Explorer.exe, the shell we spend most of our lives using. Normally (remember this qualifier) it tends to be quite stable, but yesterday a colleague of mine started to have strange problems with it on his XP SP2 machine.
If you clicked on Start -> Run and started to type in the UNC path to a server (as you do 100 times a day) after the two slashes ‘\\’ explorer would inexplicably crash and restart. As is the case with such thing, there didn’t seem to be a logical explanation as to what was going on.
The only new software that we had been recently messing about with was from http://portableapps.com and as that gets installed onto a portable drive (thats kind of its point) we are pretty sure it wasn’t that.
When I got back in the following day, it was working again. What was the solution? Well, clearing up the History and Cache on the machine. That was it. There must have been something the the most recently used list of run, that was causing the problem. As it only occurred after typing in the leading slashes, it must have been a computer name. Unfortunately as the list was cleared we have no idea what the hell caused it.
This what what was logged into the event log on the pc:
We had a Google around for the error but didn’t really come up with anything, so if all else fails, delete your history and clear your cache!