Explorer stops interacting with Windows and closes  

  1. Posts : 95
    Windows 10

    Explorer stops interacting with Windows and closes

    I wonder if anyone can help?

    Since yesterday, one of my PCs has effectively frozen where Windows Explorer is concerned. It takes several minutes to perform the simplest task, such as a file transfer. In addition to this, the Windows taskbar and start menu freeeze.

    Windows Settings are also unavailable.

    Looking into Event Viewer, which seems to take an eternity to load, I see the following:

    Explorer stops interacting with Windows and closes-.jpg

    Firstly, I must apologise for the image (and the one below) which was a photograph of the PC's screen: the various tools in Windows for images are inaccessible. More relevant however is that this message indicates that Explorer has failed, but why? Although I am advised to look in the Security and Maintenance control panel, there is nothing there to see.

    I also notice a series of other repeating messages as follows:

    Explorer stops interacting with Windows and closes-b.jpg

    However, for each of these another message soon announces that this process has successfully completed.

    I do not know if these messages are related or not, and there appears to be nothing wrong in Windows's Device Manager. I am reasonably sure that the hardware is alright as well despite this being an old PC: everything was alright on Thursday when the PC was last used.

    The PC is Windows 10 and updates are very recent. The current version is 20H2 (Build 19042.928).

    Any advice would be welcome.


    Mr Morgan.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 39,297
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, I assume that before yesterday there were no known problems.

    Since yesterday,
    Have you
    - installed any programs?
    - received any updates? (see your Update History)

    First check your disk as a matter of course. e.g. Hard Disk Sentinel (SSDs too, trial); SMART only - Crystal Diskinfo.
    If ok, then from an admin command or Powershell prompt run
    chdsk c: /scan
    and report just the final result.

    If ok, do you have a recent System Restore point you could use?

    Boot to Safe Mode. Do you then experience any problems?

    How much free space do you have on C: ?

    Create a new user for test purposes. Log in as that user. Do you see the same issue?
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 95
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    @dalchina Thanks for the response.

    To answer your questions:

    The Windows Update part of Settings is inaccessible so I cannot determine the most recent updates. But the version of Windows is 20H2 (Build 19042.928).

    A Surface Test (Disk Repair) in Hard Disk Sentinel was clean with no errors found. The same is true of Windows CHKDSK: no problems were found.

    When last checked a few days ago, the C:\ drive of the PC had some 50Gb spare.

    I am not sure about System Restore, booting to Safe Mode or creating a new user. This is because running anything on the affected PC takes a great deal of time. However, I will try these options tomorrow.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 39,297
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    What does your task manager report? Is there excessive resource usage?
    Have you ever changed page file settings?

    Booting to Safe Mode is the most likely to be 'normal' as far less is loaded and either none or at most very few additional programs.

    If you still see the same problems in Safe Mode, then it's time to start testing your hardware.

    To do that I suggest you prepare a live boot disk (using another PC) e.g. Hiren's.
    Top 5 Free Rescue Discs for Your Sys Admin Toolkit

    Creating a bootable disk from an iso file requires e.g. Rufus or suitable commands as illustrated in the tenforums tutorial on creating a bootable flash drive to install Win 10.

    To see your list of Windows updates (and in particular when they were applied- any recently?) you can use Powershell
    How to Check Your Windows Update History With PowerShell - MajorGeeks
    This may work better for you if you can't use the PC normally.

    There's also the question of whether you received any driver updates of course.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 95
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Well, after much ado this issue appears to have resolved. It may be that the following details may prove useful in the future:

    • Concerning the storage optimiser not being able to "retrim on System Reserved", disabling the automatic defragmentation of the C:\ in Windows seems to prevent these messages. It may be that my the hard disk in question lacks a property that the automatic defragmentation now requires. The disk in question is healthy anyway.
    • As for Explorer failing, perhaps the above had something to do with it. Or the problem was resolved by the (apparent) removal of Windows 10 Version 20H2 for x64-based Systems (KB5001330) had something to do with it.

    In any case, the PC seems to be working normally again ... but it will be kept under observation for now.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 39,297
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Thank you for your reply Mr Morgan.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 624
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2 x64

    Likely a bad drive connection or a bad drive.

    I've witnessed Explorer hanging before with a bad drive connection, especially poor contact with the USB port and also with optical drive reading problems, IIRC.
      My Computers


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