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explorer.exe keeps restarting

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Note: this is not a system restart, but an explorer.exe crash and restart. And no, I don't mean Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe)

Basically, when the tray is loading it gets to a certain point and then it starts over again. In Task Manager (I can view this and watch explore.exe appear, then disappear, then reappear... etc.)

I ran the Dell diagnostics and it didn't find much.

I can boot in safe mode, but then whatever is causing the conflict isn't loaded to troubleshoot.

TIA for any advice.

Just in case this was not made clear, I can't do anything -- open folders or launch applications including but not limited to Hijack This.

My next step once [I find the time] is to pull out the HDD and run diagnostics on it with another machine.
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sounds like a malware program is crashing explorer.

Please go to the malware forum in my signature and follow the instructions at the top....Especially the CLICK HERE .

That will give you several steps that will help you clean up 70 percent of all problems by yourself. If at the end of the process you are still having difficulty, then post a hijackthis log in THAT forum.
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