Crash, exit or high CPU when right-clicking certain files

Summary:

This FAQ helps if Directory Opus crashes, exits or uses high CPU when you open the right-click context menu for files or folders. These problems are usually caused by bugs in 3rd party components and this FAQ contains steps for finding and updating or disabling the faulty component.

See also:


Known Issues:

  • See also: Shell extensions which are blocked by default

  • Notepad++

    Several people have reported crashes when right-clicking files with older versions of Notepad++ installed. If you have Notepad++ and are experiencing these problems, upgrading to the latest version of Notepad++ may solve them, and is definitely the first thing you should try.

    Newer versions of Notepad++ are not known to cause any problems, but the older version with the problem seems quite widespread for some reason.

  • Acronis True Image

    Some versions of True Image have had shell extensions which trigger crashes or large memory leaks in Opus (sometimes in Explorer as well). As far as we are aware, current versions are OK, but if you have TI installed and are experiencing problems, you might want to try blocking its extensions to quickly rule them out, after verifying that you have the latest TI update installed. You can use ShellExView to fully block the extensions, or add the following CLSIDs to ignore_context_menus (more detail in the main FAQ below) to partially block them:

    {C539A15A-3AF9-4C92-B771-50CB78F5C751}
    {9E42900A-85F9-4E67-9778-575FBBA0A81C}
    {934BC6C0-FEC2-4DF5-A100-961DE2C8A0ED}
    {00F848DC-B1D4-4892-9C25-CAADC86A215D}
    {71573297-552E-46FC-BE3D-3DFAF88D47B7}
    
  • Daemon Tools

    The Daemon Tools shell extension has been mentioned in some crash reports. Clearing out Daemon Tools' list of automatically-populated ISO files may solve the problem, if you don't want to block the extension.

  • NOD32

    The context menu added by NOD32 antivirus (version 8.x.x.x) does not crash but may add quite a bit of delay (about 1 second) to context menu opening, in both Opus and Explorer. If you're seeing this and have NOD32 installed, try disabling its context menu via NOD32's Advanced Settings window, under User Interface.

Older issues:

Most other known conflicts have been addressed by fixes & workarounds in Opus & the extensions themselves, or by newer versions of Opus automatically blocking certain extensions. However, old issues may still affect you if you are using a old versions of Opus or old versions of other software. Details on some of these issues have been moved into the reply to this post, below.


Notes:

  • Viewing directories: If you are experiencing crashes when simply viewing a directory, rather than accessing a right-click menu, then you should read the separate FAQ entry about that issue. Other related guides are also linked at the top of this post.

  • Definition of "high CPU": When this page says "high CPU" it means that something running inside of Opus has become stuck in a loop using as much CPU as it can get and doesn't stop until you exit or terminate the program. You'll see approximately 100% CPU usage on a single-core system, 50% a dual-core, 25% on a quad-core, and so on.


Main Information:

If you experience crashes, apparently spontaneous exits, or high CPU usage when you open the right-click context menu for a specific file, or types of files, within Directory Opus then the problem is almost certainly caused by a bad Send To shortcut, a bad context menu extension, or similar.

Send To Shortcuts:

If your context menus work but take a long time to open, it may be because of something in your Send To sub-menu. For example, shortcuts pointing to unavailable network paths may cause a 30 second delay on the menu opening.

As of Opus 10.0.3.2, the Send To sub-menu is only built when you actually open it, not when its parent menu opens, so this should be less of a problem and it should be easier to tell where the problem is.

If you think there is a problem with your Send To menu, try right-clicking the same files/folders in Windows Explorer and see if opening the Send To sub-menu there triggers the same problem.

Context Menu Extensions:

Problematic extensions sometimes have problems because they assume they are always being hosted inside Windows Explorer and go wrong within Directory Opus. Sometimes a bug in an extension will cause problems in both Opus and Explorer.

  • Extremely Quick Fix:


    If you need the crash fixed immediately you can usually just turn on:

    Preferences / Miscellaneous / Windows Integration:
    Hide Windows items on file context menus (shift overrides).

    That option removes non-Opus items from the right-click context menus within Opus. The removed items include those added by Explorer as well as those added by 3rd party context menu extensions.

    With the option enabled you can still hold shift when right-clicking a file to see the full context menu. You can also specifically add back certain items as explained in this tip, and the advantage of that is you can both organise what you want on the menu (so it's no longer a randomly-arranged mess) and get rid of what you don't want (so there's less to look through and it takes less time to open the menu).

    Even if you're happy at this stage it's in everyone's interests to track down what was causing the crash so that the problem can be fixed or worked around.

  • Finding The Culprit:


    When you're ready to look for the cause of the crash, turn off the Hide Windows items on file context menus option mentioned above.

    Verify you can still reproduce the crash, to avoid wasting time looking for a crash that no longer happens.

    Turn on Opus's context menu diagnostics mode:

    • Directory Opus Pro:

      Go to Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced.
      Turn on context_menu_debug.
      (You do not need to exit or restart Opus for the change to take effect.)

    • Directory Opus Light:

      Add the following registry value.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\GPSoftware\Directory Opus
      ContextMenuDebug (DWORD) = 1
      (Requires Opus 12.3.8 or above.)

    Download the small DebugView tool from Microsoft and run it.

    • DebugView does not require installation. Just unzip it somewhere.
    • Ignore any error message about extracting Dbgv.sys as it doesn't affect what we're doing.

    DebugView will now display messages from Opus when you right-click on files.

    • Other programs may also send messages to DebugView. Not everything that you see will come from Opus.
    • If you don't see anything from Opus, make sure Opus is not running elevated. (Alternatively, run DebugView elevated as well, but there are other reasons you should not run the whole Opus process elevated.)

    Right-click the file or folder that was causing the problem in Opus. You should see information in DebugView with various CLSID numbers, DLL paths, and sometimes names, representing the context menu extensions that Opus is talking to. For example:

    CLSID: {CB3D0F55-BC2C-4C1A-85ED-23ED75B5106B} (FileSyncEx) (C:\Users\Leo\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneDrive\17.3.6390.0509\amd64\FileSyncShell64.dll)
    CLSID: {23170F69-40C1-278A-1000-000100020000} (7-Zip Shell Extension) (C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7-zip.dll)
    CLSID: {2A118EB5-5797-4F5E-8B3D-F4ECBA3C98E4} (AccExt Class) (C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Creative Cloud\CoreSyncExtension\CoreSync_x64.dll)
    CLSID: {B298D29A-A6ED-11DE-BA8C-A68E55D89593} (ANotepad++64) (C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\NppShell_06.dll)
    CLSID: {85BBD920-42A0-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D} (Briefcase) (C:\WINDOWS\system32\syncui.dll)
    CLSID: {B089FE88-FB52-11D3-BDF1-0050DA34150D} (ESET Smart Security - Context Menu Shell Extension) (C:\Program Files\ESET\ESET NOD32 Antivirus\shellExt.dll)
    CLSID: {6351E20C-35FA-4BE3-98FB-4CABF1363E12} (MTShell Class) (C:\Program Files (x86)\Mp3tag\Mp3tagShell64.dll)
    CLSID: {A470F8CF-A1E8-4f65-8335-227475AA5C46} (Encryption Context Menu) (C:\WINDOWS\system32\shell32.dll)
    
    • The cause of the problem is often the last item that you see printed, since things stopped working after that. This is not always the case -- sometimes one extension drops a banana peel which the next, innocent extension then falls over -- but it is the usual case.

    • The information displayed is often enough to identify which program an extension is part of. Sometimes it isn't, if the authors of the extension used vague names for things. Searching Google for the CLSID number in {...}, or searching through the registry for the same number, will often quickly find clues about where the component is from, if it isn't immediately clear.

    Having found the (potential) culprit, you can now turn off context menu diagnostics mode.

    • Opus Pro: Toggle context_menu_debug in Preferences as you did before.
    • Opus Light: Remove the ContextMenuDebug registry value which you added earlier.
    • (You can leave the diagnostics mode on all the time, but it will slow things down a bit.)

  • Disabling A Specific Extension:

    • Directory Opus Pro only:

      You can instruct Opus to ignore a specific context menu extension. This is useful if it seems to be causing problems, or if it is simply unwanted and in the way.

      Go to Preferences / Miscellaneous / Advanced and double-click ignore_context_menus in the list.

      A small window will appear. Paste the CLSID values, including curly braces, of the extension(s) you want to exclude, one CLSID per line, as shown below:

    • Directory Opus Pro and Light:

      Alternatively, you can use ShellExView to disable an extension.

      This will also disable them in Windows Explorer, File Open dialog boxes, and so on.

    To be thorough, it is best to reboot after disabling an extension, as there is no other way to completely unload a shell extension or undo potential problems it may have already caused.

    If the problem remains after disabling the extension, it's possible an innocent extension was disabled and you haven't found the real culprit yet.

    • Try disabling other extensions that the diagnostics point to, until the problem is resolved.
    • To speed things up, disable all of them at once to start with, then reboot, and check the problem is actually gone. If it isn't, we may be looking in the wrong place.
    • If the problem is gone with all extensions disabled, try re-enabling a few at a time until it comes back. You can narrow things down quickly via that process.

    After the problem has been identified, the next thing to do is report it so it can be investigated and then fixed or worked around properly for everyone.

  • Reporting The Problem:

    It is in everyone's interests for the problem to be reported so that it doesn't occur on other people's computers and so you can get your context menu items, assuming you wanted to use them.

    If you track down your problem to a particular context menu extension then please report it here at the forum, and to the extension's authors.

    • By reporting it to us: We may be able to add a workaround to Opus, even if the problem is in something else. It also helps other people with the same problem find answers.
    • Reporting it to the extension's authors: They are ultimately the only people who can examine and fix bugs in their code, and the bug may cause problems in other programs, not just in Opus.
  • Crash dump investigation:

    If you cannot find the cause using the methods above, and the problem is a full crash, then there should be a crash dump corresponding to the time of each crash.

    We'll only look at dumps from people with linked accounts. Please start a thread if you wish to send them to us, with details of what's going wrong and what you have tried already, and we can advise further.

  • Freeze / High CPU dump investigation:

    If the problem is freezing or high CPU usage, rather than a crash, then you can make Windows generate a similar dump file which we can use to see what was happening inside Opus at the time:

    While it's happening, please go to Task Manager, then the Details tab, right-click dopus.exe and select Create Dump File.

    Do that 4 or 5 times, and it should create something like:

    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\dopus.DMP
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\dopus (2).DMP
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\dopus (3).DMP
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\dopus (4).DMP
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\dopus (5).DMP
    

    The files will be large, but compress well. If sending more than one, using the 7z format instead of zip will give a much reduced size. You can do this via the Archive Files button in Opus.

    Please zip or 7z the files and email them to crashdumps@gpsoft.com.au

    As with crash dumps, we'll only look at dumps from people with linked accounts. Please start a thread if you wish to send them to us, with details of what's going wrong and what you have tried already, and we can advise further.


Further Information:

  • If you are also having problems right-clicking files in Explorer then you may find this external guide helpful: windowsxp.mvps.org/slowrightclick.htm

  • NirSoft's ShellExView is a tool that lets you see which shell extensions are on your machine, and disable them.

  • Microsoft's AutoRuns can also be used to see and disable shell extensions (among many other startup items and system plug-ins).

  • Memory leaks aren't always the process's fault at the Directory Opus blog describes using debugging tools and techniques to track down a 3rd party shell extension which was leaking a gig of memory.

  • A list of other related FAQs is linked at the top of this post.

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Old known issues:

This information was originally part of the Known Issues list above, but is likely to only be useful to people using very old version of Opus or of the programs that once triggered the problem.

The information has been kept in case it is useful, but moved here to reduce the noise in the main post.

  • Bitcasa Cloud Storage:

    This context menu shell extension has triggered problems for several people and is blocked by default in newer versions of Opus. In older versions, you can disable it within Opus by adding the following CLSID to the ignore_context_menus setting:

    {92224F8D-0235-4EBB-BEFB-91AC297C4AEE}

    If you still get crashes when right-clicking drives (as opposed to files and folders) then you may need to use ShellExView to disable the extension system-wide. This may also apply to current versions of Opus.

  • Quick PDF Tools Pro:

    If you have Quick PDF Tools Pro (version 2.1.6.1, as of August 2012) installed you may experience long delays and high CPU usage when right-clicking files in Opus.

    A workaround for the problem was added to Directory Opus 10.1.0.2 and later versions (more detail). Users on older versions of Opus may wish to disable the menu by adding the following CLSID to the ignore_context_menus setting:

    {1A359BC8-317D-462a-AD1C-51022D771581}

    On Opus 10.1.0.2 or above, you can remove the CLSID and you should be able to use Quick PDF Tools again in Opus without problems.

  • Qualcomm Atheros Bluetooth Suite:

    This installs a shell extension which triggered crashes for several people. It is automatically blacklisted by Opus 10.0.2.1 and above. Users on older versions can disable by adding the following CLSID to the ignore_context_menus setting:

    {B8952421-0E55-400B-94A6-FA858FC0A39F}

    (The shell extension appears to create its own background threads and windows when files are right-clicked, then falls over if the extension is unloaded while those threads/windows still exist. The COM object's name, shown in the debug output, is the generic-looking AppShellPage Class, and the associated DLL is C:\Program Files\Bluetooth Suite\BtvAppExt.dll.)

  • CFi ShellToys - Image Resize menu (and possibly other shell extensions that add owner-draw menu items):

    This has been fixed in Opus 10.0.3.3. In older versions, the menu may cause Opus to crash.

    This was not the fault of CFi ShellToys; it just happened to be good at triggering a bug in older versions of Opus.

  • O&O Defrag:

    If you have an old (before May 2009) O&O Defrag installed and you find that Opus exits or crashes when you right-click things, updating to the latest version of O&O Defrag should fix the problem.