How to troubleshoot an error that appears only at Restart or Sign out?  

  1. Posts : 96
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit 19044 Multiprocessor Free

    How to troubleshoot an error that appears only at Restart or Sign out?

    I get an error pop-up error message not every, but almost every time I Restart or Sign out. It's the screen with blue background and on top of Restart or Sign out text an error window says:

    Explorer.exe - Application error. The instruction at 0x000 referenced memory at 0x000... The memory could not be written.

    Sometimes the error code is just zeros, sometimes random numbers. I have tried so much already to troubleshoot this. For example these did not help in any way:
    • MemTest86+ (no problems)
    • Disabling any Services, Autoruns/ShellExView entries
    • Low resolution mode
    • BIOS settings are fine, no overclocking etc.
    • DISM.exe and sfc
    • etc.

    However, these do make the error go away:
    • End process for explorer.exe before Restart or Sign out
    • Safe Mode
    • Creating a new user profile (almost the same as clean installing Windows, many full days of work)
    • Uninstalling NVIDIA graphics driver (then the card is unusable, of course)
    • Disabling Device Manager / Display Adapters / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    I already contacted NVIDIA and the graphics driver is not the culprit. Something has gone wrong with the user profile as the same driver works just fine in a new profile (and there's nothing wrong with the driver anyway, it's just the Restart or Sign out process that has a problem).

    What can I do to fix this? One useful thing would be to have a step-by-step procedure for the Sign out. So that it'd ask before continuing to the next step and list what it's doing. Or if I could just disable whatever it does when the error appears.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 7,768
    windows 10

    Any idea which explorer it is? Have you run a full disk check?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 96
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit 19044 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter

    What do you mean which explorer? There is only one explorer.exe instance. I haven't done a full disk check, but as everything works perfectly on a new profile, I don't think there's anything wrong with the disk. This is a new computer, 3 weeks old (the disk is a Samsung 970 PRO M.2).
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 7,768
    windows 10

    Confirm you are talking about C;\windows\explorer.exe in windows folder ie file manager?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 279
    21H1 (OS Build 19043.1081)

    Good Day
    I would check the reliability just Monitor first type in reliability in cortana and see what the error is and it should have some sort of explanation of what's going on
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 96
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit 19044 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter

    Yes, the default C:\Windows\explorer.exeI checked Reliability Monitor. There are no Warnings or Critical events related to the Restart / Sign out problem. Great suggestion though. I needed exactly something like Reliability Monitor, just much more versatile and as the exact moment of problem occurring is known, what I should do is "record" the Sign out events instead of looking at general logs.

    And I didn't find a program doing exactly that, but I found that Event Viewer / Windows Logs / Application was very, very close to that. I actually even cracked the problem!

    This is how to do it: look at the time in systray, look at the seconds. As soon as the seconds are :00, do whatever causes the problem. Now you know the exact 10 seconds or so when the problem happens. Now look at the mentioned log list. I found that nvcontainer.exe is doing something fishy. And by renaming nvcontainer.exe, the problem was gone! Problem source pinpointed! So nvcontainer.exe was at least partly the culprit even though the error message mentions only explorer.exe.

    The best is if you can do as I did: compare the 10 seconds log with a "working" user profile and a "broken" user profile. There was a difference in the log. So the difference was a crucial part in finding the solution! A compared the difference with Beyond Compare.

    Thanks a lot for the (indirect but good) help, we did it!
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 7,768
    windows 10

    C:\Windows\explorer is file explorer stop it opening on start do you get the problem if you open it safe mode or after boot
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 14,009
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848

    nvcontainer.exe belongs to Nvidia so it does have something to do with their driver.

    What Nvidia GPU do you have?

    You could try the following, see if it helps:

    Remove and install latest Nvidia drivers:

    Completely uninstall the Nvidia display drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) from WagnardMobile here: Official Download Here. Do this in Safe Mode. Then get the latest driver for your Nvidia card here: NVIDIA Driver Downloads

    Then do a custom install of only the NVidia graphics driver and the PhysX driver.

    See if that gets rid of the problem.
      My Computers


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