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Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... why?

 
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... why?

Can anyone please explain (to a simpleton Laughing ) why I seem to constantly have 2 separate instances of explorer.exe active, both under a single username (mine) according to Task Manager?
I'm running Vista Premium (fully patched, and apparently virus free etc) on a dual-core processor with 4GB memory.
The process(s) (explorer.exe) are apparently two concurrent instances of the same executable, located in the Windows folder ... usage (in Task Manager) can approach or exceed 200,000k per instance after I've had the PC running for a while ....which does nothing for system performance, naturally!
Any help greatly appreciated!
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drwho07



Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2296

Location: Central FL, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... wh [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I'm NOT currently on my Vista machine, but I have one instance of Explorer.EXE running. (XP-Pro-SP3)

Are both instances exactly the same, spelled the same and everything?

Can you close either one without crashing windows?

Pause:

OK, I fired up the Vista PC and checked it out.
It has just ONE version of "explorer.exe" running and it's all in lower case.
I'm not running any other programs, but Vista. I don't even have an AV program installed on that PC yet.

Have you scanned your PC for Viruses and Trojans?
My first guess would be one of those.

Doc Cool
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9845

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... wh [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Hello,

Have you tried ending one or both processes? If so, what happened?

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... wh [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Hi Doc, Goretsky ..... PC is scanned and double-scanned regularly for all known nasties, and is apparently clean, unless there is something lurking that has been completely undetected by multiple scans with various types of software.
To the best of my knowledge, there seems to be always two instances of the executable running, both identified within Task Manager as (lowercase) explorer.exe
Right-clicking either of them with Task Manager, then selecting 'Open File Location' leads me to the same place .... explorer.exe within my Windows folder.
Properties of this file indicate a size of 2.79MB, file version 6.0.6001.18000, product version 6.0.6000.16386
And yes, it IS possible to terminate one of them without crashing Windows, though it's pot-luck which one I opt for Shocked
They are both currently sat there at 197,276k and 97,380k, though CPU usage on both shows as zero.
The only difference within Task Manager is the PID number (896 & 1676 respectively)
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PhotoCarp



Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 207

Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Two instances of explorer.exe in Task Manager ... wh [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Philocalist wrote:
Can anyone please explain (to a simpleton Laughing ) why I seem to constantly have 2 separate instances of explorer.exe active, both under a single username (mine) according to Task Manager?
I'm running Vista Premium (fully patched, and apparently virus free etc) on a dual-core processor with 4GB memory.


I've seen this in XP. When no programs are running there will be one instance. If you open Windows Explorer (i.e. My Computer or My Documents) to browse folders a second instance will start.

However, your memory usage is suspect. I currently have 28,124K and 13,180K. The smaller on is a Windows Explorer window that I opened. You might want to run Hijack This and submit the results on the appropriate forum.
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