Case of the Windows 8 Explorer Hang – Part 1

Boarded the train and tried to connect to Wi-Fi, no luck, explorer mostly working but not the wi-fi button – I was teased networks are available  but clicking the little wireless icon nothing happened. Even if I clicked clicked clicked hundreds of times.

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Now I could have connected to wi-fi via netsh command but though I’d take a quick look into what might cause this…

Launching Control Panel also resulted in a “blank” screen. Start Screen operation seemed fine.

In Task Manager, I expanded to advanced view and selected Details tab, then right clicked explorer.exe and chose Analyse Wait Chain

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Analyse wait change revealed pages of data…

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All of these were blocked by svchost.exe with process ID of 976 and thread 7348.

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And we found:

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I then resorted to Process Explorer (http://live.sysinternals.com/procexp.exe)  and selected Explorer.exe and chose Properties

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Looking at the stack I notice netprofm

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To then I did the save for svchost.exe and process ID 976 … and what do we have  in this list…none other then netprofm we saw earlier. We could also use this to translate the Thread ID we found into the service.

Note: IF this is not showing any details make sure you have symbols configured (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311503), and you run ProcExp as admin (File -> Show Details for All Processes)

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This matches up with our Network List Service

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However I couldn’t stop the service.

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I killed off Explorer

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Then service immediately stopped. I restarted Explorer through File -> Run New Task -> Explorer

The Explorer hang was gone, and wi-fi could finally be connected!

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Oh and now analyse wait chain on explorer.exe it looks happy:

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If I see this re-occur frequently I might investigate further as to why netprofm is hanging up explorer…let me know if you see this issue yourself.

About chentiangemalc

specializes in end-user computing technologies. disclaimer 1) use at your own risk. test any solution in your environment. if you do not understand the impact/consequences of what you're doing please stop, and ask advice from somebody who does. 2) views are my own at the time of posting and do not necessarily represent my current view or the view of my employer and family members/relatives. 3) over the years Microsoft/Citrix/VMWare have given me a few free shirts, pens, paper notebooks/etc. despite these gifts i will try to remain unbiased.
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One Response to Case of the Windows 8 Explorer Hang – Part 1

  1. This shows why I hate Windows some times. I came to this post because this is absolutely killing me. I have set up dozens of computers and each time I set up an additional standard user after I’ve installed and set up the system, installed all applications as the pseudo-admin user that Windows Setup creates, if I log in as the normal user and want to perform any task that needs elevation, right after you enter the admin password that Windows prompts you for, the process hangs. PITA! Piece’o’sh!t!

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