Home > Uncategorized > Windows Explorer Probs : Fix Sudden Crashes

Windows Explorer Probs : Fix Sudden Crashes


Scenario : You are Sitting on your PC, doing some TP, when all of a sudden your Explorer Process crashes through no fault of yours. And you cant identify the problem as it happens when opening “Certain” *coughcough pron coughcough* Folders and not when opening other folders.

Solution : This happened recently to a client of mine. I was troubleshooting his XP. It was the queerest of things as the explorer process seemed to crash on its Whim and Fancy. Whenever i would open a certain folder, it would crash immediately and for others nothing…nada…Zilch .

I knew it wasn’t a virus as the computer wasn’t connected to the internet and pendrive ports were disabled. But then a Pattern Emerged, It could be seen that Explorer crashed when trying to open a folder with video files in it i.e. it was having problem rendering the thumbnail of the Video files. This is a known issue with Windows Explorer’s Zombie-brained video Thumbnail thing. Due to certain corrupt dll’s it will crash & and as you know when one program crashes and Explorer decides to give it company to show goodwill!!!!! 😀 (It was so in XP but Win 7 has been good so far).

The Simplest way to solve this is to stop this irritating thing from going on is to disable the thumbnail shell. To do this,  go to Control Panel > folder options > view

For XP : check ” Do not cache thumbnails” – [Apply to All Folders]    For Win 7 :  check “Always Show icons Never Thumbnails”

This solves the problem of Explorer crashing when opening the folder but everytime you click on the video file windows explorer will crash. Just Simple Highlighting with windows explorer will do that. What will solve this problem is unregistering media preview.

To do so : Open the ‘Run’ dialog box from the start menu (Start->Run or press the Windows and r keys together):

To remove media preview, type and hit enter
regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

What is happening is that by unregistering media preview capability you prevent it from even trying to create a preview and therefore prevent it from crashing. But as is normal in windows, Solving  one problem gives rise to other and so unregistering media preview limits the amount of information explorer can give you about a media file – ie length, dimension, bit rate etc ( the advanced properties tab of .mp3 files). This has no effect on windows media player capabilities (or lack of them) and explorer can still display overall file size.

To restore them, register shmedia.dll again

To readd media preview, type and hit enter
regsvr32 shmedia.dll  (For Some reason this disables movie Thumbnails/Previews, not picture thumbnails.)

then go to registry and delete the foll key [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}]. This solves both problems.

So in compact form, the steps are :

1. Open Run, type >>    regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

2. Open Run, type >> regsvr32 shmedia.dll

3. go to registry and delete the foll key [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}].

But if you do not want to go through this or if it is still not solved, try to install K-lite mega codecs pack. If already installed, reinstall it.

Note : It can also happen if applications install a faulty shell extension.If so, Use ShellExView, run it & look at the items in pink. Disable them all & see if the problem is resolved .If it is, re-enable them one at a time & retest.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. kathy
    February 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    you r good

  2. kourtnie
    March 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Yeah nice

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