Tortoise 17884 is still working fine after about 17 hours. I would tentatively say this takes care of the Opus crashes, since I couldn't typically make it through an hour or two without crashes with previous versions.
Is the code that was removed really unneeded? Since this version was in the safe, nightly build section, I have to assume so.
The job of that code was to ask the shell for a few paths and then add those paths to the 'exclude' list. That means that while this code is nice to have, it's not essential. Users can add those paths manually to the exclude list if they want to.