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Hello, am currently troubleshooting a PC running XP SP3 Pro, and found that in the the taskmanager, under Processes tab there are 2 explorer.exe running. Anyone knows why? Virus scan and scan with Malwarebytes returned nothing, just in case...

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Last Post by gerbil
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    jbennet 1,618   5 Years Ago

    Thats normal. One will be the desktop (in general) and then there will be an additional explorer process for every open file browser window. Read More

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Thats normal. One will be the desktop (in general) and then there will be an additional explorer process for every open file browser window.

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agree with your post. correct.
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Thats normal. One will be the desktop (in general) and then there will be an additional explorer process for every open file browser window.

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I beg to differ, jb. Under XP, if there is an attempt to open explorer a check is first done to see if it is already running. If so, then a new window is opened via the first explorer instance. A second instance can be opened by checking Launch folder window under a separate process in Folder Options. But only a second will be opened this way. I think, but have not checked, that a second can also be opened under the System as owner...

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You could try to open up TaskManager, CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.

Then click on the "Processes" tab, from there right-click on explorer.exe
and then click on End process. This will probably disable explorer.exe, which means
that windows, taskbar and desktop wont be visible.

Then, just open up Taskmanager again CTRL + SHIFT + ESC , click on File located on the menubar -> New Task (Run...).
A window will appear with the title "Create new task".
In the textfield, type: "explorer.exe" (without quotes) and it will enable the right process.
Thus, ensuring you it is not virus-related.

Hope this helps.

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In fact the problem am getting is that when 2 explorer.exe are running when I load Windows, my local area connection icon and some other icons are not loaded in system tray, I need to close both exes and run explorer.exe again to get them back

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I checked the folder options as well whether they are spawning a separate process when being opened, but the option was unchecked

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Hey....
do you ever log into System user in windows XP...
While logging to system user there are 2 explorers.
Don’t worry about it as others said. Its normal.
I think two explorers get same memory..(You can see it in taskmng)
If not rather whole memory that allocate to the explorer divided into two parts (logically;but not sure)

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You can also configure your system so that each open explorer window is a separate process (I do that, for security and performance needs). It requires more memory, but is more stable, in my opinion. At least if something causes one instance to crash, all of the others are unaffected. This can keep the system running in unusual circumstances.

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Read up, rman. You will not get more than 2 explorer processes no matter how many windows you open.

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You will if you set the explorer file options appropriately. I have mine set to run each open explorer window in a separate process. That is not the default - it is as you say. However, that can be overridden easily enough, and trust me when I say that I can have a number of explorer.exe processes running - 1 for each open explorer window.

Edited by rubberman

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Well, that is interesting, rman. I get the default explorer process running with desktop; if I open explorer windows no more open. Setting "Launch... in sep process" will give me another instance. But only one, no matter how many windows are open. : so two max..

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Am finally scraping the XP to a Win 7 OS, the problem of 2 exes being present despite the option of launching folders in separate processes being unchecked and system tray not loading properly forced me to take this step. However I agree with gerbil, only 2 explorer.exes are created when the folders are allowed to open in separate processes, checked on a Win 7 machine :)

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Lordt (that capital okay with you...?), i believe the rationale behind launching explorer windows in a separate process is that explorer runs your desktop; if in a separate process some file or folder you open is so corrupted that it kicks explorer silly then you will still have your desktop. So, if you set it so, 2 instances are available to you. Of course, task manager being altogether another shell, you can use that to kill explorer. If you can start it without explorer - crl-shift-esc....
This is the key that is controlled by that checkbox: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\SeparateProcess
Altering the checkbox forces a re-read of registry by explorer (notice that desktop flicker?), if you alter the reg entry manually you must also force a re-read by closing/opening explorer.
This key... HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\DesktopProcess\Policy\SeparateProcess
seems to only set the parameters for the checkbox. All rather moot now that you have removed XP.

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