Vista Search Crash Resolved

Monday, September 29th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

I have been using Vista on my work machine for the last six months, and have generally been happy with it. The only big problem I have had was that the Start Menu search, which is one of Vista’s best new features, would seemingly randomly crash explorer.exe. I finally got tired of this and decided to track down the problem.

It turns out that it was Adobe Version Cue CS3 causing the problem, the Version Cue control panel app to be precise. Any time I would do a search that would return the control panel app for Adobe Version Cue CS3, explorer.exe would crash out. In practice this meant anytime I started to search for something that started with A, C, or V, which is why I thought it was random for so long.

I found a couple of hits on google that talk about the problem, and the solution is to uninstall Version Cue. There are a couple of problems with this, you could want to have Version Cue installed (does anyone actually use it?), but more importantly, the uninstall failed on my machine. I probably could have removed and re-installed the whole CS3 suite, but that’s way too much trouble.

Instead, I tracked down the registry entry in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Cpls called Adobe Version Cue CS3 and deleted it. This removed the broken control panel app and left the rest of the program intact.

Hopefully in the future MS will fix it so that a rogue CPL can’t crash explorer.exe, and Adobe will fix their application so it plays nice with Vista.

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