Ticket #12466 (closed defect: obsolete)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

VirtualBox GUI crashes after opening file selection dialog

Reported by: Crazyphilipp Owned by:
Component: GUI Version: VirtualBox 4.3.4
Keywords: Cc:
Guest type: all Host type: Windows


Since upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, everytime I open a file selection dialog (e.g. selecting a DVD image, choosing the VirtualBox VM folder, ...) the dialog shows and VirtualBox immediately crashes. This problem also occurs if I just copy any path to an existing file/folder into a path textbox and leave the textbox. The process doesn't crash if the file/directory doesn't exist. Only the current process is affected, other VMs or the manager don't also crash. Reinstalling and/or deleting the configuration files doesn't help.

There was already one other (unanswered) report about this problem in the user forums:

The VirtualBox logs don't show anything about the error, but I attached them regardless. I've also attached a text file Exception.txt that contains the exact exception message and a stack trace.

Attachments Download (2.7 KB) - added by Crazyphilipp 7 years ago.
ZIP archive containing VirtualBox log files and exception details Download (6.7 KB) - added by utech125 7 years ago.

Change History

Changed 7 years ago by Crazyphilipp

ZIP archive containing VirtualBox log files and exception details

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by utech125

I am also experiencing this issue under identical conditions. As soon as I open a file selection window using the VirtualBox UI, the application and all running VM instances crash. Related information attached as

Changed 7 years ago by utech125

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by JeffR

I am also experiencing this problem. Existing VMs will run but if I try to mount a virtual CD I get an immediate crash. First started when upgrade from Win8 to 8.1 (upgrade also crashed my fax subsystem, but that's another story). This has to be a MS problem.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by JeffR

FIXED! I found this on an Adobe Photoshop forum. I ran the shell extension manager, turned OFF anything that WASN'T Microsoft, restarted explorer (IMPORTANT) and voila! no more crashes. I can't post the URL, just Google "nirsoft ShellExView"

p.s. the link for downloading the manager is all the way at the bottom of the nirsoft page:

... you likely have a misbehaving Shell Extension.

Shell Extensions are modules of software that various applications might add to Windows File Explorer in order to provide you something like thumbnails or additional right-click context menu entries. And it's important to know that the operating system provides the File - Open dialog to Photoshop.

There's a great application (free) that you can use to identify your non-Microsoft Shell Extensions, then disable them one by one, then log off and on again and test for a recurrence of the problem. I'm betting you'll find one that's at the root of your crashes.

Thing is, with a Windows 8.1 upgrade, you might have already installed shell extensions as part of software packages you've already had on your computer, and while they may have worked with Windows 8 they may not be compatible with 8.1.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by mfs

In my case, SpiderOaks icon overlay shell extension seemed to have caused the crashes of the VBox GUI. As soon as I disabled the "SpiderOak icon overlay shell extension" using nirsoft ShellExView, the VBox GUI stopped crashing (after re-starting explorer.exe of course). Disabling the icon overlay extension in the settings dialog of the SpiderOak application was NOT enough to fix it, though. The other two SpiderOak extensions (one being of type "MetaData" and one "Context Menu") could be left enabled.

So either the SpiderOak overlay icon extension is buggy or the VBox GUI has a problem with 3rd-party icon overlays.

@JefR: Could you maybe try and re-enable some shell extensions to help narrowing down the issue to a particular shell extension, or at least a specific type?

EDIT: I've just installed Dropbox which shows icon overlays as well. That did not cause VBox GUI to crash, so something might be wrong with SpiderOak's specific implementation.

EDIT2: This also happens with SpiderOak 5.1.1. Also, clicking the "Change" button to change settings for a VM is already enough to trigger a crash.

Last edited 6 years ago by mfs (previous) (diff)

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by utech125

I isolated the problem item on my systems after reading your posts to the following registry item:


The key loads shell_extension.dll from the SpiderOak executable directory. Other instances of this dll being loaded in ContextMenuHandlers keys in other locations (HKLM\Software\Classes\{Directory,Folders}) do not trigger the problem.

I isolated the problem key by disabling it using Sysinternals Autoruns, and also by removing the key completely. In both test cases the VirtualBox file selection dialog no longer crashes the application.

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by Nomad_6387

Hi ! I've got the same problem, but under Windows 7 x64 host / Virtual Box 4.3.12 r93733. After using ShellExView, i disabled Box Operator shell folder (from Konica Minolta inc.) and no more crashes with using file selection dialog boxes ...

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by pquiring

I've got this problem intermittently with version 4.3.14 r95030. Running Windows 7 x64.

comment:8 Changed 4 years ago by aeichner

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to obsolete

Please reopen if still relevant with a recent VirtualBox release.

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