Kunal 2006-08-15 18:11:32
When Windows Explorer (XP2, SP2) tries to show a folder containing many
large MS Word files or many other files (such as images, icons, etc),
it takes forever to open/render. The effect is one of the machine
hanging (in fact, the Windows Explorer process shows as “Not
Responding” in the task manager).
Similarly, dialog boxes that contain many very large Word documents or
many other documents take forever to open/render.
Does anyone know why this happens and how to fix it?
Thanks in advance
Alec s 2006-08-17 04:46:18
While I prefer Explorer to any other shells, I admit that it is incredibly buggy and I hate it on a regular basis. Sometimes
problems like the one you described are just part of it but sometimes they can be fixed.
Do you know exactly which file types trigger it? How many files have to be in for it to hang? What view are you using
The most likely cause is that it is trying to show thumbnails of the files and is taking a long time to read all the files and
generate the thumbnails. Try putting it in icon mode and see if it still does that. You may also have a shell extension that
“enhances” your system by providing more information about your files which causes it to read the files instead of just reading the
file listing. This can cause it to slow down as well.
— Alec S.
Kunal 2006-08-18 15:58:41
Several types of files (in fact, most large files) trigger this
For example, a folder with many large executables and zip files, or a
folder with many large MS Word documents trigger this behaviour.
Alec s 2006-08-18 18:17:14
Is it your virus scanner? Anti-virus programs that run in the background are notorious for slowing systems down when accessing
files. Try disabling the background scanner and see if it still does it. If it does, then you could either add that folder to the
exclusion list (not ideal) or configure your AV to only scan default file types instead of all (it shouldn’t scan media types by
default, although technically they are no longer immune to viruses either.)
— Alec S.
Kunal 2006-08-20 14:57:59
The problem vanished after I changed the Folder Options->View settings
to a minimal set (disabled Network folders, Simple View, file size,
thumbnail caches, popup descriptions, etc.rebooted the system and
rebooted the system (the last part was important – without it, the
change wouldn’t take effect).
Just to make sure, I re-enabled them all, rebooted my system, and
viola! The problem reappeared like Ol’ Faithful.
Thanks to everyone for all your responses and help!
Alec s 2006-08-21 00:00:58
You changed a lot of things there. Which one(s) is/are the problem? Try changing one at a time to find out. That’s the most
important part of testing/diagnostics/experiments, changing as little as possible to avoid interactions, confounding factors, and
— Alec S.