Q

Recovering Windows 2000 after an explore.exe error

Expert Kevin Beaver answers a user's question about an explore.exe error.

I have a Dell 800 Mhz desktop running Windows 2000. When I boot it, Windows seems to be coming up, but then it says explore.exe has a problem and offers "OK or Ignore". If I click "OK" it reboots the system and comes up with the same error. If I click "ignore" the same error message appears and forces me to click OK in order to proceed. This vicious loop keeps recurring. I tried going into safe mode and rolling back to the last known configuration in an attempt to repair the operating system but it says "operating system not found". So, I ask, how does it know explore.exe has a problem if there is no OS present? Anyway, I hear there is a floppy based fix that must be used to reboot the system and then I am supposed to follow several reboot sequences to rewrite the files back to what they are supposed to be but I can't seem to find the details about making the floppy and where to get the information that goes on it. Any help would be appreciated as my sons precious entertainment files are on his desktop.
Your best bet is going to be to use Winternal's ERD Commander to recover the system. It's not inexpensive, but it'll likely be cheaper and faster than hiring a consultant or taking your computer into your local electronics store. Plus it's an almost guaranteed fix.
This was first published in January 2006
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