EXPLORER.exe missing?

June 16, 2005 at 11:32:18
Specs: Windows 98, Not sure

Yesterday I was at a lyric site and it installed something on my computer. It made it run slow so I deleted the file.
After the file was deleted all my icons turned into "window" icons and then I couldn't open anything up.

I restarted and the only thing that loaded was my desktop picture and an Explorer Illegal Operation.

When you click on details it says "EXPLORER caused an invalid page fault in module EXPLORER.exe" and then had tons of letters and numbers.

Is there anyway to get it back WITHOUT having to reformat the computer and losing all my stuff?

If it comes down to it. I will just have to wipe the whole computer. I just want to find out if there is a way to SAVE all my stuff. (Nothing loads at ll but the desktop picture.. No icons or anything)


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June 16, 2005 at 12:04:18

It probably won't work but try starting in Safe Mode.
If you can get there you might be able to fix it.

Tap F8 whilst booting and you should get a menu. Choose Safe Mode. If you make it, you will get desktop with words safe mode at each corner. The graphics will be lousy but it would be a start.

Assuming it doesn't make it to Safe Mode then choose one of the Command Prompts from the menu instead. When you get to the black screen do this:

dir c:\explorer.exe (hit Return key).


dir c:\windows\explorer.exe (hit Return).

Note what happens in each case.

In the first instance it should find nothing. If it finds the file there it's a virus and we can try deleting the file.

In the second instance it should find the file. Give us the details of its size and date.

While you are at the command prompt do this:
Type ver (hit Return). This should give your Windows version. The idea is to find out if it is W98 first edition or second edition (unless you know this for sure).


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June 16, 2005 at 12:09:03

Ok. I will run up and try that.
When I type it in.... do I put the whole

dir c:\ etc?

Cuz when it comes up it does have the

c:\ already on the screen.

I've read so many things about this and have done everything so far and still nothing.

Its windows 98 first edition. Its about 6 years old..

If that doesnt work. Is there a way to reinstall windows WITHOUT losing all my stuff???

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June 16, 2005 at 12:21:13


I typed in

dir c:\explorer.exe

It came up saying

Volume in drive c has no label

Volume serial number is 3155-17fb
Directory of c:\ File not found
10,121.13 MB free

for the dir c:\windows\explorer.exe

I got the same as above for the lable and serial number

Then it said

Explorer exe 180,244
5-11-98 8:01p
1 file(s) 180,244 bytes
0 dir(s) 10,121.13 <B free

and for the ver

I got Windows 98 [Versiaon 4.10.1998]

Now what?

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Related Solutions

June 16, 2005 at 13:09:02

Well, that eliminates the possibility of an infected explorer.exe file in the C root (one I'd read about).

The file in Windows looks fine (assuming the size was a typo, ie it should have read 180,224).

Can I assume you didn't make it to Safe Mode?

It is possible to simply overlay Windows without reformat but there is a possibility that the virus or malware will still be present. If you reformat everything goes but it is not too easy to get your stuff off except using floppies and DOS commands, which is messy.

Often your virus checkers, such as AVG, have rescue disks (floppies). Do you recall making any?

If not, keep watching. Someone might be able to suggest an alternative way forward.


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June 16, 2005 at 17:01:52

Thank you Derek.

I actually found a way to fix it.

Went into a chat room and was told to type something about /restore for the registery and I did that... and it worked :)

Everything is back to normal now. No lost files or anything! Whew.

Thank you for your help, tho :)


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June 16, 2005 at 17:22:37

Scanreg /restore. Geez, that's one of my favorites.
No idea why it didn't come to me in relation to your problem - brain failure.

Glad to hear you fixed it and thx for popping back.


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June 17, 2005 at 08:36:40

That's okay!
At least it was fixed and everything was still there.
I really appreicate your help.

Thanks again.


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June 17, 2005 at 15:56:47

Hi Derek!

i was in my holiday and when i came back and checked , i wondered why u didnot go for the scanrg /restore or scaneg /fix, those are fav. of all tehc who is involved in troubleshootign 98,Me



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June 17, 2005 at 16:13:46

Too true Karthik. Someone recently referred to them as my "magic wands" (I obviously over-use them). Sometimes your brain just fails to kick in....


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July 5, 2005 at 19:35:06

The same thing that happened to Casey happened to me. I have no idea how to fix it, although i tried what microsoft support had to offer (extracting a file called shdocvw.dll to the windows system folder). Any suggestions and/or step-by-step instructions on how to fix it? i don't want to lose my stuff either! I, too, have a compaq with windows 98 SE

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July 5, 2005 at 20:32:50

Sonya B

I guess you Googled into this post.

No two problems are quite alike so you'd be far better off to make a new post (choose your OS top left for the appropriate forum).

Not many folk will look at this old post now so you will get the team immediately onto your own specific problem.

Explain exactly what happened and what steps you have already taken to cure it.


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July 16, 2005 at 22:37:40


i ran my windows update and after it installed i restarted then computer and during the restart and blue screen came up and said windows cant continue because of potential damage that could be caused. So i restarted again and when it rebooted explorer.exe was missing. I used ctrl alt del and clicked run a new task. Then i typed in explorer but nothing happened, then i restarted in safe mode with commnad prompt. I typed in c:\explorer.exe and then c:\windows\explorer.exe and the icons and toolbar appeared. THen when i restarted in normal mode everything disappeared again, what do i do now

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July 17, 2005 at 08:22:41


Please follow the suggestion I gave in number 11 and you will get personal attention to your own specific problem.

This post is about to become "viewing only", it's over a month old.


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