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Windows 7: What does the green bar at the top of the Windows Explorer mean?

23 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
What does the green bar at the top of the Windows Explorer mean?

Recently I seem to have seen a change in the way Windows Explorer reacts when I insert a 'drive' into a USB port. By drive I mean a physical hard drive (SATA) or a flash drive (a Sandisk Cruzer Blade device).

What happens is the following - I put the drive in the slot and Explorer will get launched after a few seconds - I don't get the "What do you want to do window".

With flash drives I used to see the couple of directories on the drive (there were only 3 or so and I saw them all). Then before I could do anything I would see a green bar start to move across the 'address or path' bar at the top of Explorer - this could take some minutes to get to the far end (this is a Win 7 64 bit Home Premium system with quad core processor and 6 GB of memory, so no slouch). When the bar finally got to the end and whatever task it was stopped the directories would disapear from view, I would still see the drive letter and the volume name, but any attempt to access any data on the drive failed (it said there was none!). In addition when I looked at 'properties' it would tell me there was 0 space on the drive (not 4GB) and 0 space used!! I could access the drive and the data perfectly well on an XP system and on another Win 7 64 bit system. Also following advice from Sandisk I was able to access the drive on this system after reformatting it as a FAT drive (previously it had been NTFS). I threw away the flash drive because it wasn't worth the hassle and potential unreliability of using it.

With the latest hard drive it is a different matter - this is 320GB, so I don't intend to throw it away! What happens here is as follows. I put the drive (which is a Vista boot drive from another system and works well in the other system) into the USB enclosure and attach it to the USB port (I have tried different ports). Windows explorer comes up and the green line starts - oh dear! Even when the green bar starts I do not see any drive letter in explorer (there should be two drive letters - there are 3 partitions on the physical drive - 2 with letters assigned, the other is a 10GB service partition). Onec the green bar finishes I have two windows pop up and they both say "You need to format the disk in drive x before you can use it". It mentions drive letters D and M in the two messages, but neither show in Explorer. So I go to Disk Management - here I seem to draw a complete blank - there is no sign at all of the physical hard drive, let alone any partitions on it and there is no mention of drives D and M. I can see and access the physical hard drive perfectly in Windows XP with no hint of any issues.

So my questions
1) Can anyone shed any light on what Explorer may be doing when the green bar appears and why it should take 4 minutes to do whatever it is doing on a 4GB flash drive. I didn't time the hard drive, but it was probably of the same order.
2) Can anyone shed any light on what I need to do with this particular Win 7 system to get it to perform like other Win 7 systems and my XP system?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Still collating ...

The green bar indicates that Windows is gathering information.

For example, if I run CCleaner and let it delete my thumbnail cache, the next time I try to access a picture folder, Windows recreates the thumbnail cache and the green bar appears.

In your case, I suggest that it is trying to locate files/folders.

Have you tried running "Error checking" on the HDD?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #3

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

The green progress bar shouldn't be taking that long when just mounting a drive in explorer. It leads me to believe that either there are corrupted system files in your Win 7 OS that are causing this hesitation or that the drive has errors on it that are preventing it from mounting correctly (or both).

At the least, launch an elevated command prompt and run "sfc /scannow" to rule out any corrupted system files on your OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks guys, I tried again and inserted the hard drive into another USB port. I honestly don't think there is a problem with the drive because I can use it perfectly OK in another Win 7 laptop and in an XP laptop - no hesitation, no issues at all.

Here's what happened this time. Please remember this drive has 3 partitions defined and 2 have drive letters assigned.

First of all I get the message shown in the file 'Format Drive' saying I need to format the partition recognised as the D drive. Second I see the following view of the D drive in Explorer (looks a bit odd) - see file 'Explorer View'. I click on properties and try to scan the D drive for errors and get the message shown in 'Cannot Check'.

While the above is going on I notice that this time Explorer has recognised the other partition with drive letter M assigned - also Explorer seems to have found the correct space information for this drive - see file 'M Drive' and in Explorer I can also see the directories that are on the M drive - see file 'M Directories'. However all is not well because if I try and click on any of these directories Explorer goes into a not responding state for some minutes as the green bar continues to move at a glacial pace across the top of the window.

In the meantime Computer Management has responded (after a delay of many minutes) and shows what you can see in file 'Comp Mgt' - the physical drive is the first 3 rows in the upper panel and Disk 8 in the lower panel. It appears to recognise the used/free space situation correctly for the M drive (although Explorer is struggling with it), it says both the partition without a drive letter and the D partition are all free space - this is incorrect - my two other systems can work with the D drive and recognises it as having a volume name of 'ACER'!

After a lot of waiting Windows eventually responds to my clicking on one of the directires to open it - this must have taken 15 minutes or more - I get the message shown in the 'Location' file - I don't understand this - how can it take 15 minutes plus to come up with an I/O error message trying to open a directory at the top level of a drive?

I think there must be some setting on my Win 7 system that is causing this behaviour. I find it difficult to believe I am seing these problems with both a flash drive and a real hard drive and they are hardware. I have tried both the USB port on the front of my DELL desktop and an expansion port with effectively the same results. The hard drive had a new copy of Windows Vista installed on it a short while ago. My two other machines (Win 7 and XP) can work with both the flash drive and this hard drive perfectly.

I'm stumped though, and I am worried in case whatever the problem is spreads to my other hard drives - by the way I have McAfee installed and it gives the machine a clean bill of health. Any other suggestions please?


Attached Thumbnails
What does the green bar at the top of the Windows Explorer mean?-comp-mgt.jpg  
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #5

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

The 320GB drive is 'foreign' to the Windows 7 OS - because it contains the basic Vista boot routines.

Save all pertinent data and format/erase data off it (use the XP/Vista machine the drive came out from).
Once formatted, Windows 7 should recognize the USB connected drive.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks Paul, but I find it hard to believe it can really be the case that you cannot put a hard drive containing Vista into a Win 7 system as a 'data' drive - remember I have no problem inserting this drive into another Win 7 machine, nor into an XP machine. I've never had problems inserting Windows operating system boot drives into other machines previously and I have done it many, many times. Also if this was the case why would I see virtually identical problems with the Sandisk Cruzer Blade flash drive (which is the flash drive I was referring to) - this was brand new, out of the box?

One thought going through my mind is that this may somehow be related to McAfee - the other machines I mention where there is no problem both run Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm wondering if McAfee is somehow affecting things although it is set not to scan drives when they are inserted, but to let real time scanning do checks when the files on the drives are used.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by FliGi7 View Post
At the least, launch an elevated command prompt and run "sfc /scannow" to rule out any corrupted system files on your OS.
Have you done this yet?

McAfee never helps any situation, rather only seems to be a detriment in most. Get rid of that and run MSE at the least if not another free Antivirus like Avira.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #8

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Hi there: I experienced the exact 'problem' you had when I took a healthy boot drive out of my Vista machine - stuck in an external USB enclosure and it became unrecoqnized by Windows 7 64 bit ... All I suspected was that it had something to do with the fact that I'm running 64 bit while the Vista was 32 bit. I also was able to read the very same drive in its USB enclosure on my son's XP (32 bit) and the old Vista (32 bit). All I did was reformat the drive to NTSC and it's universally recoqnized by all OS I connect it to.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #9

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Paul, the fact that the system was 32/64 bit doesn't have any effect on whether or not a hard drive can be ready by a different bit OS as that doesn't have any bearing on the file structure of the storage. I've experienced the slow green bar when a drive is not being properly read in order to be initialized by the system (which in my case was a failing drive). Windows is apparently having trouble doing so which can only be two things: either the OS has corrupted system files that won't allow proper mounting or the drive itself has hardware issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What does the green bar at the top of the Windows Explorer mean?




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