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Explorer.exe will not load, no icons or task manager

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Old 16-04-2007
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
Explorer.exe will not load, no icons or task manager

I recently updated XP Home from SP1 to SP2, and installed IE 7.0 and Windows Defender. Everything seemed to be working normal. I left the computer on to autoupdate. When I got the next morning, I was suffering from the symptoms described in this thread:


When I start up XP, the machine goes through a NT type log on screen asking for a password, which it never did before. It then goes to the desktop, but will not load any icons, nor am I able to call up the task manager with ctrl-alt-delete. Instead I get the following error message:

"explorer.exe application error the application failed to initialize properly 0xc0150002 error code"

I can boot in safe mode, but same results. I can boot in safe mode with the cmd prompt and I have tried all of the fixes listed in the above referenced thread with no success. Here is what happened:

1. Used system restore from the cmd prompt, but it did not help, no change to the activity
2. Tried to uninstall SP2 from the add/remove panel called up via appwiz.cpl while in safe mode cmd prompt screen. It fails with the message "windows could not load the installer for disk drive"
3. I tried to rename the files in the C:\winnt\system32 directory, but when I enter that in the command prompt it says the path is invalid
4. I do not have the Google desktop, but I do have the Google toolbar installed. However, when I try to remove it via the add/remove programs panel, it does nothing. Screen flashes, but no activity occurs.
5. I can call up the windows directory and it shows the KB923191 update was installed. When I tried to run the commands suggested relative to $ntuninstallerkb923191$, I get various messages that the path is not valid or the file can not be found. In the add/remove programs panel, it says that this update can not be uninstalled.

According to the log in the win directory, KB923191 was installed when I did all of the remaining critical updates after the install of SP2. The machine was running fine afterward but I left it on to be sure Windows Defender would run and update overnight. Auto update was also engaged. When I got up the next morning and checked the machine, I found it in the state discribed above.

When I boot up in safe mode with cmd prompt, the prompt reads as follows: C:\Documents & Settings\Mary Brown.Mary> where Mary Brown is the users name. I am assuming that I enter all commands after the > in this string. I try to enter them with the C:\ prefix followed by the command, and with just the command alone, but they all fail except for the two related to the add/remove panel and the restore commands.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I read the posting at andrewsworld about replacing two files


but I am not sure if this would help or even how to do this, I would need more detailed instructions. thanks

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Old 26-04-2007
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,466
RE: Explorer.exe will not load, no icons or task manager

Are you sure your system is not infected with any Virus or Malware? If yes, then you can fix the problem by simply restoring your system to any previous working Restore Point. You can do this by booting the system in Safe Mode. Restart the computer and press F8 at boot up and select Safe Mode. Once there click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Or you can simply do the same by running following command in Command Prompt:


if that doesn't fix the problem, you may need to repair your system. Check this:How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Let me know the result.
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