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I have Windows 7 Professional SP1 32 bit installed on my machine. Whenever I open the E drive, my Windows Explorer crashes.

This doesn't affect other drives and Explorer doesn't crash when opening the D drive. I have done antivirus scanning & I'm doing anti-malaware scanning, but i don't think I would get lucky.

Update: What I've tried till now and some more useful info:

  1. I have tried accessing in safe mode. Although it is bit slow, accessing the drive doesn't crash Windows Explorer.
  2. Drive E is a partition and doesn't contain OS related stuff.
  3. It is an internal drive.
  4. I had SP1 installed. I removed that, but it made no difference.
  5. I have installed many updates (from Windows Update) and I have updated many applications. Can that be a cause of that? Sadly, I have not noted time when it started crashing.
  6. I ran chkdsk E: /F /X, it did not report any errors

Note: I found this in my event log:

enter image description here

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4 Answers 4

You need to scan for all the drive's folders, even those with videos.

Explorer can crash on invalid data in such a folder if it tries to show previews or thumbnails.

By Kees Bakker on CNET forums.

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I had "explorer crash on thumbnail" problem like this once and some video codec was causing it. It may be also Windows Media Player problem, because these thumbnails are generated with DLL file from WMP "package". So reinstalling/updating video codecs or updating Windows Media Player may help. –  Kamil Nov 13 at 20:16

Explorer.exe crashes due to many reasons. Mostly due to contents and shell extensions. For example , you open a folder with AVI's and explorer scans all the filenames, your AV suite scans all the file contents on the display and loads shell executeables that you have installed into the OS as a right mouse option. These are usually in the Current User which is not in the same user in Safe mode as that is the built-in Administrator name and not your name which is a member of the AdministratorS group.. note s at end. You are not the same user nor user options.

It is impossible to guess your situation without running a log of all the processes, startups and services with Shell extensions, Scheduled tasks etc. get OTL.exe from search engine ( the better Highjackthis App. ) and post me the results.

The second most common cause in my experience is corrupt $MFT or $MFTbackup sp?, assuming NTFS. This can be viewed in the Event Log along with any disk errors.. Go look at System Log. In any case win+R> chdkdsk e: /f (yes on reboot) {y] and try again.

The 3rd most common reason is <4GB RAM on Win7 with excessive processes running including many services under svchost with 3rd party apps that are bloated... They don;t co-exist well. This can cause stack overflow> OMG < which is hard to prove without extensive research using procmon.exe and memory map program, but let's say it can be caused by malware, not Windows fault.. per se.

There are many more reasons but the OTL.exe twin log files will likely tell what is the reason.

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Please open Command Line with administrator rights and type:

mv E:\autorun.inf E:\autorun_inf_backup.txt

and try again.

This will rename E:\autorun.inf file to E:\autorun_inf_backup.txt

To change it back:

mv E:\autorun_inf_backup.txt E:\autorun.inf

autorun.inf file is read when you enter E:\ drive in Windows Explorer.


If it is not autorun.inf fault - take a look for errors in Windows Event Viewer.

You may also run filesystem check, as someone suggested in comments.

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Here are a few reasons off the top of my head why I can think Explorer could crash...

  • If you use this drive between different OSes, there may be some invalid characters in a filename that causes Explorer to crash.
  • If you have any corrupted / odd images that Explorer may be choking on, you could remove them with the Windows Command Prompt if you have to.

I'd recommend running chkdsk with the /x /f /v flags on your drive and see what you get back.

chkdsk E: /x /f /v
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