General discussion

Explorer.exe CPU usage is 90-100%. Freezes and Hangs

Hello, I'm looking for some assistance on my HP laptop running Vista Home Premium. My computer was working fine up until now. When I boot into Windows the computer immediately becomes unusable. Looking at the Task Manager I see that Explorer.exe is using up massive amounts to the CPU, constantly running at 90-100%. The start menu becomes unresponsive and any program I start immediately becomes unresponsive. When I boot into safe mode everything works perfectly fine. I've run Spybot and Malwarebytes. They've picked up a few things, but have resolved nothing. A scan with AVG also fixed a few things, but once again, to no avail. I would love assistance with this problem because it is driving me crazy that I am unable to use my laptop.
Much Thanks,

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". I've run Spybot and Malwarebytes. They've picked up a few

". I've run Spybot and Malwarebytes. They've picked up a few things, but have resolved nothing. A scan with AVG also fixed a few things,"

What are these things? Without knowing what was found I'd be guessing (badly) what to do next.

Also, EXPLORER is well known to go 100% on corrupt images, avi files and more. I have a demo where I copy a corrupt AVI file to the desktop and the usual IT staffer can't recover the machine since the account is so locked up with Explorer trying and failing to render the AVI for a thumbnail.

But let me share how I fix that. Remember I know how I broke it but let's say I didn't. All I need to do is treat the machine as if the profile is corrupt.

Don't know about that? Here's your research words for google.


Try that!

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Thanks for the very prompt reply.
Malwarebytes picked up: Adware. Softomate
Spybot picked up: My Freeze Toolbar

I don't know if this matters or not, but I have no .avi files on my desktop. And explorer starts acting up as soon as I log into Windows.
Just some extra information, I disabled all of the Services in MSCONFIG when I was in safemode and when I logged into Windows normally explorer was fine and I did not notice any of the issues.

On the matter of the Corrupt Profile. I looked into and it seems the solution to the problem is to create a new profile and move the files over?
1. Is this the only choice to go about this with?
2. What will happen to the programs I have installed? Because I have some programs that were not installed for All Users.

Thanks for the assistance, I appreciate it.

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There's a good clue.

Spybot's teatimer interacts badly with too many things. Uninstall Spybot for now.

As to the corrupt profile the test is simple, takes all of a few minutes and then we can see if that's what is needed. WHAT IS THE TEST? (create a new account and log into that account.)

As to the choice (flame on), Microsoft has never delivered a tool to deal with corrupt profiles. (flame off)

Sorry, but if there is another way, it's a big secret.

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Hangs at Welcome Screen

I created another Admin account on the computer, but when I go to log into it it hangs on the Welcome screen.

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That's another clue.

It would have been nice to know what pests infected this machine. If SAFE MODE fails that's yet another sign a pest has had its way on the machine. details how we troubleshoot this sort of failure. Remember that you get to do all this to figure it out.

There is not enough here to write anything specific and with trojans it only gets worse since many give up remote control to others so even when you know the name of the trojan you are never sure what the person on the other end did.

Keep scanning, keep looking.

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Well, the computer will boot into that new Admin account when I do Safe Mode. But it hands indefinitely when I boot into it normally. I guess whatever got onto the computer corrupted the system too far to really do anything about it. AVG did find a Backdoor that it removed but I would say that damage is already done.
Would you recommend I restore the computer from the backup factory image?

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Read that last link I supplied. It means that all you need to do is to do the work written there. It's only slightly advanced but by now you are getting the hang of it. What you want to do is start disabling items until you find the things that are causing issues.

I can't do this for you. But you can research each startup service and item plus research your HIJACKTHIS LOG (see google) for more inside details.

You are very close to finding it.

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Then unfortunately

Then unfortunately, it sounds as if your OS is corrupted beyond any reasonable measure of repair. Hopefully you have recent backups, if not look into using Linux boot CDs to do emergency recovery operations, and take heed of the lesson to be learned here about a proper backup system.

Next would come formatting and reinstalling everything.

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