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If your Windows Vista doesn’t manage to start explorer.exe on boot, you may want to try a couple of steps in order to make sure that your operating system has not got any virus and that it is running fine. Here is what to do.

  • First of all scan your computer with an antivirus and antispyware to be sure that it hasn’t got anything harmful.
  • As a second step, boot your computer in safe mode to make sure that any software installed by you has not interfered with your operating system.
  • Right after that click Start – in the Search Box, type regedit and press Enter. Locate this key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and make sure that, in the right pane, the subkey Shell having the value Explorer.exe is available
  • As a final step click Start – in the search box, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • When the scanning is over, right click on the result – run as Administrator and read KB928228 to understand how to use this data.

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12 Comments to “How to fix explorer.exe doesn’t start at boot”

  1. Freddy B. Says:

    My userinit.exe key was wrong, as well… but instead of the drive letter being incorrect, there was a “hanging” comma at the end. Deleting the comma fixed my problem.

  2. thomas Says:

    hi there, my pc doesnt give the chance to go on safe mode it restarts the computer.

  3. » Windows Vista repair Explorer EXE Says:

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  4. Dandraffbal Says:

    This article made me look at that registry key, but I saw it was correct. Then I scrolled down a little bit and noticed that my problem was because the ‘Userinit” key was set to “X:\Windows\System32\userinit.exe”

    Obviously, I don’t have Windows installed on the X: drive, so I changed it to C: and that fixed my problem. (I think this happened because someone tried to re-install Windows Vista, but it failed and failed to change that key back. WinPE mounts itself on the X: drive).

    Thanks a bunch!

  5. Optimator Says:

    Yup, the regedit method worked for me too. Thx a lot!

  6. Helmi Says:

    thank u very much. it worked when i used the regedit method and found in section shell additional .exe file next to explorer.exe ehen i removed it becomes solved

  7. rogeriotitan Says:

    thank youuu sooo much! you saved my day!!!!!!

  8. murat Says:

    thanksssssssssss ı love you

  9. William Pastuszka Says:

    Do not forget when you find the virus- make sure that you report it to Microsoft, who then will be able to identify its owner.

  10. William Pastuszka Says:

    Or even better still get Windows Live OneCare that will most definately tell you if you have a virus & get rid of the virus software after this download Gmer rootkit detector & then you will get rid of the virus completely.

    If you get stuck with any of this feel free to ask & i will run through the above with you.



  11. Web Talk Says:

    Most probabily you have got a virus. try to scan your computer with this:

  12. nicolas Says:

    Ok, please i followed this by letter but it didin’t resolved my problem omg, i am tired about starting it manually help

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