PowerArchiver shell extensions possibly crashing windows explorer.exe

  • I’ve been dealing with an intermittent explorer.exe crash for 5-6 years now. It happens randomly and will usually occur multiple times within a single session of an hour or two on my machine when manipulating files through Windows Explorer. explorer.exe is the only thing that ever crashes, so it’s not hardware IMO. I’ve done all hardware diagnostics and RAM is good. I’ve even swapped out motherboards with different brand and even the exact same one and it still crashes. sfc /scannow indicates system files are fine. I’ve done multiple reinstalls of the OS with no positive results. This crashing has happened on Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 10 64-bit. It seemed to get more frequent with Windows 10 after upgrading last year. I’ve also been using PowerArchiver throughout that time period (upgrading over time with new releases). I recently disabled all non-Microsoft extensions via ShellExView and saw no crashes for about 10 days, which is really unusual. I turned back them all back on after 10 days and saw another explorer.exe crash within the hour. So I disabled all 32-bit extensions and saw another crash. Following that I disabled all the PowerArchiver shell extensions and haven’t seen a crash after a day of heavy usage manipulating files within Windows Explorer, which doesn’t happen for me. The crash dumps I’ve captured don’t seem to indicate PowerArchiver is involved but I have a hunch it has something do with PowerArchiver shell extensions. The system even feels smoother with the PA extensions disabled. Windows 10 reliability monitor always has the same type of problem:

    Faulting Application Path:  C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
    Problem signature
    Problem Event Name: BEX64
    Application Name:   explorer.exe
    Application Version:    10.0.17134.165
    Application Timestamp:  4031a9f8
    Fault Module Name:  StackHash_e78e
    Fault Module Version:
    Fault Module Timestamp: 00000000
    Exception Offset:   PCH_8D_FROM_ntdll+0x000000000009AA54
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Data: 0000000000000008
    OS Version: 10.0.17134.
    Locale ID:  1033
    Additional Information 1:   e78e
    Additional Information 2:   e78e327659b46c9a0c6916396b253cbf
    Additional Information 3:   cebf
    Additional Information 4:   cebf952c5db535ae7880488aafce55d9
    Extra information about the problem
    Bucket ID:  1a57e4e784fbc735c231c68bd88581a9 (1311047270476906921)

    I know this is a very nebulous explanation but is there any way to link this up to PA shell extensions as the cause? I can provide the crash dumps and additional information if necessary.

  • Alpha Testers

    I’ve also come to the conclusion that PowerArchiver is one of the top suspects in the case of the occasional explorer.exe crash on 64 bit Windows 7.

  • conexware

    We have been investigating shell integration for a while now, it is really hard to catch via debugger when something happens. There will be some measures taken in upcoming PA 2019 so you can check if you can notice any crashes in the future. I will be updating this thread when we released the build with it. Thanks!

  • Alpha Testers

    My god, I have the same issue for ages, and I thought it might be related to PA, but saw no one reporting, I guessed it was my OS that was messed up. My Explorer crashes usually when right clicking, or when shutting down. It started in Windows 7 x64 and then migrated to Windows 10 as well.