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Vista laptop "windows explorer has stopped working" error message

I wonder if you have any idea about my current vista problem. it's driving me nuts now... spent about 10 hours so far with no avail.

here's what i can tell you about it. hope this makes sense.

1.acer laptop with windows vista sp2 installed. dvd wasn't showing up in "start>computer" so i was attempting to fix it when i found a download which promised to fix my drivers.
3.after downloading the program, it installed a virus which keeps giving me this error message on loop (windows explorer has stopped working) at which point i click the message and it restarts.
4.the computer now only boots in safe mode, when i try to run in normal mode, the screen hangs on (welcome)

this is what i've attempted so far

1.virus scan with avast, which found nothing
2.regcure which told me it had fixed things, which it hadn't
3.autoruns which was supposed to halt certain start up programs
4.chkdsk which won't run because apparently the drive is already in use.

-so my current situation is, a laptop which only works in safe mode, i can't rescue any of my data from the pc because every 20 seconds i am interrupted by the error message i mentioned earlier.

hope you can help guys, if you need more info just ask.


Posted by on

  • dannyhallis Jul 14, 2009

    Hi Ted, thanks for your quick response, at one point i was about to format everything and reinstall windows ... but i think i have finally sorted things out. if anyone has a similar problem, this was my fix.

    1-enter safe mode (with networking)
    2-download these programs, malware bytes, spybot search and destroy, ccleaner, regcure - (use a prgram like "utorrent" if you can as that still works in safe mode)
    3-run all programs and reboot in safe mode. this will ensure that the majority (if not all) of the viruses are eliminated-doing this got rid of the looping message "windows explorer has stopped working")
    4-the problem now is that normal mode will not work, it should hang on the welcome screen. what you have to now do is go into ccleaner and uninstall all the antivirus programs from there (as they conflict with each other)
    5-boot in normal mode, and download AVG or similar virus protection and run a scan.

    (this is the stage i am at, and so far so good.)

    i appreciate your quick response Ted, i hope this helped people, i know it's a common problem as i have found so many articles on the subject)

    good luck everyone.



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If you could be specific about where you downloaded the virus/malware there is a chance we could find a simple solution but it's unlikely.

The following should work but involves a fair amount of work:

1. Remove the hard drive.
2. Install it as a second drive for a different computer that is clean and has good AV software. The procedure varies a lot depending on the available eqipment. You can get USB to SATA and USB to ATA adapter cables with external power supplies very inexpensively that work well for this though.
3. Back up your data.
4. Run a virus scan and fix anything that is found
5. Most likely this will break a system file and you will have to re-install/repair your OS.

Sorry, no magic bullet. You have a tough problem and the solution will be tough as well.

One more thought. If you can get into Safe Mode with Networking, give one of the reputable on-line virus scans a shot, i.e. Kaspersky, Trend, Microsoft, Symantec, etc.

When you do finish this up, be sure to install AV software. Microosoft is now giving theirs away for individual users and it is excellent.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009


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