I'm sure you have heard about explorer.exe not loading when users login. Well I'm getting that problem and I was wondering if anybody has any kind of solution to this!? Anything? Any ideas?

Basically, a user logs in with his or hers network login and password and the Desktop Icons do not appear. A work around for this is basically;

Opening up Task Manager > Go to File > New Task > type 'explorer' and then the Desktop loads like it normally should.

The weird thing is that this doesn't happen every time a user logs in, its very inconsistent. It could happen one time and then not happen for such a long time again, that you would forget about the explorer.exe and think the problem just went away.

Whats on our Images

Operating System:
WinXP Pro SP2 - Patched up to Nov.2007 (only patches not loaded on our images are .NET Framework 2 and 3 and software IE 7, and Windows Media Player 11)

IE 6 SP1, Corporate Symantec Anti-Virus (Latest Definitions)

I did a clean installed, Windows Updates and then installed the necessary company applications, tweaks here and there, very few registry tweaks. and thats it. We create a Base Image and add on any applications that any specific user might need.

Any Ideas? Could this be something with a Windows Update I installed, corrupted explorer.exe or image.

Much help is needed , Thanks!

10 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by pliSkiNAKE

Did you change the name of the original explorer.exe, because as far as i know when ever you login to windows explorer.exe must load to your memory if not may be you explorer.exe if crash.

as i know you can do 2 things..

1. Restart the windows before it's comming to the login screen press CTRL+ALT+DEL then run a new task as a explorer.exe

2. Get a windows xp cd and repair the current windows.


Don't forget this happens once in a while after I have reformatted a HDD and installed WinXP and the updates from scratch. Did not touch the explorer.exe file. I wonder if it has to do with NTUSER.DAT?? Anybody any thoughts


I am having the same problem with my explorer not loading. However when i go to ctrl alt del, run, explorer.exe explorer will load and then quit out of the processes. The same thing happens in safemode, and when i am logged in as administrator.

I have tried pretty much everything including:
/cfm scannow with the windows cd.
/chkdsk /f /r
deleting all startup items from registry

The only thing i can think of is that perhaps Norton or Panda antivirus may have marked explorer as a virus and will not allow it to load. I cannot find this out becaus I have no way of even loading the antivirus.

I would like to avoid reformatting my HD as there is sensitive information (pics docs etc) and i have no way of getting this info off of my hard drive.


Yea, It could be something with Norton. We run Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate Edt. with the latest definitions.

Its annoying how you can login 100 times with the same user name and then another time login and have explorer.exe not loading. There is an windows update that updates the version of the explorer.exe file. KB938828.

Changes the versions to .3156 so maybe its a windows update that could cause this, im not sure,still researching and troubleshooting this issue myself. Anybody else with this problem!?


I am having the EXACT same problem. Once in a while (yes ONCE IN A WHILE, NOT CONSISTANT) I will log into the computer and nothing will be on my desktop: no icons, no start bar. I have to either log out and log back in or CTRL+ALT+DEL --> Run --> explorer. I was keeping tabs on when it happened and thought it was related to time.

I thought time because it would happen first thing in the morning (when my computer was logged off all night but never happened after freshly logging out and then logging back in within a short amount of time. However, I debunked this theory because the interval that it occurred increased in time. Now it happens around three times a week or so. I also believe it started happening right after Symantec Anti-Virus was updated. I don't think I remember seeing any Windows Update though.

Any ideas or solutions yet?


I still have no clue what caused this or how to fix it.

I ended up reformatting and installing sp2.


Unfortunately that won't work for me. It isn't just my PC but almost every PC in the office, along with other offices. I am still googling for answers though. I wish there was an easy way to understand why it didn't run, why so inconsistent. The search continues

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