Windows explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close error

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After logging in into XP, I have encountered this window stating,

Windows explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.

However, whenever I click the close button the desktop disappears and therefore I need to restart my computer using the restart button, but the error shows up again after reboot, I cannot use my PC because of this.

How can I fix this problem?

I have included the screenshot for reference.

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Best Answer by KevinN
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Answered By 0 points N/A #121957

Windows explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close error

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The error your screenshot shows seems to be related to Windows XP's Media and Video thumbnail preview. 

The file shmedia.dll is related to that feature.

Try this:

1.  Open a command prompt window.  I don't know if this is possible in your case since you said the desktop disappears after you press "Close".  In any case, try to open a command prompt by pressing Windows logo key + R to bring up the Run box.  Type in "cmd" (without the quotes).  This will launch a command prompt window.  If Windows logo key + R doesn't work, try booting up in safe mode then try Step 1 again.  Once you have a command prompt, proceed to the next step.

2.  To disable the Media and Video thumbnail preview, type this in the command prompt.

regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

If you want to enable media preview again, just do Step 1 and type in

regsvr32 shmedia.dll

Answered By 0 points N/A #121958

Windows explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close error

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Hello Cedrick.

shmedia.dll is probably corrupted.  You have to replace the corrupted dll with a working copy from Windows.

1.  Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories.

2.  Select Command Prompt.  Right-click > Run as… choose Administrator.  Enter the Administrator password if required.

3.  A command prompt window will open with administrator rights.

4.  Enter "sfc /scannow" (do not include the quotes).

5. System File Checker will launch.  SFC will check all Windows system files and replace them with a fresh copy if corrupt.

6.  Wait for the entire process to complete.

You can also try a System Restore to a restore point when "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close" did not occur.

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