Everyday Problems: Windows Explorer

I know I haven’t been posting new stuff to the blog. My problem is of prioritization. There’s so much to write about. Except I don’t know where to begin.

A friend called and asked if I knew why their Windows XP Explorer kept crashing. This is Windows Explorer we’re talking about; not Internet Explorer. In this instance every time my friend tried to search for video files via Start > Search, the Explorer window search sub-pane would accept the keywords, run for all of 10 seconds then crash. When my friend browsed to a folder with video content, Explorer would crash!

So I ran a quick search and got the usual million (I’m exaggerating) responses; most of which dealt with corrupted Internet Explorer. Unfortunately Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) is so much a part of Windows (any version). That you can’t re-install it without re-installing Windows. Which we all know is a pain in the wrong place.

The Windows Explorer crash was linked to videos. So a bit more searching revealed that on Windows XP, the video thumbnail generator suddenly, and somewhat inexplicably, gets corrupted.The fix is to open a command session (Start > Run) and type “regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll” to uninstall the video thumbnail function. Once done you don’t even need to restart Windows.

Now my friend is happy. Windows Search can find all videos match a specific keyword. And can also view a folder with videos without Explorer crashing.

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