How many copies of explore.exe should I have on my XP system?

By Makris
Mar 21, 2006
  1. How many copies of explorer.exe should I have on my XP system?

    I'm in the middle of an ongoing saga trying to install Stardock Central on my machine (see post elsewhere on this board), but I get "explorer.exe is not a Win32 app" at the end of the installation process.

    Out of curiosity, I searched for explorer.exe and found two copies - one in c:/windows (1008 kb, along with something else labelled as "Windows Explorer Command" called "explorer" with no extention and 1 kb in size) and one in c:/windows/system32 and 0 kb in size. Is this normal?

    My system is otherwise running fine, and "if it ain't broke" ... but it is just this very tiny bit broke and driving me crazy. All virus checks and spyware checks are clean. I posted a HijackThis log on my previous post, and fixed the only problem spotted there (without any effect).

    Thanks for any help.


    Editted: All file references should be to "explorer.exe" not "explore.exe"
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    don't mess with OS files. They're there for a purpose.
  3. Makris

    Makris TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If anyone is interested, here is how this saga turned out.

    I did some research, and the general opinion is that explorer.exe should only be in the /Windows directory. If it is found also in the Windows/System32 directory, then dark forces put it there. What baffled me was that several (I think at least 3 or 4) virus checkers said it, and my system was clean.

    So, confident that it was evil :evil: , I decided to rename it ("badexplorer", because it is) and reboot my machine. Everything seems fine now. Explorer starts when I type it into Start->Run, Stardock Central has installed, and everything seems stable.

    Can't work out exactly what happened, so I'd be interested hearing any opinions.

    Thanks to all that commented on this and my other realted threads.

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