Microsoft, Fix Your Damn OS (Please)

I discovered halfway through writing this entry the first time that when Windows XP starts doing it’s “refresh the screen icons” thing a lot it means that the OS is going to inexplicibly lock up and reboot the computer Real Soon Now. sigh I wish I knew what XP was doing when it does this, because it’s really annoying. Maybe it’s the underlying graphical shell dying and being restarted by the OS. If so, that’s one unstable POS. The same thing used to happen in OS/2 2.x back in the day. If something as disasterous as the GUI shell were to die, it’d restart itself (without killing a modem download either I might add, that impressed me). The difference was those GUI restarts were days or weeks apart, not minutes. Or seconds. Anyone know what is going on? Nothing obvious in MSDN, and I know it’s not just me, I remember some A-list (hehehe) blogger talking about this months ago, saying it started happening more and more since he installed SP1. Can’t find the link though.

Addendum to Socoblizer Readers (and others). My bitch was not about the crash, I know those happen, I don’t care if it’s the drivers or the OS or both working together to annoy me. My complaint was the icon refreshing that is happening.

7 Comments on “Microsoft, Fix Your Damn OS (Please)”

  1. It’s up to applications that register an icon in the system tray to detect that Explorer has been restarted and recreate their icons.
    On Windows 95 or NT 4.0 with the Active Desktop installed, or on Windows 98, 2000 or later, Explorer sends a registered message to all top-level windows to indicate that the taskbar has been created. See

  2. I am not sure if what is happening to you is the same thing that happens to me. When I use windows explorer (explorer.exe) my machine experiences random crashes all day long. I get a nasty **Memory Referenced at 0FXCC22 ** yaddaa yadda message. I have to force restart explorer.exe. I solved this by installing Aston.
    I was at the end of my rope….

  3. After you send the crash report, go to your Application Event Log and suck out the bucket number (it’s an 8-digit number). I can go look up that crash report and try to see what is wrong.
    The problem with making Explorer so extensible is that it can be extended badly…

  4. It wasn’t the crash that pissed me off as much as the random icon refreshing on the desktop. Honestly, xp doesn’t crash much for me. I’ve had some random lock ups in the last few months but that could be heat or video drivers (ati). The icon refresh happens all the time it seems, unless I’m not doing anything on the system.

  5. Any program can initiate a global icon refresh (SHChangeNotify(SHCNE_ASSOCCHANGED) for example). Sometimes programs get frustrated and instead of trying to figure out why their icon doesn’t refresh when they want it to, they just push the big red button and refresh every icon in the system.

  6. Yeah… I’ve had to manually restart the Windows shell in 95/98/Me/2000/XP on hundreds of occasions. Typically your desktop comes back, except some systrap apps (but not all) don’t show up in the systray even though they’re still running.
    If explorer.exe goes down, it’s a wild guess as to whether iexplore.exe or other apps are going with it.