Yesterday, I upgraded my 64 bit Vista machine to Windows 7. The installation went fine, however once it was finished and Windows 7 was up and running, I found that I could no longer run any program beyond a few of the built in operating system programs such as the control panel, windows explorer, notepad, etc. Opening other programs such as Firefox, Word, Photoshop and even Internet Explorer would hang for a few seconds after I double clicked their icon, but would never appear. When I checked the task manager, the executables were listed in the Processes tab, but windows for the programs would not display. I also occasionally received a delayed error message from Explorer.EXE “Server execution failed” after trying to open Internet Explorer. I uninstalled my antivirus software and VMWare just in case they might have anything to do with the problem, but this didn’t work.
Eventually, after a long Google search without any success and after considering trying to reinstall Windows 7, I came upon this forum, which described the same problem. It turns out there were two instances of a program “HsMgr.exe” which run on startup, and were somehow causing my programs not to execute. My fix was:
1. Click on the Start menu
2. In the search box, type msconfig and hit enter
3. Click on the Startup tab
4. Look for any item named HsMgr (such as HsMgr.exe or HsMgr64.exe) and uncheck these
5. Click OK
6. Restart your computer
Your programs should now be able to open. This problem seems to be due to lack of compatible drivers with 64-bit Windows 7.
[Update:] I discovered that the true problem had to do with my HT Omega Striker 7.1 sound card drivers. After installing a Windows 7 compatible driver update from HT’s website, the HsMgr programs can run in the background without preventing applications from opening.