Windows XP crashes sometimes when I enable "Show common tasks in folders"
March 15, 2004 4:58 PM   Subscribe

On Windows XP Pro, when I enable "Show common tasks in folders" under folder options, Windows Explorer will sometimes crash when I open a folder. [M.I.]

The desktop, taskbar and any Windows Explorer windows that are open will shut down, with no error message, then in a while the desktop and taskbar come back up. If I set it to "Use Windows classic folders", no crashes. The error is not systematic, i.e.: it's not always the same folders that cause the crash, nor are there any other repeated circumstances that I'm aware of.
I would gladly leave the folders in "classic" mode, except that that kills the "filmstrip" viewing mode, which I use all the time.
Cause, solutions? Is there any way to separate the windows shell from the explorer?
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
One way would be to hook up a debugger to explorer so that when it crashes you can capture a minidump and then I (or someone else) can debug it. Instructions for attaching a debugger to explorer are below. When explorer hits the exception that's causing it to die, it'll break into the debugger, at which point you want to type the .dump command below. This will create a small file you can put somewhere to be downloaded and debugged. Just post the URL here and I'll debug it tonight or in the morning. Note that minidumps pretty much just have registers and stack traces, in case you might worry about privacy.

Dr. Watson is supposed to kick in in this case to send a failure report to MS. I'd be curious to know what the value of HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug\Debugger is in the registry if you don't mind sharing that, too (some naughty app might have stomped on it). Here's mine: drwtsn32 -p %ld -e %ld -g (yours should be the same, unless you have VS or something akin installed).

>tasklist /fi "imagename eq explorer.exe"

Image Name PID Session Name Session# Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
explorer.exe 1456 Console 0 17,768 K

>ntsd -g -pd -p 1456

0:012> .dump c:\explorer.dmp<enter>
Creating c:\explorer.dmp - mini user dump
0:012> q <enter> <-- This will cause the debugger to quit and explorer to be restarted.
posted by JasonSch at 9:12 PM on March 15, 2004

Response by poster: My HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug\Debugger is the same as yours.

I'm following your instructions and will post the minidump as soon as I have it.
Aftr I typed in "ntsd..." etc. a windows named after the command popped up with "modload: XXXXX" repeated a few hundred times. Do I just leave this open and wait for the next crash?

Thanks mate.
posted by signal at 6:00 AM on March 16, 2004

Response by poster: I seem to recall turning off the "send message to MS everytime you crash" feature, as it crashed a lot and I was getting annoyed of the popup dialog.
posted by signal at 6:02 AM on March 16, 2004

Response by poster: Here's the dump
posted by signal at 6:31 AM on March 16, 2004

This is heap corruption, ostensibly caused by 2_0_1browserhelper2.dll. I googled for this binary and the only results were to sites where people were looking for help from spyware, so my guess is that this is spyware related. There've been a bunch of AskMe threads concerning spyware, so I suggest looking through the archives for info on how to get rid of this/verify that this is indeed the problem.

posted by JasonSch at 11:43 AM on March 16, 2004

Response by poster: I removed 2_0_1browserhelper2.dll with HijackThis!, hopefully that'll do it.

posted by signal at 5:34 AM on March 17, 2004

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