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explorer.exe out of control


pirate extraordinaire
hello. was wondering if someone can help me with this.
computer, laptop:
windows xp pro sp1
all HP updates
Pent. 4 HT 3.02 ghz.
1 gig ram pc2700
128 meg video
80 gig hard drive
250 gig hard drive, usb 2.0
dvd/cd burner
dvd burner, usb

everything comes to a crawl, big time! i check task manager and explorer.exe will be taking up like anywhere from 50-60% CPU. seems like a huge amount to tax the cpu for a pent4 ht 3.02 to me. i have run and updated AVG antivirus, clean. i have run and updated ad-aware 6.0, clean. norton internet 2003, fine and clean. registry mechanic, norton cleansweep, defraged using speeddisk, tried defrag using windows, tried defrag using sys. mechanic, windoctor, everything seems fine, all my programs tell me everything is cool. but once explorer.exe acts up this thing runs slower than my gateway with pent cel. 433 meghz 128 ram! literally, slower than my 6 yrs old computers.
i have two cooling fans underneath the laptop. i have the laptop proped up for more circulation. explorer.exe hits like 50-60% the fans go crazy and dont stop. it get to the point i have to pull the battery and unplug it for lack of response.

only thing i added the same day i noticed the slow down was the 250 gig usb hard drive. doesnt seem to happen with any particular program. usualy im just running oper or ie, outlook, trillian, avg, media player, a pop-up stopper.
checked msconfig/start-up. everything seems fine, i know what everything listed is.

also, a few days ago, maybe 4-5, everytime i reboot my computer tells me new updates are ready to install (auto-update is on)

no, i cant do a system restore, i turned it off. so yell at me all you want and get it out of the way. i prob. deserve it :)
(now that i have a 250 for storage i can turn it back on)

any ideas? i am about ready to format.


Act your wage.
Political User
Startup in Safe Mode and see if everything runs normal.

There could be conflicts between software such as Norton and AVG. I know that recent versions of Norton and McAfee conflicted badly when both installed... they made any system crawl.

I suppose it's possible that the installation of your USB drive is causing the problem... possibly a bad driver or something. Have you looked to see if there is an updated driver?


Mentally Absent
#1 if you are running more than one anti virus, get rid of one, they just conflict with each other, #2, get rid of norton internet security, it sucks. norton is good and anti virus, but it doesnt mean it is good at everything. get zone alarm or something if you want something for free. #3 just install the updates.


Act your wage.
Political User
Whether NIS sucks or not is a matter of personal opinion. I used it for a year and it did just fine without causing any headaches. I quit using it mainly because it was somewhat of a resource hog. Anyway, I don't think that NIS itself is the cause of this problem. Like we both said, multiple antivirus applications is a bad idea.


The Analog Kid
I doubt it, but you could try deleting your usb driver and rebooting.

Also try running spybot. There's some things that spybot gets that adaware doesn't.


pirate extraordinaire
thanks for the help.
i tried uninstalling the drivers, rebooting and letting it reinstall them. samething still happens.

spybot. clean and clear
i even went into device manager. uninstalled all cd/dvd/external drives. rebooted and added one at a time. no luck


OSNN One Post Wonder
I had a similar issue recently with a Win2k machine. It started crashing explorer.exe after doing MS updates form July 13th (last 7). Also I had upgraded to the most recent Zone Alarm version 5. When explorer recovered, my Norton AV was up and running but the icon did not return to the system tray without rebooting. I suspect ZA for that as it now monitors your AV. Also Chkdsk would not run. I uninstalled 5 of the 7 MS updates, KB839645, KB841872, KB841873, KB842526 and KB840315. No uninstall for KB87669 and KB823353. Anyway, explorer.exe stopped crashing all the time. Still got the occasional one so I uninstalled ZA version 5 and reinstalled a copy of ZA version 4 I had. Now Chkdsk works and so far no more explorer.exe crashes.


The Voices Talk to Me
Ok, does explorer.exe act up with the USB HDD totally uninstalled? If it does then I would doing a repair operation on Windows and see if that fixes it. You might have a corrupted system file somewhere that explorer.exe uses that is causing it to go nuts.

If it doesn't then you have some type of hardware, IRQ, driver conflict with your system and the USB HDD.


pirate extraordinaire
ok. i uninstalled the drive, and left it disconnected. after a few hours explorer.exe was fine, running smooth. i did some more tweaking/optimizing like cleaning the registry up, and uninstalled the newest microsoft update i had, i think it was KB(something)773. i am now using the usb drive again with no problems. im pretty sure i the problems gone since iys been some time without it happening again. i dont know what fixed the problem. i didn't get rid of norton internet security, not cuz i particularly like it, or prefer it, but it sems to be working fine so i'll leave it alone. thank you everyone who wrote to help. thats the one thing i love about this forum, everyone seems to pass on info/knowledge to help other without hesitation. i read the forums about computer problems fairly often just trying to learn new things. thanks again!


OSNN One Post Wonder
Hi, i'm new for this forum.

Glad that electricpirate solved his problem, but i have similar.

I installed a Quantum/Maxtor 120G (ATA) in an external USB2.0 box (magnex). since i have it explorer does very strange things.

Everytime i tried to copy or to make some operation with that device , explorer.exe starts to manage lot of memory... (something like... 300 Megs or something), untill system completely slows down (without any crash). When the device is OFF all is OK.

My PC is a Dual Xeon 3.0Ghz, 2Gigs of Ram, Hd Sata 120Gb. WinXP Pro Sp1 (updated), AVG 6.0.

Any (other) ideas?

Thank in advance

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