Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can't find explorer.exe when run from task manager or a command prompt

Can't find explorer.exe when trying to execute the program from task manager file run menu option or can't find explorer.exe when running from a command prompt. If you have an XP system that boots but doesn't show the desktop after recently removing malware, spyware, adware, and others like Trojans and viruses, then try the fix described in this post for a fix - it worked for me.

Other symptoms include being able to access the explorer.exe file in the windows directory. You can rename it and move it , copy it and even delete it but when you try to run the file to get the desktop to show, the system tells you that it cannot find the explorer.exe or explorer file specified.

Especially if you already checked forums and found that no one has the answer to this one except to reinstall the operating system or try a repair install of XP. Doing a repair install in many cases doesn't help, the problem remains.

Cannot Display the Desktop, Desktop Has No Icons

If your computer boots but is unable to display the desktop because explorer.exe is not running and all efforts to start explorer fail, then there check the following registry setting.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options]

Look for explorer.exe and delete the key. It should not be there. If you have doubts, then just look at another computer where explorer starts. You'll waste your time if you do however and besides, explorer isn't starting anyway - what are you going to break. If you've found this post then your already frustrated with all the forums and tech support sites that led to no answers or the classic cop-out "reinstall" or "repair". The repair doesn't work and will most likely hang and the wipe out and re-install, a little too drastic for this problem.

If the problem also exists for Internet Explorer, where even if you try and run iexplore.exe from the command line and get the same message as when explorer.exe is run then look for a key in the registry that's labeled iexplore.exe. It will be right next to explorer.exe. Delete that key too.
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Can't find explorer.exe when run from Task Manager
No Icons on XP Desktop

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