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Monday, February 05, 2007

Resolved: Explorer crash on Vista

I have Windows Vista on my dev box for quite some time and I felt just fine with it.
The Problem
I' had a real fun with Vista, until the day my explorer started to crash every time I tried to open the Control Panel or Network and Sharing Center . I tried to remember the things I've installed or changed recently, but without success. Then I tried to find solution by googling - failure again. I've found that sometimes explorer crash may be experienced due to enabled-by-default DEP in Vista. I've disabled it, following these instruction, but no luck. I've tried to update my drivers, disable some services and so on.
The Solution
It took me few days to realize the real reason:
I've installed Firebird 1.5 few days ago. After removing it , everything was just fine. My further investigation revealed that the problem is caused by the .cpl applet installed by the Firebird Installer. Fortunately, there was a option to omit the Firebird .cpl. installation.

Conclusion
Are you experiencing strange explorer crashes? Are you having crashes, while trying to open Control Panel or Network and Sharing Center? Try to remember, what you've installed recently. Check if these apps install Control Panel Applets (*.cpl)
You may search for *.cpl in Windows\System32. You may uninstall apps by launching Windows Explorer(assuming it does not crash) and navigating to MyComputer/Control Panel/Programs and Features. Do not click over Control Panel - just click over the arrow next to the Control Panel text to expand it in the folder view.

55 comments:

Galcho said...

The easiest way to get to Program and features applet is to search for it from Start Menu. This search is great

Reagrds,
Galin

Ruslan Trifonov said...

That's for sure! Especially, if you know that Add/Remove Programs is Programs and Features already :)

I like the search feature very much, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I had exactly the same problem. Took me also few days to find that FireBird 1.5.3 cpl was the culprit.

Sad I didn't find your post before...

Renaud.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this post I only spent 10 minutes to solve my problem.

Anonymous said...

so i searched for the cpl files and came up with a ton of files, how do i know which one is causing the problem?

Ruslan Trifonov said...

Well, you don't know.
You may try to remember the first time you've encountered the crash. What is the last app you've installed just before the first crash.
You may look at the "Installed On" column in the "Programs and Features" view in order to see what is the last installed app. Does this app deploy .CPL? Try finding more info about this app...

Anyway, I don't know universal recipe - it's more about exploring/analyzing/experimenting.

You may try to find better solution through Micrsoft forums/newsgroups or even Ms support.

Federico said...

On a friend of mine laptop, explorer crashes everytime he opens a folder wich contains .RAR files...
Why Windows is always so unstable...? This Vista is egual to the old versions...
Fortunately i've an iBook, i don't know what means "crash" ;-)
Any idea on .RAR files?

Ruslan Trifonov said...

Sorry, I don't know anything about RARs and crashes.

It is actually arguable if the crash (described on this blog) is due to Vista defect. May be the specific CPL is poorly written... If a developer is "talanted" enough he/she may crash the host operating system - I beleive it is true for iBook too.
May be the Mac developers are not so "talanted" ;)

Michael said...

You guys rock... I just upgraded a laptop that I use work, and was having massive prolems with the "explorer crash thing". I do (did) have firebird 1.5 installed, so ditching it solved that problem. Cheers!!!

Gamer99 said...

Awesome advice guys!

Removing Firebird (what is it anyway?) did the trick!

Anonymous said...

Well done dude this would have taken ages to figure out.

Uninstalled firebird and all working.

Keep up the gr8 work

Ben Collier said...

Worked :)

Thanks, I'd never has guessed it was firebird!

David said...

i had this problem too and i upgraded to firebird 2 and it solved the problem of control panel crashing explorer

Johan said...

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great Job! You saved my life
Jst after installed MediaPortal I got crashes with Control Panel.
After disinstalled every was great again

Cheers from Italy...

Anonymous said...

cheers mate. solved my problem. had this for months and was about to wipe harddrive clean. thanks again.

Anonymous said...

oh man cheers, i use Sam4 and it installs firebird 1.5, i thought i was just a bad install becuase iv neva ad the problems before, cheers for the info, we thank people like u to share problems, thanks again! Logi!

Sjef Haan, Netherlands said...

Thanks very much. I was just at the point of installing Vista complete again when I say you comment. It did the trick and now it's working 100%. Thanks very, very much. You saved my day.

Anonymous said...

No idea what installed it but getting rid of it worked

Sthei1 said...

I also had the network sharing center and control panel crash and i found out that it was the liveupdate to a Norton antivirus i had uninstalled a couple a month ago. The way i found out is that i made a search in vistas search function on *.cpl. Then i tried some of them and when i hit the Norton Live update i got a RUNDLL32 crash. So i deleted the .cpl file and tada. Network and control panel is working fine again.

Anonymous said...

Great!
It was Firebird causing the problem for me too, did exactly what was said on your post and control pannel works again :)

Anonymous said...

Awwwww. TUSEN TAKK! MANY THANKS!
Stupid Firebird, DIEEEEEEE BITCH.

sanjay said...

Hi Ruslan,

Thanks for the post. It provided me right starting point to fix the similar problem encounterd while opening control panel/manage network connections. In my case Windows Live installer was causing problem. So i removed all the applications installed by Live installer and rebooted the system. In my suggestion one can indentify the program which is causing problem from uninstall program panel (open from my computer) and arrange the installed programs list by date and uninstall programs which were installed on or after date when the problem first encountered.

Rodeo Announcer said...

THANKS!

Been Driving Me Nuts!

Anonymous said...

TYVM! YOU ROCK! YOU HELPED ME LOTS!

K said...

great post! only 5mins to solve the problems.

Thanks!!

~Jazhara said...

Good to know what the problem was.. thing is.. I friggin' need Firebird for SAM Broadcaster >.<

Any suggestions how I can still run Firebird, and not have this issue?

Jesse said...

Thanks! It was Firebird SQL at me... Too bad, cuz I really need it.

But oh well, I need my control panel more!

Anonymous said...

Much thanks to you. I took about an hour of enraging dead ends on Vista forums telling me to disable this and that just like your post stated. How very stupid was this problem, and so is that Firebird database.

Once again, many thanks.

Symbiode said...

Thank you! Control Panel starting crashing explorer suddenly, and I couldn't find the cause. You pointed me in the exact right direction. An extra tip, if you click 'View Problem Details' at the bottom of the 'Windows Explorer has stopped working' dialog, look at the "Fault Module Name" entry. It tells you the exact .cpl file causing the error. Then just go to system32 like you said and delete or rename the file.

Anonymous said...

Really Thanks for the post. I had this problem too. But upgraded to firebird 2.0.1 can solved this problem?

Sam said...

Hey, just wante dot say thanks, i was about ready to pull my hair out :D xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot for posting this! Ive had this problem for a few months now and just finally decided to google it. Glad I found your post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. This was the first google hit and solved the problem I was having with SeaMonkey. Merci.

asif ul huque said...

uninstalling winrar solved the problem for me... i think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your information about Firebird being the cause of my problems. You saved me countless hours of frustation! BTW, I have discovered an even simpler solution to the problem while still keeping Firebird 1.5. Simply go into the Windows/System32 directory and delete (or rename the .cpl extension) of the Firebird control applet. You probably will never have to use it anyway. I did that and both Control Panel and Firebird work flawlessly. Thanks again!

tom said...

I had the same control panel crash issue...but the cause was a .cpl installed by a SigmaTel audio driver...uninstalled it and I am good to go....THANKS FOR THE HINT!

Tom said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot! renamed ALSNDMGR.CPL and everything is running smooth again!

sorting the search results for '.cpl' did not work for me, but reviewing the windows 'application log' hinted me to the realtek sound control panel :)

Anonymous said...

this is great.......for anyone who has Firebird installed.

Any solutions for someone having this problem but who DOESN'T have Firebird installed?
Tried various "fixes" without sucess. All the usual, uninstalling recently installed progs. updating drivers etc.

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue and didn't have Firebird and searching for *.cpl just returned a lot of stuff that didnt point to any answers for me.

I checked the Application log and it gave me the following:

"Faulting application explorer.exe, version 6.0.6001.18000, time stamp 0x47918e5d, faulting module alockout.dll, version 0.0.0.0, time stamp 0x3cb59a2a, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x0000be2c, process id 0x18d4, application start time 0x01c8e4e044c3dc76."

I installed alockout.exe a couple two months ago and considering its from Microsft I didn't think it was the cause. I removed it manually (from C:\Windows\System32as well as it's registry entry:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows] "AppInit_DLLs"="alockout.dll"

This solved it for me!

Magz said...

I had a similar issue, but the file in querstion was browseui.dll. CHKDSK /R fixed the corruption in it and the issue resolved.

ew8 said...

Worked perfectly, uninstalled Firebird 1.5 everything works well.

Vishnubhai said...

Hi,
Explorer crashes on my computer everytime i do a search that begins with a "C". Vista on a new HP Laptop. It's a strange thing. Thanks,

d00d said...

I've had two new laptops (Dell and Gateway) start crashing on my when I try to open the "Connect to" network list (where you select your wireless, etc. networks). It won't open and then rundll32.exe crashes. The control panel opens though.

On one, I was able to restore to an earlier point. But didn't have one on the other. A search for *.cpl only found one item, which is my graphics card control.

Have no idea what to do about it, but I haven't installed anything recently...

d00d said...

Solved. It was my visual style I was using. It has a bug in it.

Anonymous said...

Well im not 100% done with windows but i downloaded LINUX SUSE and i am soooo happy, it runs clean and no crashing ever, but i have been dual booting with vista also, CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT FIREBIRD'S PURPOSE IS PLEASE?

wisted said...

I had firebird installed, uninstalled it and explorer works properly again! thanks alot!

Anonymous said...

Press Windows key + R, in the dialog box type: eventvwr.msc

Go to Windows Logs, then Application. Doubleclick any recent errors, you can find the faulting module in the description. For instance:


Faulting application Explorer.EXE, version 6.0.6001.18164, time stamp 0x4907e242, faulting module CrashBurn.cpl


Renaming the crappy cpl file or uninstalling the crappy program it belongs to, fixes this issue

nuno miranda ribeiro said...

in my case, the file causing the problem is ntdll.dll but I have no idea how to fix the problem. I used CHKDSK /R but it still crashes.

Does anyone know how to fix this problem with ntdll.dll?

jon_the_rhizo said...

I had a similar problem -- explorer crashing when I started a 'start search' with the letter C or the letter V. The event viewer suggested it was Adobe CS3 causing the problem, and a bit of Googling got the following link -- a couple of patches to CS3 and the 'start search' now works normally (even before a reboot!) http://forums.adobe.com/thread/313929
Jon

Pedro said...

Woohoo i fixed this, thanks man!

Anonymous said...

Thank you searched high 7 low for a fix ;)

Richie K said...

Removing the Firebird2control.cpl worked for me too on Windows 7 32bit. Thanks a lot!!!!!