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Trouble with Vista?

March 5, 2012

Can you spot Vista users by their mangled computers that have been heaved into the hall in angry frustration? One of the problems they might have experienced was the way Windows Explorer hangs or even crashes in Vista. If you are one of these lucky people, there’s hope!

  • The first thing you need to do is reset Explorer. Press Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open Windows Task Manager.
  • Choose the Processes tab, and click Image Name (at the top of the column) to sort the list.
  • Select each instance of Explorer.exe in the list and click End Process to close it. (Don’t worry about any warnings you may get or if you lose your desktop. If you lose the desktop, just select New Task, type “explorer” and click OK.)

Now, to fix the hang/crash problem. This is usually caused by Vista’s default Thumbnail display of files. If you try to open any folder with a corrupt or empty video file, a garbled photo, or any media file with a defective driver, Explorer crashes while attempting to generate the thumbnail. You can rename the troublesome file, but it is much easier to just disable thumbnails altogether and stop the problem once and for all.

  • Open Folder Options in Control Panel.
  • Choose the View tab, and then select Always show icons, never thumbnails.
  • Click OK

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