1.    27 Apr 2016 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    File Explorer keeps crashing/restarting/flickering

    I am having an incredibly frustrating set of problems that I believe started in the past two weeks or so. It's happening on two different computers but both are virtually identical: Windows 10, nVidia Quadro 4000m, Dell 5k monitors, and basically the same software installed on each.

    I believe the problem is related to File Explorer. Here are the symptoms:
    • File explorer crashes constantly. I can generally open File Explorer and navigate fine, but double-clicking on any new folder or drive opens at least one new window, but more often than not two new windows. I have open each folder in same window selected.
    • If I try to double click a file to do something (open, view, etc.) the file will open but all the open explorer windows will crash. If I right-click and choose open or a specific action (e.g. open with Notepad++) File Explorer does not crash for some reason. Still have the problem saving to the desktop.
    • If I save anything to the desktop, the icons flash/disappear and reappear, as if Explorer has crashed and restarted. Opening anything from the desktop also causes the desktop to refresh (and move icons around).
    • File views (desktop and in other folders) do not always refresh (list new files and not list deleted files) automatically.

    Here's what I've tried so far that hasn't helped:
    • Change DPI from 250% to 100%. Didn't help. I have a 5k monitor, so 250% is the best DPI for me, but it didn't matter if I went down to 100% on either computer. I also made sure custom DPI was not set at the same time as the Windows DPI setting. They can both be on at the same time. This seemed to help for a minute, but not sure it wasn't an illusion.
    • Made sure AV and Malware protection were off.
    • Made sure open each folder in the same windows was selected but tried changing that setting and going back and forth.
    • Tried open Window in separate process setting.
    • Changed start in Quick Access to My PC (and back)
    • Tried sfc /scannow but it shows now errors (it did and couldn't repair it but the error went away after the in place upgrade...File Explorer problem still persists)
    • Tried disabling 3rd party context menu extensions with ShellExView
    • Ran CCleaner on the registry to clean it out
    • Completely uninstalled the nVidia drivers (using DDU for a clean uninstall in safe mode) and installed a version that I know worked. I also tried the latest drivers and the four releases in between the known driver and the latest.
    • Did a system restore to three previous versions but the problem either was there or came back quickly, perhaps after an update.
    • Turned off running background programs that seemed unnecessary.
    • Tried Safe mode. It happens in Safe Mode too but in Safe Mode I get an error "A new guard page for the Stack cannot be created." Tried searching for bushell.dll but I don't have Norton on either computer.
    • Do an in place upgrade/refresh using the Windows 10 media creation tool.
    • Curse continually at both computers.

    I'm about to do a full reinstall, but I'm worried about this just happening again. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Tlon; 27 Apr 2016 at 09:42. Reason: Added additional details
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    27 Apr 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 5,772
    Win 10 Pro (1607)

    Hi, you've tried many standard procedures which is great. Key things I note are:
    1. Symptom present until a couple of weeks ago
    2. Happens also (or sthg happens) in Safe Mode

    This suggests some interaction with a program you've installed or updated.
    Program Crash - Nigel W. - WebSite X5 Answers
    where "A new guard page for the Stack cannot be created" is also reported in safe mode.
    and this:
    explorer.exe System error | MajorGeeks.Com Support Forums

    Is there anything interesting in Reliability History or the event log?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    27 Apr 2016 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    Thanks so much. Your answer at least gives me a few more things to try!

    I hadn't thought to look in Reliability History. There are many, many critical events (stopped working) with Windows explorer, Host Process for Windows Services and explorer.exe. They seem to be happening with 3 dll's.

    windows.storage.dll (the large majority)
    KERNELBASE.dll (1)
    ESENT.dll (2)

    Here's what I can glean, but if there is anything else that'd be helpful to share, please let me know. I don't know how to review the logs, so any help there would be appreciated?

    Tried deleting the BagMRU and Bags subkeys (Windows 10 File Explorer crashing regularly - Super User) didn't help.
    Last edited by Tlon; 27 Apr 2016 at 14:49.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    27 Apr 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 5,772
    Win 10 Pro (1607)

    Um, those don't obviously prompt anything...
    As a thought, try to identify an event log or reliability history report with the safe mode crash.

    Also, try to work out what changed over the last two weeks, as I guess you have similar software configurations. What autoupdated or was updated or installed in that time?

    Do you have any restore points? (Probably too far back).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    27 Apr 2016 #5
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    Thanks! I'll keep trying. The event logs (not yet from safe mode) show a number of crashes with iastordatamgrsvc.exe as well as the windows.storage.dll.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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