UGTS Document #40 - Last Modified: 8/29/2015 3:23 PM
Windows Explorer Stuck in XP

Sometimes Windows XP will no longer respond to requests to open folders or shortcuts. This can happen if you've configured Windows Explorer to launch each folder view in a separate process, and one of launch attempts got stuck for some reason. If this has happened, each later attempt to open a shortcut will hang also. UGTS does not know whether this is because a resource is being locked by the first stuck process, or because the later process launches are waiting on the stuck process to complete, or for some other reason.

If this is happening to you, the immediate fix is simple: run Process Explorer or Task Manager or process explorer and begin shutting down explorer.exe instances until you get to the one that's stuck.  Process Explorer is preferred to Task Manager for this kind of task, because you can right-click the process to get Properties and see the Start Time to determine which copy of Explorer is the one which got stuck (and avoid shutting down the parent explorer.exe process which shows you the desktop).