Explorer hangs/crashes when opening specific drive in Win 10 & 11Pro


szyzk

Member
Local time
8:13 PM
Posts
3
Location
Alleghenies
OS
Windows 11 Pro 22h2
I had a sporadic problem in Win 10 Pro 21h2 with explorer hanging & crashing when accessing a specific NVMe designated as a download/catchall repository drive and it happened again today, a few days after doing an iso-based upgrade to Win 11 Pro 22h2.

It typically only begins after I've downloaded something -- but not always -- and Event Viewer offers no clues as to what's happening other than telling me that explorer was hanging.

The drive is healthy.

When this problem pops up and I attempt to view the download folder/drive through Firefox, explorer will hang and crash. If I open File Explorer and try to open the drive from the rightmost panel within File Explorer, explorer will hang and crash. But if I open File Explorer and try to open the drive from the leftmost panel explorer will only hang and crash about 50% of the time; the other 50% of the time it will properly list all the files & folders within the drive in the rightmost panel as it always does.

And of course this issue typically resolves itself after a few minutes of it starting. That leads me to think it has something to do with explorer's indexing of the drive, but... I don't know.

I've done a few searches but haven't come up with anything; hopefully I didn't miss an obvious fix somewhere. Does anyone have a suggestion for what might be happening?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-12600k (P:50x 1-2c, 48x 3-4c, 47x 5-8c; E:38x 1-8c)
    Motherboard
    Asus Tuf Z690-Plus Wifi D4
    Memory
    Predator Apollo 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz (15-15-15-35)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Dual RTX 3070 v2 OC
    Hard Drives
    1TB T-Force Cardea Z44L Gen4 NVMe
    MSI Spatium M470 Gen 4 NVMe
    1TB Intel 670p Gen3 NVMe
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova G+ 750w
    Case
    Antec DP503
    Cooling
    CPU: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 w/ 3 x 120mm Iceberg Thermal Icegale Xtra; Case: 3 x 140mm Scythe Kaze Flex 1800
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-10105
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B560M-A
    Memory
    OLOy Blade 32GB 3200MHz (16-16-16-35)
    Hard Drives
    512GB Toshiba Gen3 NVMe; 6TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
    PSU
    EVGA BQ 600w
    Case
    Thermaltake Versa H15
    Cooling
    CPU: Stock Intel boxed cooler; Case: 4 x 120mm Scythe Kaze Flex Slim 1800; HDDs: 1 x 92mm Kaze Flex Slim 2500
    Other Info
    this low-powered machine wears many hats: it gets to be a generic home server/nas, pi-hole dns, streaming plex server, dayz lan server, and torrent box, among other things
Could some hidden malware causes the issue? First scan the drive with Windows Defender or your third party antivirus (right-click and select scan with...) Then download Superantispyware or Malwarebytes Antimalware and do a full scan of your computer and make sure you include this drive. To make sure no malware runs in the background interfering with the scan, restart in Safe Mode. To do that hold SHIFT and restart. You should see a choice to continue or troubleshoot. Select troubleshoot and then select the Advanced startup option. You should see a list of how to start Windows. Select 4 Safe Mode, or 5 Safe Mode with network if you need internet access. Some WiFi cards don't automatically connect in safe mode, use a LAN cable if you want internet access.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 64-bit (build 22631.3374)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v23H2 (build 22631.3374)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Gainward NE5105T018G1-1070F (nVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 3.0 graphics drivers, WEI score 7.4
Could some hidden malware causes the issue? First scan the drive with Windows Defender or your third party antivirus (right-click and select scan with...) Then download Superantispyware or Malwarebytes Antimalware and do a full scan of your computer and make sure you include this drive. To make sure no malware runs in the background interfering with the scan, restart in Safe Mode. To do that hold SHIFT and restart. You should see a choice to continue or troubleshoot. Select troubleshoot and then select the Advanced startup option. You should see a list of how to start Windows. Select 4 Safe Mode, or 5 Safe Mode with network if you need internet access. Some WiFi cards don't automatically connect in safe mode, use a LAN cable if you want internet access.

Thanks for the reply! I should've mentioned this already: Defender and Malwarebytes have been run on all of my drives. And while it's far from comprehensive or scientific, I've also watched network, CPU, and OS activity while explorer is having this issue and I haven't seen anything concerning.

It could be completely coincidental and it could be that I'm just misremembering, but my brain wants to say this is only happening after I've downloaded zipped files. Since it's such an intermittent problem though I haven't kept a log. I'll do that from here on out.

I'm an enthusiast at best so it's likely there's something in Event Viewer that I haven't uncovered yet. I'm snowed in so I planned on spending time later today looking into that.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-12600k (P:50x 1-2c, 48x 3-4c, 47x 5-8c; E:38x 1-8c)
    Motherboard
    Asus Tuf Z690-Plus Wifi D4
    Memory
    Predator Apollo 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz (15-15-15-35)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Dual RTX 3070 v2 OC
    Hard Drives
    1TB T-Force Cardea Z44L Gen4 NVMe
    MSI Spatium M470 Gen 4 NVMe
    1TB Intel 670p Gen3 NVMe
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova G+ 750w
    Case
    Antec DP503
    Cooling
    CPU: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 w/ 3 x 120mm Iceberg Thermal Icegale Xtra; Case: 3 x 140mm Scythe Kaze Flex 1800
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-10105
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B560M-A
    Memory
    OLOy Blade 32GB 3200MHz (16-16-16-35)
    Hard Drives
    512GB Toshiba Gen3 NVMe; 6TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
    PSU
    EVGA BQ 600w
    Case
    Thermaltake Versa H15
    Cooling
    CPU: Stock Intel boxed cooler; Case: 4 x 120mm Scythe Kaze Flex Slim 1800; HDDs: 1 x 92mm Kaze Flex Slim 2500
    Other Info
    this low-powered machine wears many hats: it gets to be a generic home server/nas, pi-hole dns, streaming plex server, dayz lan server, and torrent box, among other things
Do you have any compression app such as WinRAR? If not install WinRAR or 7zip or whatever and make it default for .zip files and other formats. This might fix your issue which I suspect is because Windows try to figure out what to do with the compressed file you try to download. If you have a default application for it, it should not spend time to figure out what to do.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 64-bit (build 22631.3374)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v23H2 (build 22631.3374)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Gainward NE5105T018G1-1070F (nVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 3.0 graphics drivers, WEI score 7.4
Do you have any compression app such as WinRAR? If not install WinRAR or 7zip or whatever and make it default for .zip files and other formats. This might fix your issue which I suspect is because Windows try to figure out what to do with the compressed file you try to download. If you have a default application for it, it should not spend time to figure out what to do.

Lo and behold, Explorer was the default for zips and 7Zip was the default for rars, 7z, and everything else. I have no idea how that happened but I've corrected it. Thanks for the obvious suggestion!

Now I'm really interested to see if the problem pops up again or if this was the solution!
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-12600k (P:50x 1-2c, 48x 3-4c, 47x 5-8c; E:38x 1-8c)
    Motherboard
    Asus Tuf Z690-Plus Wifi D4
    Memory
    Predator Apollo 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz (15-15-15-35)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Dual RTX 3070 v2 OC
    Hard Drives
    1TB T-Force Cardea Z44L Gen4 NVMe
    MSI Spatium M470 Gen 4 NVMe
    1TB Intel 670p Gen3 NVMe
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova G+ 750w
    Case
    Antec DP503
    Cooling
    CPU: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 w/ 3 x 120mm Iceberg Thermal Icegale Xtra; Case: 3 x 140mm Scythe Kaze Flex 1800
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22h2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-10105
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B560M-A
    Memory
    OLOy Blade 32GB 3200MHz (16-16-16-35)
    Hard Drives
    512GB Toshiba Gen3 NVMe; 6TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB WD Red Plus HDD; 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
    PSU
    EVGA BQ 600w
    Case
    Thermaltake Versa H15
    Cooling
    CPU: Stock Intel boxed cooler; Case: 4 x 120mm Scythe Kaze Flex Slim 1800; HDDs: 1 x 92mm Kaze Flex Slim 2500
    Other Info
    this low-powered machine wears many hats: it gets to be a generic home server/nas, pi-hole dns, streaming plex server, dayz lan server, and torrent box, among other things
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