Windows Crashing

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I did a lot of messing around to solve this. Nothing worked until finally I stumbled apon an 'all in 1” codek pack.

Once installed, thumbnail view of videos does not crash explorer.

Grab the file here: and look for the 'codec pack all in 1'.

M. reply



A good effort by most here... reinstaling codec xvid will work... sometimes. However when it doesn’t it is usually because process explorer.exe interferes with the install of xvid codec. solutions is as follows:
Control Panel... sounds & audio... remove your xvid codec as explained in above threads. when reinstalling xvid start your install program but before clicking next to install hit ctrl+alt+del and end process explorer.exe using task manager when process is shutdown click next on install until complete then in task manager click new task in the applications tab.. and type explorer.exe. this should fix the prob... good luck reply


A simple but very frustrating problem.

The answer is,

2. The issue of Explorer crashing when you put the cursor/mouse on the file is a broken context menu entry.

6.Now get Radlight Filter manager, run it, if there are any codecs left listed, follow the path for each, then unreg them with radlight, then delete them.
7. Run a visual check thru the registry, delete everything that relates to any of the codecs that you added, ESPECIALLY IN THE SECTION FOR CONTEXT MENU ENTRIES. (HKCR)
8.Do a Google search for 'Explorer crashes when right clicking avi file'. This will lead you to exact info for the reg edits to clean upthe context menu entries.
9.Removing the extracodecs is the smartest thing to do anyway. You should really only load what you need. The codec paks are deadly to system stability and codec organization.
10. The basic codecs needed are.

1.Xvid/Divx, but NOT THE LATEST DIVX V6.0, i causes a context menu problem.
2.An Mpeg2 decoder, Elecard is really nice, or a freebie is Dscaler, but don’t get the TV capture one, get the direct x Filters.
3.The 3ivx decoder package, the audio component is a trial, but the vid decoder is ok.
4.The Elecard Mpeg4 decoder is pretty good decoder, but the Nice-Pheratu, an earlier version, does a wider job , ie; it handles more types of compression, and does quite good job at it.
5.Also needed are the VP codecs, the vp6 is needed and free.
6. FFDSHOW is good quality generic decoder, as it handles many formats, be sure to allow raw as well in the formats dialogue.
7.Also be certain to dl the windows codec pak from MS. This will give you the alternative versions that MS uses at times.
8.For audio codecs you could use AC-3 filter, this will decode several audio formats.
9.Also needed is DirectVOBSub, autoload. This is a subtitle filter for the videos.
10.Matrix Mixer, allows more audio decoding as well as control over the output to your speakers, speaker count etc. (Dscaler as an mpeg audio filter as well)
11. Sorry, out of order here, don’t forget the OGG Vorbis filter set. ( has a nice filter set, handles many formats in the MKV and OGM containers. MKV is the Winner so far.matroska media))
12. For DVD and CD decoding and navigation, you DO NOT NEED TO LOAD any app, just load these filters...
;; CDDA CDXA readers (for CD’s)
;; nero vcd navigator ( (DVD navigator is inc. with windows; qdvd.dll)
;; The mpeg2 decoder is the filter for DVD
13. Quick alt/Real alt. Alternatives to installing the quicktime and real Media PLayers and their assorted fluff.
14.Reclock audio Renderer, Deals with many sync and vid issues, corrects timing errors, takes the place of the Win audio renderer. Handles multi mon setups just great.
15. The Intel Indeo Codec Set.
16.The Cinepak Codec, old but run into it sometimes.
17.And Of course, you may want to try the H.264/X.264 filters. Brand new stuff, but it’s going to be the new standard for HD broadcasts on cable and Sat. TV.

Lastly, Get a copy of both, Gspot, and Radlight Filter Manager.
Gspot can be used to tell at a glance which filters are ok, and which not. Also will tell you which filters are being used by your system to decode a given file.

Windows uses the filters it finds on the system, and then depending on the priority the filter is given, it then tries them in that order until a combination is found that will successfully render the file. Yup, it’s kinda hit or miss.

Rad Light will allow you to adjust the priorities of the filters so you can force windows, and your players, to use a certain filter first, or not at all. And you don’t have to uninstall it either! Just set the priority to 'do not use'.

So, you have crash problems, that’s the context menu entry gone bad. A real hassle to fix.
I’m not suggesting any of the context menu apps that give you the info, it’s a bit harder to understand and track all that down. Best bet is to remove everything and correctly install just what you need.
From what I have xplained here you should be able to understand why throwing tons of filters into your machine randomly is the WORST POSSIBLE thing to do. They WILL CONFLICT, and the priorities are usually set to force the filters to be used, so you end up with alot of filters being set to decode the same formats, and they have the same , extremely high priorities. Sooo, which should Windows use? It doesn’t know, and neither will you. All you need is one decent filter for each format, and some,like FFDSHOW handle many. Same goes for 3ivx/Xvid/NicePheratu/Divx/Elecard Mpeg4 decoders. They all overlap. Check out which ones display and cpu usage fits you the best, and set it up to run that way.

OOps, almost forgot, you would also want to load the ac3-acm filter.

Hope this helps. You could also set Explorer to not show or cache thumbnails, and to run in a seperate memory space. (tools>folder options>View tab. No cache thumbnails, and launch folders in seperate process.) To stop the display of the avi, you’ll need to use a reg hack, but it makes a huge difference. (Sorry don’t have that particular info on hand here.)


topcat139 reply


Additional links...

Windows Explorer Thumbnail Crash Workaround · >2004-05-12

>Windows Explorer in XP can be set to show thumbnails >of pictures and movies.

>Itâs a useful feature, but kind of unstable.

>Sometimes it doesnât work and certain movie files can >crash Windows Explorer when
it tries to load their >thumbnails.

>To fix this, use this at a command prompt:

>regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

>To undo the fix, use

>regsvr32 shmedia.dll

This is good, but will not solve all the issues, if a filter has added an incorrect or broken entry to the context handler menu then deleting, or unregging the default handler will do nothing but leave you with no balloon tips on any media file.

Posted by Falcon (11832 messages posted)

Correct. This would not affect things such as Control Panel, however, as they do not contain video files. An alternative and less drastic way to disable this feature is ShExView, which will allow you to disable just the Video Thumbnail Extractor, not all the functionality of shmedia.dll (Which includes property sheets for video and audio files).

The Wereotter

Be warned, this app can be confusing if you are not familiar with the windows internals.
Delete nothing just disable one at a time until the crash stops.

I still maintain removing the mess is the best and most professional approach. It will also avoid major problems in the future.


topcat139 reply



I had the same problem. Whenever I touch an AVI file (either open it, view the properties or just click it for a preview) Windows Explorer crashes. I saw on another site that I had to unistall the Xvid codec, that fixed the problem right away! Note that it isn’t the DivX codec that you need to uninstall, but the Xvid codec.

Hope that helps! reply



My explorer.exe was also crashing and hanging on drwatsn32.exe. I even went as far as to delete drwtsn32.exe. And while that fixed the hanging problem, explorer.exe was still crashing on certain problem AVI files.

So, I tried the suggestion of deleting the value for Default found in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler branch of the registry. That didn’t work either.

Then I read about it being a codec problem, more specifically a conflict with DivX. I’ve got 5.2.1 installed which I thought should be recent enough. So I used GSpot to load the file I found to be specifically the problem. When I tried to render the file (by pressing “1” then “2” at the bottom) it said that it “failed to create an instance of Pinnacle(dicas) MPEG-4 Video Decoder." Which is something that I uninstalled a month ago!

That lead me to find the file through GSpot’s codec list and try to unregister it, which didn’t work. But I did find that this codec is associated with the MediaTypes XVID, DIVX, DX50, etc. Points to a conflict I think.

**So, I went in the registry and searched for all instances of the filename and at each match I would export the branch for backup and then delete it from the registry.

Tried Windows Explorer again and now I can open the problem files in Windows Media Player 10, rename them, and have the thumbnail preview without the crashes.

I highly doubt that this problem is limited to the Pinnacle decoders, but it was GSPot that led me to that conclusion. Anyone having the AVI problem should try this, but just remember to BACKUP EVERYTHING in case it doesn’t work for you.

-thelackey reply


Thank you Creative9000, installing the all-in-one codec solved the problem for me. reply



Yep - same problem here - removed XVid and it works fine - I think we have a winner


(XP Sp2) reply


I had this same problem, moving the mouse pointer over an avi-icon would make explorer crash. I tried the registry hack mentioned before, but it didn’t work.

I agree with topcat139 that it has to do with building contextmenu’s (or those little popups when you point your mouse cursor on an icon).

In my case I simply deinstalled the DivX 6 bundle and the problem was solved. reply


I have removed all the codecs which I can see may be causing the problem of explorer crashing when trying to create the thumbnail of a .avi, but it still crashes.

Is the first step, to try and work out what is causing it to crash and remove things till it works? and then reinstall the codecs? This is what I’m trying to do, but have removed all codecs which I can, and it still crashes. Any suggestions? Have spent days searching and trying to find a solution with no joy.

Many Thanks
James reply


I have suffered this for some time, then I ismply uninstalled ffdshow, and all worked well. reply


2 days ago i installed the xvid1.0.3 binary on my winXP PC; then the ac3 sound filter; and a movie i tried to watch worked fine. I noticed though that windows displayed and still does horizontal shades corresponding to windows and graphics, these shadows move as i drag a window, scroll, etc., and extend all across the screen (beyond any individual window)
I tried everything, even restored my whole computer from scratch, but the shadows are still there. I can’t find hardware options to change.
HELP. reply


A big part of the problem is the avi preview 'feature' in explorer. Google Stop avi preview. There is a fix for it. If explorer hits a wall with a video file, ie; can’t display that thumbnail, it’ll lock your system. Get rid of the avi thumbnails, no more headaches.

topcat reply


hmm, i have a similar problem, whenever i try to load a dvd on my dvd-rom or dvd writer or even click on properties my explorer.exe vanishes and then start’s up again a few seconds later. i dont seem to get it, i had the problem with the xvid thing aswell but resolved it by downloading some XVID software, if anyone know’s what the problem could be please help me out. i cant get my dvd-rom or writer to open up any disc , but it can burn dvds and cds. reply


Quick link for the preview fix.

topcat139 reply


Great advice, Take off xvid codec, works fine now, Cheers reply


"- to disable all video previews go to run and type “regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll” without the quotes. (works with windows xp only)"

This fixed the problem for me! Thanks! reply


There are several different causes for the problems described here.

If you are getting crashes when you right click or click on a video file and you have an Nvidia card, it is a bug in the drivers causing the problem.

If explorer is crashing on xvid files it is probably because the file is encoded with qpel or gmc or the quant type is other than H.263. reply


Uninstalling ffdshow solves the avi preview/explorer.exe crashing problem. reply


Hello all, just thought I’d give my results of fixing windows explorer crashes by even just selecting certain media files(not even playing them) I simply started by removing each codec at a time, turns out it was a Mastroka(perhaps I mispelled it) I had installed before. Obviously it was a codec conflict. Hope this helps! reply


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