Unable to Use the My Documents Shortcut on the Desktop

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Article ID: 189952 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q189952
If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:
315854 Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

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When you double-click or right-click the My Documents shortcut on the desktop, you may receive the following error message:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

If you then click Details, you may see either of the following informational messages:
  • Explorer caused a stack fault in module KERNEL32.DLL at <address>
  • Explorer caused a stack fault in module SHDOCVW.DLL at <address>


This problem can occur if the value of the Personal value in the following registry key does not have the path to the My Documents folder or is blank:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders


WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

To resolve this problem, restart your computer, and then use Registry Editor to view the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Modify the value of the Personal value to be the path to the My Documents folder (by default, this is c:\My Documents).


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows 98.


For related information about a similar issue, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 188604
TITLE : Problems When You Click Find Target on a Desktop Shortcut


Article ID: 189952 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
kbenv kberrmsg kbkern32dll kbprb kbui KB189952

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