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I gather this is a pretty common occurrence, judging by the amount of chatter I see. Sometimes I go for days without it happening, sometimes it occurs several times in an hour. Usually when it occurs, when I close the error dialog, explorer shuts down, closing all open explorer windows and closing the taskbar, which appears again after a little while. I'm fairly certain this is due to something associated with right-clicking on a file - i.e. a 3rd party app that has installed something on context menu.

Is there any simple way of finding out who the culprit is? I really don't want to uninstall all my cruft and reintroduce it bit by bit, because the problem is not reproducible enough for me to know if the problem has returned.

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If you can reproduce the error, try doing that while running Process Monitor, then analyzing the log.

Note that you may need to know a little bit of programming in order for things to make sense, but it's worth a try anyway. Also note:

  1. This can slow down the system somewhat (and use the hard disk a lot), so don't be surprised if that happens.

  2. Not all errors are fatal! You're likely to see thousands of error codes, and it takes practice (and programming knowledge) to figure out which ones caused the crash, if any.

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