Skip navigation
All Places > Licensing and Installation > Blog > 2015 > January

What do you do when Explorer crashes?  No matter what you do, it won't respond to mouse clicks, the windows white out and all you get is the spinning circle.  Other applications are still working, it is only Windows itself that has failed.  Restarting your computer is the simple answer, but what if you've got something critical running?  The answer is to restart Windows without restarting your PC.


1) Save what work you can and quit what you don't need in case this trick doesn't work.

2) Invoke Task Manager by either using CTRL-ALT-DEL or right-clicking on the task bar and choosing Task Manager from the menu.

3) From the Task Manager window, click on the Processes tab and find explorer.exe (NOT iexplore.exe) in the list of processes. Highlight it and click End Process.

4) After killing the explorer.exe process, click on the Applications tab and then click on the New Task... button.

5) In the Create New Task button, type in C:\Windows\explorer.exe. Click on the browse button to make sure you're pointing to the right file. Then click Open and then OK.


Windows Explorer should now reload and give you control of your computer back. If it doesn't work, that means you probably cannot get around restarting your computer.


Even if this does regain control of your PC, reboot as soon as it is convenient as there could be underlying problems.

If you are tracking and maintaining licenses for multiple license servers and/or users, remembering which server or user has which HostID can be a challenge. The Mentor License Utility (MLU) provides a facility to create an ‘Alias’ for any given HostID.


Once the HostID alias has been created, any licenses that are downloaded or separated for the HostID using MLU, will be copied into a separate “By_Alias” folder, and the name of the license file will be the alias name. In addition, any time the HostID is referenced in the license file, or in any ‘install license’ dialogs, the alias name will appear in parenthesis next to the HostID.


For some examples of where you will see the alias name for a HostID, and to learn how to create a HostID Alias, refer to pages 69-75 in the MLU Users Manual (attached).


To download a copy of the Mentor License Utility v3.0 from SupportNet, click here.

When you need to run shell commands on Windows as an Administrator, you typically must right-click the cmd.exe and choose "Run as administrator" in order to elevate the privileges in that shell. Well, it's very easy to create a shortcut for cmd that elevates automatically.


1. Create a shortcut to cmd.exe, perhaps on your Desktop. You might want to rename it Admin_cmd or something similar.

2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.

3. Select the Shortcut tab and then click Advanced...

4. Check the Run as administrator option and click OK


5. Click OK


Now you can simply double-click this shortcut whenever you need elevated privileges.

Hello Community! Welcome to the first Tip of the Week for 2015.


I've been doing a lot of work in a DOS command window lately and I've learned a few things that have helped me be more productive. I thought I'd share some of them you. I hope you find them useful.


To reduce the amount of typing you have to do, there are a couple of useful function keys that are pre-defined on your DOS command shell:


  1. F3 -  Paste the last command you executed on the command line. Same as the up arrow, but easier to find on a laptop keyboard.
  2. F7 -  Pops a window up that has a numbered list of recently executed commands. Scroll to find what you want then press enter to execute it.
  3. F9 -  If you remember the number for the command you want (from the list when you pressed F7), you can execute it by pressing F9 and then enter the number.


There are other function keys defined, but these are the ones I use the most.


I find it easy to forget sometimes exactly what file system I'm in when I'm on a mapped drive. One trick I like to use is to modify the prompt so that when I'm on a remote file system I see the UNC path name instead of the drive letter. For example, the Z:\projects\> prompt becomes \\filesvr\mgc\projects Z:\>. Note that when I'm on a local drive, the prompt appears as simply driveletter:\path.


One of the best features in Windows is the Windows Explorer because it lets you see files and directories in a context of what's above them, beside them, and beneath them. In a DOS command shell, the tree command gives you that functionality. It's great for smaller directory structures as-is, but for larger ones you'll want to use it with a pipe  ( | more) or redirect the output to a file ( > filename.txt) as the scrolling capability is limited.


Give those a try! If you have any DOS commands you find useful, reply to this post and share them. I'm always looking for more.