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Windows 7: Windows Explorer freezes when launching programs

07 Jul 2010   #1
W3bbo

Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 
Windows Explorer freezes when launching programs

The OS is actually Windows Server 2008 R2, but it's essentially the same as Windows 7, so I hope no-one minds there.

Anyway, whenever I try to launch a program from within Windows Explorer (be it from the Taskbar, the Start Menu, or by double-clicking on a program in a Computer window) nothing happens for 25 seconds (I've timed it, and it takes between 23 and 28 seconds). After ~25 seconds the program finally appears and is shown in the task bar.

There is also a hang whenever I right-click on any *.exe file from within Explorer (or any File Open/Save dialogs), that too, lasts about 28 seconds (but never 30 full seconds, interestingly enough). After that time the menu disappears without giving me a chance to click on it.

When I launch a program from another program, such as from a Command Prompt window then the program launches instantly. So the problem is with Explorer.

The problem is not per-user because when I logged in as a new user (which created a new profile) the problem still exists.

I've disabled all third-party shell extensions with ShellExView and found nothing dodgy when running Sysinternals Autoruns. So now I'm really stumped.

The fact it takes 25 seconds hints it's waiting for a network timeout or something. I had a search through the registry for '\\' to find any UNC paths, but found nothing.

Any ideas?

I had a very similar issue to this a few years ago on a Windows XP machine, in the end it turned out to be caused by a file-type associated with a program stored on a network drive, but no such file types exist on this computer.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jul 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

I remember something similar to this happening on an old computer of mine. I believe the problem ended up being caused by a failing hard drive. If I was you, I would run some hardware diagnostics to make sure that your hard drive, memory and other hardware are working properly.

If hardware isn't the issue, then you could try running a Repair Installation or reformatting your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #3
W3bbo

Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
I remember something similar to this happening on an old computer of mine. I believe the problem ended up being caused by a failing hard drive. If I was you, I would run some hardware diagnostics to make sure that your hard drive, memory and other hardware are working properly.
I haven't experienced any other issues, and since I can launch programs fine otherwise I'm still convinced it's just a misconfiguration with Explorer.

Can you recommend any specific diagnostics tests?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
If hardware isn't the issue, then you could try running a Repair Installation or reformatting your computer.
The computer is a domain controller, so that really isn't an option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jul 2010   #4
Dinesh

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Use this program to see what's running under your right click explorer menu.
ShellExView - Shell Extension Manager For Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #5
W3bbo

Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dinesh View Post
Use this program to see what's running under your right click explorer menu.
ShellExView - Shell Extension Manager For Windows
If you read my post fully, you'd see that I've already run ShellExView.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #6
Dinesh

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by W3bbo View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dinesh View Post
Use this program to see what's running under your right click explorer menu.
ShellExView - Shell Extension Manager For Windows
If you read my post fully, you'd see that I've already run ShellExView.
Oops! Sorry, my bad. Didnt read your post fully.
I had this program until I uninstalled google chrome. Strange, but true.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #7
W3bbo

Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
I remember something similar to this happening on an old computer of mine. I believe the problem ended up being caused by a failing hard drive. If I was you, I would run some hardware diagnostics to make sure that your hard drive, memory and other hardware are working properly.
Surprisingly, running a chkdisk seems to have sorted the problem out. Weird.

When chkdisk was running it reported about 25 or so problems with the disk, File Segments being unreadable and all that.

So whilst I've solved one problem, I'm left with another. I hope the disk itself isn't physically damaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Explorer freezes when launching programs




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