Windows – How to identify what is freezing explorer


I have a vista ultamite machine that has been running fine for over a year. In the last few months it has started freezing up. Not completely but just explorer.

Any application already started seems to continue working fine, but the start/task bar stops responding along with any windows explorer window.

It can be 5 mins after booting that this issue happens, or up to an hour of so.

This also seems to cause an issue with shutdown also.

Best Answer

  • I would start by running Process Explorer from Microsoft/Sysinternals. By watching explorer.exe in PE, you may be able to see what part of it is causing the hangs. Could very well be some type of codec/add-in etc crashing or timing out.

    Edit: I just came across an amazing tutorial from Kansas State University on using Process Explorer, complete with screenshots (PDF link): Process Explorer Tutorial Handout

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