-alt-dlt to 'restart' (or I could 'shut down'). At that point, a window pops up with explorer.exe at the top saying that explorer.exe is closing and if I click 'end now' I might lose data, etc.. When I click to 'end now', another window pops up saying explorer.exe is not responding. I click 'end now' again and then it does and the computer restarts. The same thing may happen 3 or 4 times before it starts correctly.

    Any ideas on how to fix this? I have searched Microsoft for any clue and this web site, too, but I can't seem to find this problem addressed. Thank you.

    Grasslands
  2. asgoodascaviar

    asgoodascaviar Newcomer, in training

    I've got the same problem and have not been able to solve it
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +35

    If your system met the pre-requisites for SP2 BEFORE you installed it, you should not be having a problem from the update itself. They are:

    1. A system should be clean! Run AV and spyware/adware program, maybe even an online scan for each also.
    2. Read as much as you can about what to check after a significant D/L like this. It was clearly stated that it would cause some changes in settings-so that would be the best to check right away.
    3. Create your own System Restore Point before ANY update from MS. It is not uncommon for an update to cause some system problem.
    4. Know what the update will bring to your system and what that means. In the case of SP2, the Windows firewall would be on by default. IF you have another firewall, make the decision right away which you want to run. Likely best choice will be other than Windows firewall as it only looks at incoming traffic, not outgoing.
    5. If you have one of the Security Suites that are so common now, know what it has and does in order to prevent a conflict. Adding another firewall to that spells disaster. Rule of Thumb: only 1 firewall. Rule of Thumb: only 1 AV program. Rule of Thumb: at least two spyware/adware programs.
    6. Disabling the Windows firewall requires: bringing up the Security Center and clicking to stop the firewall and making sure the 'Windows Firewall' Service is disabled and stopped.

    Di you prepare?
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