Windows 8 File Explorer is crashing constantly, about every 10 minutes. How do I find the source of the problem?

It is very difficult to work with that. It happens in the background, when I'm not even using it. It restarts itself, but sometimes it takes the task bar with it, and takes 1m+ to restart. I have all Windows updates.

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I have quite a few Explorer extensions, like TortoiseGit, SkyDrive, DropBox, etc.

Found this in the event log. I opened the dialog, and clicked "Event Log Online Help", but it only took me to a 404 error at technet.microsoft.com.


The event mentioned Action Center. I opened it and it said to update my graphics driver, which I already did, and said 3+ items are starting at startup, which I'm ok with right now since the computer is so new and so fast.

I disabled EVERY non-Microsoft extension with ShelExView and it STILL locks up/crashes!

Update: Even after Windows update, and disabling most every extension (including Dropbox, Skydrive, Google), it still locks up.

  • What have you tried already? Does it do it when it's just sitting idle, or only when you use it? Does it do it when you disable all those Explorer extensions? Anything in the Event Log? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 12 '13 at 23:49
  • I haven't tried anything yet, except update windows. Yes, it happens when sitting idle in background. I'm using the computer, but not File Explorer. I don't know how to disable Explorer extensions. There is no option to 'disable' right-click menu for Dropbox. I will check Event Log. Ok added event log to question. – Chloe Mar 12 '13 at 23:57
  • 2
    ShellExView might help - you can use it to easily enable/disable extensions. – Karan Mar 13 '13 at 3:42
  • generate explorer dumps, zip and upload the dumps: superuser.com/questions/549219/… – magicandre1981 Mar 13 '13 at 5:14
  • 2
    Try running sfc /scannow. – harrymc Mar 21 '13 at 5:52

From what I can see from the dump, is that DropboxExt64_17.dll causes the crash.

00000000`0e620000 00000000`00000000 : ntdll!RtlReportCriticalFailure+0x89
00000000`0e95a1b0 00000000`00000000 : ntdll!RtlpLogHeapFailure+0xa4
00000000`00000060 00000000`00000000 : ntdll! ?? ::FNODOBFM::`string'+0x1fddb
00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000 : ntdll!RtlAllocateHeap+0xfa
00000000`0cc4dc48  00000000`6530cb87 msvcr90!malloc+0x5b
00000000`0cc4dc78  00000000`651fc0b4 msvcp90!std::basic_string<unsigned short,std::char_traits<unsigned short>,std::allocator<unsigned short> >::assign+0x90
00000000`0cc4dc80  00000000`0ea0ae38
00000000`0cc4dcb8  00000000`651ffafb msvcp90!std::basic_string<unsigned short,std::char_traits<unsigned short>,std::allocator<unsigned short> >::basic_string<unsigned short,std::char_traits<unsigned short>,std::allocator<unsigned short> >+0x27
00000000`0cc4dce0  00000000`0dc2e1e0
00000000`0cc4dce8  000007ff`2fcdd9ee DropboxExt64_17+0xd9ee
00000000`0cc4dd10  00000000`00000000
00000000`0cc4dd18  000007ff`2fcdd9a4 DropboxExt64_17+0xd9a4
00000000`0cc4dd20  00000000`0ea0ae38

    Loaded symbol image file: DropboxExt64.17.dll
    Image path: C:\Users\Chloe\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\DropboxExt64.17.dll
    Image name: DropboxExt64.17.dll
    Timestamp:        Thu Oct 04 23:42:34 2012

Report this to the dropbox team so that they can fix it. In the meantime, use ShellExView to disable the Dropbox-ShellExtensions.

// Edit. I also see that you use google drive. This is also known to causes Explorer crashes. Disable the sync icons in google drive if disabling Dropbox doesn't fix it.

00000000`0cc4e430  00000000`00000078
00000000`0cc4e438  00000000`6530cb87 msvcr90!malloc+0x5b
00000000`0cc4e440  00000000`00000000
00000000`0cc4e460  00000000`00000000
00000000`0cc4e468  000007ff`2fbd6bbc googledrivesync64+0x6bbc
00000000`0cc4e470  00000000`0e934410
00000000`0cc4e478  000007ff`2fbf6bd1 googledrivesync64+0x26bd1
00000000`0cc4e480  00000000`0e990000
00000000`0cc4e4b0  00000000`00000004
00000000`0cc4e4b8  000007ff`2fc33257 googledrivesync64+0x63257
00000000`0cc4e4c0  00000000`00000005

    Loaded symbol image file: googledrivesync64.dll
    Image path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Drive\googledrivesync64.dll
    Image name: googledrivesync64.dll
    Timestamp:        Tue Dec 18 04:48:28 2012 

You also use SkyDrive:

Loaded symbol image file: SkyDriveShell64.dll
Image path: C:\Users\Chloe\AppData\Local\Microsoft\SkyDrive\17.0.2003.1112\amd64\SkyDriveShell64.dll
Image name: SkyDriveShell64.dll
Timestamp:        Mon Nov 12 20:55:22 2012

It is not good to use so many registered tools in Explorer.

  • Normally I turn off most extensions in the Explorer, as it is faster with fewer add-ons. – harrymc Mar 26 '13 at 9:33
  • Sweet! Is that hard to do? To look up the stack trace? Where do the timestamps come from? I didn't even have the computer on Thu Oct 04 23:42:34 2012. – Chloe Mar 28 '13 at 15:34
  • it requires some knowledge with WinDbg. You can get the version data with lmvm <DLLName(with.dll)) like lmvm SkyDriveShell64. – magicandre1981 Mar 28 '13 at 20:08
  • Explorer is still locking up after I disabled all Dropbox extensions. One Explorer will will just freeze, and I can't even close that window. – Chloe Apr 1 '13 at 1:37
  • @Chloe do the other suggestions. Disable sync icons in Google drive. If this doesn't fix it remove google drive. – magicandre1981 Apr 1 '13 at 5:59

I was able to fix by resetting folder by options by going back to the default.

I followed the instructions from the video How to Open and Change Folder Options in Windows.

For some reason my directory keeps crashing when I GROUP by DATE.


The problem can happen with varied reasons , and your log is not pin pointing out anything specific.

  1. If you just want to sort out the problem , try the option "Refresh My PC" (search google if you don't know what it is') . It should solve the problem as it did mine.

hope this solves your problem too.

p.s. : Your data will be lost , so please be careful .

  • 1
    "Reinstall Windows" can certainly fix most problems, but is a bit too violent. – harrymc Mar 25 '13 at 9:07
  • At the same time his log is not pinpointing to any specific case – adithya Mar 25 '13 at 9:28
  • 1
    That's why he is on SuperUser. – harrymc Mar 25 '13 at 10:35
  • I used Refresh my PC once. Never again. Had to re-install all apps and re-setup email. Ain't nobody got time for that. It's only a few weeks old. And where do you get 'he' from 'Chloe'? – Chloe Mar 25 '13 at 19:47

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