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Windows Explorer Hangs

    Question

  • Randomly - I haven't found any reason or repeatable circumstance yet -- Explorer.exe will hang using 50% of my CPU cycles.  When this happens, it only affects the desktop thread:  I can't click on icons, right click the wallpaper, etc... but I can still use the taskbar/startmenu/folders.

    The only way to get it to respond on the desktop is to kill and reluanch the explorer process.

    Anyone else having this?
    Monday, August 03, 2009 8:16 AM

Answers

  • Sure - to configure symbols in Process Explorer, download the Debugging Tools for Windows (DTW) for the version (x86 or x64) of Windows you are using.  Install the DTW, and then start Process Explorer.  In Process Explorer, go to Options->Configure Symbols.  In the DbgHelp.dll path, navigate to the path to which the DTW were installed, and specify the dbghelp.dll in that folder (don't accept the default of %systemroot%\system32\dbghelp.dll, e.g. c:\windows\system32\dbghelp.dll, as that version of the DLL does not have the desired capabilities).  Then, in the Symbols path box, paste the following, and click OK.  Then proceed with getting the stack.
      Symbols Path:
        symsrv*symsrv.dll*C:\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
    Monday, August 03, 2009 6:54 PM

All replies

  • Hi Shawn,

    Do you notice this specifically after the system wakes from a lower power mode?  Can you configure symbols in Process Explorer. Then, when the problem happens, sort the CPU column in Process Explorer in descending order and verify the process consuming CPU is explorer.exe; visit its Threads tab in the Process properties, sort by Cycles Delta (descending) and get the full stack of the topmost thread(s).
    Monday, August 03, 2009 9:30 AM
  • It typically occurs while I'm using the computer.  Usually I will notice that my CPU fan has gotten loud (because it's hung at 50%) or I'll notice that I can't drag desktop icons or select anything on my desktop first.

    I have confirmed via Task Manager that Explorer is the process using the CPU cycles (by sorted as you describe) when it happens, which is why I force close and reopen the process.

    I'm not sure what you mean about confiuring symbols in Process Explorer.  Can you help me a bit there?

    Monday, August 03, 2009 6:01 PM
  • Sure - to configure symbols in Process Explorer, download the Debugging Tools for Windows (DTW) for the version (x86 or x64) of Windows you are using.  Install the DTW, and then start Process Explorer.  In Process Explorer, go to Options->Configure Symbols.  In the DbgHelp.dll path, navigate to the path to which the DTW were installed, and specify the dbghelp.dll in that folder (don't accept the default of %systemroot%\system32\dbghelp.dll, e.g. c:\windows\system32\dbghelp.dll, as that version of the DLL does not have the desired capabilities).  Then, in the Symbols path box, paste the following, and click OK.  Then proceed with getting the stack.
      Symbols Path:
        symsrv*symsrv.dll*C:\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
    Monday, August 03, 2009 6:54 PM
  • windows explorer hangs sometime and become non-responsive because of many reasons, Check this KB article....

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/918165
    Tuesday, August 04, 2009 8:20 AM
  • Yes. The same thing is happening to me. The desktop will stop responding to double-clicks or enter key. I have to either kill and restart explorer.exe or logoff and logon again. I did notice there were two iexplore.exe processes in the task list as well, but I did not have IE running in the task bar.

    Regards,
    Rob
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 5:41 AM
  • Hi RAlfieri,

    Do you notice high CPU utilization attributable to explorer.exe?
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 3:55 PM
  • I have an identical problem using Windows 7 on a brand-spanking new laptop.

    Typically when using a "right-click" option Windows Explorer hangs. An example of this is "Right-click desktop -> Personalize" or when minimizing current IE tabs back to desktop, Explorer will hang at that point.

    The first time Explorer hangs after each boot there is an approximate 6%-12% CPU usage increase (exact figure impossible to analyse) that is not repeated for further hangs once the first has been closed or restarted.

    I have run Scannow and have not observed any obvious problems located there.

    All drivers are up-to-date and verified.

    Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security antivirus software is current and up-to-date.

    I have experienced a somewhat similar experience using Windows XP a while back when attempting to use a USB connection to a modem. In that instance the desktop hung.

    Could this be a USB or Port conflict issue?

    Irrespective however, this seems to be an extremely common issue that has been ongoing for the better part of two years judging by the forums devoted to this. Why is the problem still occurring and a hot-fix not placed to remedy the issue as an update? I can understand and appreciate that it is not easy or simple, yet in all honesty it is quite pathetic and incredibly inconvenient Microsoft i must say...

    Sunday, February 06, 2011 2:36 PM
  • I am having very similar issues.  Excel or Outlook with hang, CPU % spikes.  Looking at Resource Monitor, under CPU, the program will be highlighted in red and say not responding.  I click on analyize wait chains and it shows lsass.exe (PID 513) Thread.  When Outlook hangs, same thing.  The CPU and Disk both spike, disk is at 100%, CPU about 80%.  The CPU % shows zero for Excel, and about 18-22 for explorer.exe.  Malware/spyware were just run.  Our PC admin just unintalled and re-installed Windows 7 Professional Edition thinking that was the issue.  No luck.

    The computer is an HP Pavilion dv7 with Windows 7, version 6.1.7601 with service pack 1 build 7601.  AMD Turion X2 processor, Bio is HP F.48 dated 6/17/09.  Installed memory is 4 GB, with total physical of 2.75, available 1.66.  total virtual is 14.5 GB with 13.2 available.  Page file is 11.7 GB.

    I can't beleive it is a memory problem since when it hangs, I can go to another program and continue doing other tasks,  This computer is part of our company network system and I wonder if there is a conflict there.  All my data and programs reside on my computer in C drive, all data in D drive. 

    My PC person has no clue other than to buy another computer.  I can't get any help from HP because they want me to re-set the computer back to the orginal operation system first and test if from there which my PC admin person says can't be done.  I'm not to savy on some of this but it just doesn't seem that it is a hardware issue.  Any ideas! 

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 5:31 PM
  • "Irrespective however, this seems to be an extremely common issue that has been ongoing for the better part of two years judging by the forums devoted to this. Why is the problem still occurring and a hot-fix not placed to remedy the issue as an update? I can understand and appreciate that it is not easy or simple, yet in all honesty it is quite pathetic and incredibly inconvenient Microsoft i must say..."

    Because (IMHO) all SB cares about is $$$. Reliability is none of his concern. Combine that with the fact that, if MS cannot reproduce the issue, it doesn't exist and the bug reports (if any) are closed and never thought of again. Ever since W7-SP1 there have been all kinds of issues that didn't exist before the SP1 release. As much as I hate the thought of having to resort transferring and doing all my work on my MacBook, MS is starting to leave me no choice due to the serious issues regarding Windows Explorer and IE9.


    Redmond... We have a problem.
    Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:01 AM
  • Usually explorer hangs when rendering thumbnails of movie files.  Try disabling thumbnails or unintalling roxio/nero, etc...  dllhost.exe would be the top process.

     

     

     

    Saturday, May 28, 2011 9:40 PM
  • hi

    i have this problem, microsoft don't want to solve it?

    sometimes when i want to open a folder that have many files, or some movie can't open (on ownloading), the folder have many photo or icons.

    sometimes close laptop door and open again manytimes.

    for fix this probelm i end process explorer.exe and run again. but i lost some icon in tarybar.

    for more infromation i must to say, my windows 7 pro is uptodate. i have sep12 antivirus and only nero burning rom.

    i had this problem before i install nero.

    this problem is new with 7 and we dont have this problem in XP!!!!

    after many years microsoft must be solved this problem!

    Saturday, January 07, 2012 8:45 PM