Symptoms

You receive the following error message when Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 is shutting down:

explorer.exe - Application Error
The instruction at <memory address> referenced memory at <memory address>. The memory could not be "<read or write>".
Click on OK to terminate the program.


Note The shutdown process continues after the error message is displayed. The error does not harm the computer, and it can be safely ignored.

This issue occurs when you right-click the Start tip or press the Windows key+X keyboard shortcut, and then you use the Shut down or sign out option to shut down or restart Windows.

Workaround

To work around this issue, use the Settings charm to shut down or restart Windows.

Cause

This error occurs because the Explorer.exe process accesses memory that has already been freed during the shutdown process.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

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