Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2010 January 5

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January 5[edit]

The buttons above the Wikipedia edit window[edit]

I'm curious how the buttons above the edit window (for inserting bold, brackets, and yada yada) work. Looking at the page source, I see they're generated by

<script type="text/javascript">
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_bold.png","Bold text","\'\'\'","\'\'\'","Bold text","mw-editbutton-bold");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_italic.png","Italic text","\'\'","\'\'","Italic text","mw-editbutton-italic");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_link.png","Internal link","[[","]]","Link title","mw-editbutton-link");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_extlink.png","External link (remember http:// prefix)","[","]","http://www.example.com link title","mw-editbutton-extlink");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_headline.png","Level 2 headline","\n== "," ==\n","Headline text","mw-editbutton-headline");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_image.png","Embedded file","[[File:","]]","Example.jpg","mw-editbutton-image");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_media.png","File link","[[Media:","]]","Example.ogg","mw-editbutton-media");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_math.png","Mathematical formula (LaTeX)","\x3cmath\x3e","\x3c/math\x3e","Insert formula here","mw-editbutton-math");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_nowiki.png","Ignore wiki formatting","\x3cnowiki\x3e","\x3c/nowiki\x3e","Insert non-formatted text here","mw-editbutton-nowiki");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_sig.png","Your signature with timestamp","--~~~~","","","mw-editbutton-signature");
addButton("/skins-1.5/common/images/button_hr.png","Horizontal line (use sparingly)","\n----\n","","","mw-editbutton-hr");

</script>

I can tell what all the parameters in those function calls are for, except the last one ("mw-editbutton-bold", etc.). Can anyone tell me what those parameters do?

Also, is this bit of code the only thing that is needed to make buttons like this, or does it rely on something else (I noticed that higher up in the source code, several javascripts are imported). Pardon my ignorance; the only thing I really know anything about is Tk, so this is pretty unfamiliar to me. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:15, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I do not know what the last parameter is (some ID?), but I do know that you cannot create buttons of this kind simply by entering the code above in an otherwise empty HTML document. The function addButton must be defined somewhere. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 01:22, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
There is a lot of other code you aren't seeing. It relies on the function addButton, which is in edit.js, which itself calls mwEditButtons, which is in some other file, and etc. In a big project like MediaWiki, it is not uncommon that it is built up on many such script files, each one making it so that the final code to add a button is really short, but eventually devolving down to the Javascript necessary to position the button in the right place, make it do the right think when you click on it, etc. These parameters are custom (not standard Javascript) so you'd have to look up the actual code. You can't just copy and paste this code on your own site and have it work—it will require having things set up the same way they are in MediaWiki. If you look at the page source, you can see that there are maybe seven external scripts called each time the editing page is loaded (look for the script src= tag for external scripts).--Mr.98 (talk) 01:25, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
That explains it...I was wondering why I didn't see any reference to a function listed explicitly in the parameters, and figured it would be something like that. Thanks, rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:29, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The final parameter is just the element ID, for reference. :) Ale_Jrbtalk 15:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

RHCSS[edit]

HOW MANY RHCSS IN INDIA —Preceding unsigned comment added by Subho46 (talkcontribs) 07:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

What's RHCSS? --Sean 16:46, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Possibly a Red Hat Certified Security Specialist, but I have no idea how many Indians qualify. If so, then you could try http://www.redhat.com/search or your favourite general search engine. Certes (talk) 00:31, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

CRYSTAL REPORT USING JAVA[edit]

HOW TO CREATE CRYSTAL REPORT IN JAVA? I AM WORKING ON PROJECT USING CORE JAVA. I SEARCHED ON INTERNET BUT I DID NOT GET THE COMPLETE INFORMATION.IF YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD ANSWER ME PLZ. OR GIVE ME WEB NAME SO I FINISH MY PROJECT ON RIGHT TIME. I KNOW HOW TO CREATE CRYSTAL REPORT IN C# BUT I WANT TO WORK IN JAVA ONLY. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ashish.kalyana (talkcontribs) 08:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Crystal Reports for Eclipse is a plugin for Eclipse's Java IDE. Nimur (talk) 11:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Plus we're case sensitive like Java. Please try and use lower case except for the first letter of sentences mainly as in other discussions you see here. Some people call ALL UPPERCASE shouting. Dmcq (talk) 12:05, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
actually, javaProgrammers prefer camelCase, in myExperience... though the language doesn't mandate these stylistic conventions. Nimur (talk) 12:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Microsoft Office Word 2007 PDF Problem[edit]

I have written a rather nice *.docx file in Microsoft Office Word 2007. If you'd like, you can see it here. Of course, I want to save it as a PDF file. But the "Save as PDF/XPS" function in Word 2007, that works for most of my documents, does not work for this one. Instead, winword.exe crashes after it has exported the last page in the document (according to the status bar), and no *.pdf file is generated. (I have also tried to save it as a XPS document, but that crashes winword.exe as well, surprisingly.)

So, I tried to print the document using PDFCreator instead. PDFCreator does indeed not crash, but the output looks dreadful. First of all, all example code in the document is written in DejaVu Sans Mono (one of very few good-looking free monospaced Unicode fonts), and all such text is missing from the output PDF! In addition, my nice PNG Windows Vista screenshots, that look great in the *.docx file, look terrible in the PDF.

What can I do? Is there any modification I can do to the *.docx file, so that the Microsoft exporter will work? Is there any settings I can make in PDFCreator to eliminate the two issues? I suppose one additional solution would be to buy Adobe Acrobat. Will this software be able to create PDFs from *.docx files, without any problems? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 14:10, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

If you're considering alternative software, I recommend CutePDF Writer. CutePDF is an alternative, free (zero-cost, but not freely-licensed) PDF generator that works on Windows. It sets itself up as a virtual printer, so any program which has a "print" capability can simply print to the CutePDF writer, which allows you to save a PDF. I've found it to be the most useful tool for generating PDFs in general; it is very stable and doesn't muck up the documents. Nimur (talk) 14:50, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I actually have tried that one, but the result is exactly the same as PDFCreator gave me, i.e. missing text and ugly screenshots. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 15:06, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Then there's probably some issue in the docx file - are you using thumbnailed image previews, including any .eps files in the document, or doing any unusual text box formatting (transparency, etc.)? Also note that PDFs can optionally render text as a raster or as a text area to be rendered later with a system font. Since you're using a font which is not default for Windows, you may have an issue related to this. If you can force the PDF to rasterize all text (I think this is an option in CutePDF), you might not have as much trouble with the missing monospace fonts. This will unfortunately increase your PDF size (as you're basically bitmapping the text, instead of storing it in ASCII and re-rendering it). Nimur (talk) 15:27, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
No, there are no particularly esoteric formatting in the document. (Well, I make heavy use of page layout settings, such as different headers/footers on different pages etc., but that works just fine.)
Yes, rasterising the monospaced text would solve that problem, but I think it is a very ugly solution. Not only because the file size increases, but also because the rasterised text will not be scalable (perhaps not even searchable).
But how to adress the second problem, the deterioration of the screenshot PNGs? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 15:41, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the first problem is caused by whatever PDF writer you are using failing to embed the necessary fonts into the document. I don't know which font model PDF uses, but possibly you do not have them in a suitable format, or the software is plain broken (insert rant about writing anything complex in Word here). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:12, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you using ClearType or anti-aliasing somewhere? The problems with the images seem to be similar to what happens if you take a screen dump and then try to scale it. 87.112.68.96 (talk) 17:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Windows Vista uses ClearType everywhere, and ClearType is a sort of anti-aliasing of fonts. I have never observed any problems rescaling screensots... --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 17:13, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, the problem with the screenshots is the distorted title bars of the windows. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I took a look. I have a guess to venture: The problem is related to the way Word handles embedded image files that are scaled down. If you don't feel like dickering with the options and scaling of the embedded pictures, try using Irfanview to scale the picture down ahead of time so its width is smaller than the width of your document at the expected print / reading size, and then import the picture so that Word is displaying it at its native size. I realize this won't look good when the user magnifies the page, but you may judge it to look better. (BTW, my first recommendation would also have been to use CutePDF Writer, which I use a lot.) Comet Tuttle (talk) 19:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I opened this .docx file in Word 2007 (in WinXP), saved it as pdf, and experienced neither a crash nor (as far as I can see) any missing text problems. Looks fairly nice, too. I would suggest trying saving this file as pdf on a different computer.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:43, January 5, 2010 (UTC)

I actually have two other computers with Word 2007, so I'll try that right away. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 19:55, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Hey, Ezhiki is smarter than me, I could have tried that. I just 'printed' it with CutePDF and the screenshots still look blocky and scaled. I maintain my pre-scaling recommendation. Comet Tuttle (talk) 19:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I just tried to use Microsoft Word's Save as PDF function on all my computers, but they all crash with this particular document. Ezhiki has a different OS. That might be it, but I wonder if Ezhiki has DejaVu Sans Mono installed? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:03, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't (all I have is the standard fonts that come with WinXP, plus whatever new fonts are added by Office 2007 by default).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 20:09, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
I also tried (the trial version) of pdf995, and got (what I suspect are) similar results to CuteFTP and PDFCreator—the images are choppy and scaled. If you can't try saving this document on a WinXP machine, the pre-scaling recommendation is probably your only viable choice.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 20:19, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
I think I have found the problem. Microsoft Word 2007 appears always to crash when you export a document contaning the DejaVu Sans font to PDF or XPS. Can anyone confirm this (or give an counterexample)? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

(multiple ECs) I was able to save it as PDF using the built in Word 2007 PDF creator without the DejaVu Sans Mono font. The screenshots look okay I think but not surprisingly whatever font it replaced the monospaced/code font with causes major problems e.g. with matrices. I then installed Deja Sans Vu but it starts to crash so it seems that's the problem. Also saving page 1-7 is fine, when you include page 8 it starts to have problems and that's where DejaVu Sans Mono starts I think. Whether it's a problem with the Microsoft PDF engine or the font or both I don't know obviously. Office save to PDF provides limited options I think so I'm not sure if/how you can fix it but I may have a look later when I get better access. I also tried printing to XPS but that crashes as well. However saving to PDF using the Office-Acrobat CS4/9 PDF exporter seems to work fine. The file seems to look okay, at least I didn't notice any specific problems. I have a sample file I could send to you via e-mail if you want, e-mail me so I have your address and perhaps leave a message on my talk page or alternatively provide a place to upload them (I probably have places I could upload but lazy to find them). I've simply used the default Acrobat settings, have limited access at this time but should be able to do more later. Obviously given the price, this is unlikely to be an option for you personally but if you only want this and/or a few files I could make them for you. Alternatively, you could try doing something like making a PostScript file and using GhostScript. Nil Einne (talk) 20:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I installed this font, created a quick one-line document using it, and tried to save it as pdf. Word crashed. I think that's indeed your culprit.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 20:27, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think so. That's bad, for the font is crutial for the document. Thanks to all who helped me confirm this.
When it comes to the PDFCreator/CutePDF/... option, downscaling the PNGs does not work - I tried that. See example. I will try to convert the files to BMP without transparancy. But even if I got the screenshots to look OK, I really cannot accept that all instances of program code vanish! --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:33, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, converting the PNGs to 24-bit BMPs works! But the missing text? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I also want to thank Nil Einne for his vert kind offer, but I am afraid that there will be many versions of this document, so I really need to be able to produce PDFs myself. My e-mail adress is of the form FirstName@LastName.Country (I live in Sweden : .se). It would be interesting to see how good Acrobat is. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sending it now. Also I was trying to convert it via GhostScript but found that printing doesn't work either. On further testing, even printing to my real, non postscript printer doesn't work. Even further testing shows using DejaVu Sans causes a printing crash with WordPad in both Vista and Windows 7 and NotePad in 7 (not tested Vista) so it seems the Microsoft printing subsystem (which I'm guessing is used for the internal Office PDF and XPS exporter) really doesn't like the font. I also tested it on FireFox with a simple HTML like this

<html> <body> <font face="DejaVu Sans"> Meow </font> </body> </html>

and tried to print and yes it crashes although fortunately I didn't lose this message as FireFox saved it ;-)
I also found that it's only DejaVu Sans and DejaVu Sans Condensed that don't work (well didn't try with the italics and bold), DejaVu Sans Light and DejaVu Sans Mono work fine (and this is in NotePad, WordPad and Office). DejaVu LGC also seems to have the same problem but didn't test it much.
But anyway, given that this appears to be a Windows wide printing problem with the font, it seems unlikely no one has noticed it so perhaps you can find some more info/help now you know that. Whether it's a MS bug or a problem with the font, I don't know but either way since it's open source you could modify the font if you work out what's causing the MS printing subsystem to crash and perhaps someone already has. And if it is a Microsoft problem in the long term perhaps you can convince them to fix it somehow... Of course the other option is to see if you can rework your documents to only use Mono and Light in which case it should be fine with the MS PDF export hopefully.
P.S. Yes I know <font> is depreciated in HTML.
Nil Einne (talk) 21:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the important font is DejaVu Sans Mono, which by itself appears to be working. I tried to replace all instances of DejaVu Sans to DejaVu Sans Mono in Word, but strangely enough it did not work. Probably there is some or a few characters in the document that were not replaced. I think I will try to uninstall DejaVu Sans. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 21:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Since I uninstalled the DejaVu Sans font, the Save as PDF option in Microsoft Word works! --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 22:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Bit late but I finally managed to send the file (had some problems unrelated to the font issues). I'm not sure what font Word will use to replace the missing fonts but if it causes problems or you want to remove the use of the font in the document; in case you don't know, Word does have a Search (& Replace) option for fonts albeit it doesn't seem to find all instances of DejaVu Sans for me (in particular it didn't seem to find the brackets () at least). I didn't spend much time so you may be able to work out why it doesn't seem to be finding some instances. If still having problems locating the usage, a good thing to do is to print the document because then it crashes on the page causing problems. (I also found that changing the font in the entire document to DejaVu Sans Mono works as a simple proof of concept that Mono definitely doesn't cause problems.) Anyway glad we could help! Nil Einne (talk) 23:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I used the search and replace dialog to change all DejaVu Sans to DejaVu Sans Mono, but apparently Word did miss at least one character, somewhere (perhaps the "font" of a CRLF or something else subtle). But after I uninstalled the font, it could no longer cause any problems. Thanks again for all help! --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 23:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Resolved

Problems with Format Factory (v 2.20)[edit]

I looked all over the internet for help with this and found none, so i decided to come here.

I am trying to convert some files i recorded off my tuning card using windows media center. (It uses the format ".DVR-MS" which i assume is some arbitrary microsoft format. By the way i am using Windows Vista Premium x64)

I convert this using the program "Format Factory" (v 2.20) and it seems to work fine except that no matter what settings i have, i convert to .avi or .mpg and it will give the top of the video this little area where the data is scrambled. This area of the video is supposed to be black anyway so it doesnt matter, but it looks like little random black and white lines ripping all over the area, and its really annoying!

Does anyone know a setting i could use or any other thing i could do to fix this? I also have sony vegas, but since that cant open Microsoft's bizzare format (and format factory can!) I think using Vegas (at least in a first step) is out of the question. :(

Any ideas please?

97.64.173.66 (talk) 14:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)


PS: Here is an idea of what the scrambled stuff looks like at the top... I hope this helps.

Broken Video Screenshot

97.64.173.66 (talk) 14:23, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

ffmpeg can crop (and pad if you want to) video. --91.145.89.207 (talk) 15:01, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Duff laptop reality check[edit]

It's a long time since I last had cause to try to set up machines from scratch - my experience is from the dos 2.x to windows 3.x period - so ... I've been given a laptop to look at. It has XP on it, but it's obviously borked; it boots, gets to the desktop, then kinda dies very slowly - applications either do not run or take an age to do little or nothing.

Obvious solution, I thought, was to drop the current operating system and reinstall XP from scratch. However, on booting from an XP install CD, I get an error that XP cannot find a hard drive on the machine. Do I conclude from that that there may be a disk controller problem and that the fundamental problem is a hardware issue? Put another way, all things being equal, when booting from an XP installation CD on a basic laptop, the operating system should be able to see the hard drive? Any good suggestions for next steps given this situation (other than to give the machine back to its owner with a "sorry, but this is an ex-laptop, it has ceased to be". thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:32, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Can you boot to the BIOS to see if the hard disk is protected in any way (or if you can see it from in there?) All other things being equal, you should be able to the the disk. Have you tried booting a Linux LiveCD to check the hard disk without modifying it? Nimur (talk) 14:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
It sounds like you need to get the device driver for the hard disk on a floppy disk and whilst XP is first loading up you need to press F6 so it can read the driver from the floppy. After this it should detect the hard drive okay. There's more information available on the microsoft site here. As for where to get the driver from, if the owner didn't get a disk with the computer and/or they've lost it then possibly the computer manufacturer will offer it for download. ZX81 talk 15:06, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm a couple of days away from seeing the machine again. I'll take up the various suggestions and see where I get to. --Tagishsimon (talk) 17:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

OpenSuse[edit]

Hi I am trying to install OpenSuse 11.2 in my laptop. It gives me error message can not connect to the site to update. No Internet. I installed Fedora on the same laptop, and NO problem at all. I can update through the internet.But I like OpenSuse. Sorry I can not get to the Internet. My laptop is new and has:

  • Intel Core2 Duo Processor T6400
  • 2.0 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2 cashe
  • 4 GB DDR2
  • 802.11a/b/g/Draft N WLAN

Kingpin13 (talk) on behalf of Wikialimo (talk · contribs) copied from Open Suse 11.2 login in the internet problem with my laptop prefix:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives 17:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Your opensuse doesn't have some module/driver fedora has. Running for i in /sys/class/net/*; do echo "$(basename $i): $(basename $(readlink $i/device/driver/module) 2> /dev/null)"; done on the fedora machine will reveal what module is associated with each network interface. If you post that here we can help with installing the module. --91.145.89.207 (talk) 17:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
By what method are you attempting to install opensuse 11.2? Are you attempting a full installation, or an upgrade of an existing earlier version? If you wish to perform a full installation then you can simply download and burn the full DVD, which, during the installation does not require any Internet access. Rjwilmsi 19:02, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Windows explorer crashes every time[edit]

I'm hoping someone can help me with this problem. Everytime I try to open a folder or My Computer Windows Explorer crashes. When it crashes, it doesn't generate the usual error report but it prompts me to update windows.

I've peformed a system restore to a point in time where I didn't have the problem, no luck.

I've disabled Data execution prevention for explorer.exe, still no luck.

Someone suggested the problem may be a fualty shell extension and I've downloaded a shell viewer but after a quick scan I didn't see anything that might have been causing the problem.

I checked the event viewer logs and the error information is as follows: Faulting application explorer.exe, version 6.0.6000.16771, time stamp 0x4907deda, faulting module SHLWAPI.dll, version 6.0.6000.16386, time stamp 0x4549bdb9, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x0001e0e5, process id 0xe4c, application start time 0x01ca8e5117ecd44d.

Does anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance.

I'm running Windows Vista Home edition, 32 bit —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.250.7.109 (talk) 22:40, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

P.S. I would really rather not reformat my computer as I have some important files. Normally I would just put those files on an external drive...but I need Windows Explorer for that.

99.250.7.109 (talk) 22:28, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

As far as evacuating your data: you can just use the command line or any number of specialized backup packages to move your files — or even transfer the disk to a functional computer that can archive them. --Tardis (talk) 22:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
My condolences; this sounds very frustrating. Could you clarify your statement, "I've peformed a system restore to a point in time where I didn't have the problem, no luck"? Does that mean you've rewound as far as you can, and Explorer still crashes? If so, I would give up, buy a new hard disk to be the primary C: hard disk, install Windows and all your apps on the new hard disk, and copy stuff over from the D: hard disk as needed. Sorry about this (and about the draconian advice). Comet Tuttle (talk) 23:07, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Am I correct you don't get any crashes if you don't open explorer? Also what is the message it gives when it crashes and ask you to update? Does it give the same error every time? If this is a desktop in particular (with laptops it may be harder to get access to and connect the disk to another computer), my recommendation would be to take the disk to a working computer and backup the important files then try formating it. It's not really clear to me what the problem is from the information provided. It could be a disk problem but I don't see enough information to convince me it is. It could be a problem with other hardware. Either way, this does put your data at risk. If it's a problem with some other hardware, installing a new disk is not likely to help, and if you keep your main disk connected there's a chance you could lose data while setting up the new disk. However it could also simply be a software issue, in which case buying new hardware would be a waste (although you may need a new disk to backup your data if you don't have access to any and you can't back it up to a friends computer). I would recommend once you get this fixed you consider good backup practices if you have important data. Mechanical disks can die at any time and have a relatively high failure rate compared to a number of other computer components. Solid state disks are less likely to die but you are still at risk from corruption (particularly file system corruption), hardware failure (particularly a power supply failure) causing corruption or damage, malware, accidential deletion, theft or loss of your computer (including natural disasters and things like fire although if your store your backups at home you may not be much better off) etc Nil Einne (talk) 00:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
From further research, it appears SHLWAPI.dll is part of the Windows update API which explains why it tells you to update your computer.Edit somehow got confused, ignore that. It's possible this was simply corrupted or somehow has gone missing (which could be a sign of malware). Have you tried running in safe mode (particularly safe mode with the command line)? Alternatively you could try the Windows Vista Recovery Environment. BTW, you wouldn't happen to have Mass Downloader would you? Nil Einne (talk) 00:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Not sure if this is what you have but I'd try some virus scanners. I had the same problem with my computer, of explorer crashing whenever opened, (I used a replacement for explorer for a while) then tried a bunch of spyware scanners (Avira, Superantispyware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, A-2 Squared or something like that) and it found about 5 viruses and after they were removed my computer worked fine. 66.133.196.152 (talk) 10:44, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Btw the explorer replacement I used was xplorer lite free (available at http://zabkat.com/x2lite.htm). Ironically one of those many virus scans I used said it too was spyware but I think it gave me a warning and I figured it was just a false positive. It didn't matter though - I deleted the program because I did not need it anymore. I doubt it is spyware though. Somehow it made sense to me that a virus scanner would see something that is supposed to be a explorer replacement as something bad. 66.133.196.152 (talk) 10:52, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice so far. Allow me to clarify a few points. I've rewound my computer using system restore to a point two weeks ago where I knew there was no problem. I have not gone to the earliest possible restore point. Do you think that's relevant?

Yes, Windows Explorer crashes every time I open a folder. Yes, it is the same error every time. When I open My Computer for example, I can see all my drives and icons for about two seconds. Then, it crashes. A window pops up "Windows Explorer has stopped working" followed immediately by "Windows Explorer is restarting", WE re-starts and a message pops up saying that Windows update can fix some stability and security issues.

I've just finished sfc/scannow and it says some files are corrupted. I can't open the CBS log for some reason because permissions is denied even though I am the admin. Someone has suggested that the issue is some out of whack folder permissions. I'm not sure I buy that and I have no idea how to fix that without Windows Explorer, anyways.

I have downloaded explorexp and while it's functioning, I can't seem to right click anything. Whenever I do, the menu items are all blanked out. Some blank menu items have an arrow indicating a sub menu, which are also blank. I'm wondering if this is somehow related to my Windows Explorer/ shell extension issues.

Thanks. 99.250.7.109 (talk) 16:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I bit the bullet and re-installed windows. Thanks to everyone for the advice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.250.7.109 (talk) 22:31, 6 January 2010 (UTC)