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After I installed the Fall Creators Update my Explorer.exe will not start, hence I get the "black screen of death with mouse cursor" problem.

I am able to start Task Manager (by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc), and start programs from it. Explorer.exe is missing from Task Manager. So when I try to start it, it crashes after a short while. Also Control Panel is crashing.

I am able to open Device Manager, but I don't really think this has anything to do with HW.

Starting the Event Viewer from the Task Manager (File > Run new task > eventvwr) I can see some failures in the Event Log:

    Log Name:      Application
Source:        Windows Error Reporting
Date:          26.10.2017 10.18.44
Event ID:      1001
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      DESKTOP-QP1FPFL
Description:
Fault bucket 120861076035, type 4
Event Name: APPCRASH
Response: Not available
Cab Id: 0

Problem signature:
P1: explorer.exe
P2: 10.0.16299.15
P3: 66e02565
P4: CoreMessaging.dll
P5: 10.0.15063.502
P6: e1f2364b
P7: c0000602
P8: 0000000000068506
P9:
P10:

Attached files:
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD11C.tmp.mdmp
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1D9.tmp.WERInternalMetadata.xml
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1D7.tmp.csv
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1E8.tmp.txt

These files may be available here:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportArchive\AppCrash_explorer.exe_90a3ade54355fd46ebc1543e438fdd5fa6dd8c0_e2eb9052_2048d679

Analysis symbol:
Rechecking for solution: 0
Report Id: 94cd5e58-7e3e-44fe-8dd7-18d988772983
Report Status: 268435456
Hashed bucket: 2bc4e6d801925b9d642ad3f0dd40015c
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Windows Error Reporting" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1001</EventID>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2017-10-26T08:18:44.967344400Z" />
    <EventRecordID>3276</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>DESKTOP-QP1FPFL</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>120861076035</Data>
    <Data>4</Data>
    <Data>APPCRASH</Data>
    <Data>Not available</Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>explorer.exe</Data>
    <Data>10.0.16299.15</Data>
    <Data>66e02565</Data>
    <Data>CoreMessaging.dll</Data>
    <Data>10.0.15063.502</Data>
    <Data>e1f2364b</Data>
    <Data>c0000602</Data>
    <Data>0000000000068506</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD11C.tmp.mdmp
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1D9.tmp.WERInternalMetadata.xml
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1D7.tmp.csv
\\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\Temp\WERD1E8.tmp.txt</Data>
    <Data>C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportArchive\AppCrash_explorer.exe_90a3ade54355fd46ebc1543e438fdd5fa6dd8c0_e2eb9052_2048d679</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>94cd5e58-7e3e-44fe-8dd7-18d988772983</Data>
    <Data>268435456</Data>
    <Data>2bc4e6d801925b9d642ad3f0dd40015c</Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Application Error
Date:          26.10.2017 10.18.43
Event ID:      1000
Task Category: (100)
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      DESKTOP-QP1FPFL
Description:
Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 10.0.16299.15, time stamp: 0x66e02565
Faulting module name: CoreMessaging.dll, version: 10.0.15063.502, time stamp: 0xe1f2364b
Exception code: 0xc0000602
Fault offset: 0x0000000000068506
Faulting process id: 0x1c18
Faulting application start time: 0x01d34e330813f394
Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\CoreMessaging.dll
Report Id: 94cd5e58-7e3e-44fe-8dd7-18d988772983
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Application Error" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1000</EventID>
    <Level>2</Level>
    <Task>100</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2017-10-26T08:18:43.467347000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>3275</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>DESKTOP-QP1FPFL</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>explorer.exe</Data>
    <Data>10.0.16299.15</Data>
    <Data>66e02565</Data>
    <Data>CoreMessaging.dll</Data>
    <Data>10.0.15063.502</Data>
    <Data>e1f2364b</Data>
    <Data>c0000602</Data>
    <Data>0000000000068506</Data>
    <Data>1c18</Data>
    <Data>01d34e330813f394</Data>
    <Data>C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe</Data>
    <Data>C:\WINDOWS\CoreMessaging.dll</Data>
    <Data>94cd5e58-7e3e-44fe-8dd7-18d988772983</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

It looks like it's the CoreMessaging.dll component is the culprit.

So far I have tried the following:

  • Verified that in the registry, explorer.exe is run without any parameters, by using the REG QUERY command line tool.
  • Disabled the AppReadiness service.
  • Ran chkdsk to check the disk, which was fine.
  • Ran sfc /scannow which said no problems found.

I guess I could roll back to some previous version of Windows, but I don't really want to do that. It doesn't seem to be a permanent solution.

The "Attached files" from the event log seem to be non-existent btw.

This question is not the same as Windows Explorer is crashing when I access USB drive, although they both involve Windows Explorer crashing, since this happened in a different context (that of upgrading to a new edition of Windows 10). The other question has a very good reply though, which may be used for debugging, which shows how to generate dump files.

This could also be relevant, since I am using Check Point VPN: Failed to update to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) from ver 1703

How can I fix this problem?

  • Can you boot into safe mode? If you can’t then you should revert and verify doing that solves the problem. Once you do that you can investigate if it’s being caused by an incompatible third-party software – Ramhound Oct 26 '17 at 11:47
  • 1
    @SveinTerjeGaup The information you supplied won’t help us determine that either more than likely. My best suggestion would be to revert then simply install the update again. If you manually forced the upgrade I would wait until it was offered to you through Windows Update. 1709 is being rolled out first to known compatible systems. – Ramhound Oct 26 '17 at 11:56
  • 1
    Decontaminate your temporary files. Start a cmd and delete everything in the ~60 known-to-have-junk locations. – Overmind Oct 26 '17 at 12:03
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Windows Explorer is crashing when I access USB drive – magicandre1981 Oct 26 '17 at 15:12
  • 1
    you got an explorer crash. generate dumps and analyze them on a 2nd PC – magicandre1981 Oct 26 '17 at 15:13
0

I got some advice from Microsoft Community, which may help others who run into the same problem (unfortunately I wouldn't be able to use the tip myself since my control panel was not working): https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-hardware/after-installing-the-windows-fall-creators-update/77041809-0529-4ef4-b89c-578143dbc6ef?messageId=ad066c51-288f-46a1-bcc3-6d99fd469b56 .

The solution that worked for me was, as mentioned, to reset Windows (from the Recovery section of Advanced Startup Options). After I did that, it worked and the version was 1709, so the update was installed and working.

However I had to reinstall my programs. Remember to run Windows Disk Cleaner after the reset to free up the space that the old Windows directory was occupying.

Here's an explanation on how to get to the Recovery part of Advanced Startup Options: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-access-advanced-startup-options-in-windows-10-or-8-2626229

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