I've had a problem with one one of the folders in my user account for months, but yesterday it progressed from being a minor annoyance to a major pain. Opening the "My Videos" folder would set off a chain of events which would cause Windows Explorer to stop working altogether. First, upon opening the folder, the green progress bar across the top of the window would slow to a crawl and never actually finish it's journey. This despite the fact there's only one tiny video clip in that folder. The behavior would immediately spread to all other folders. Icons and thumbnails would fail to load, etc., and soon when I tried opening Explorer, I'd just get an empty window - no drives, folders, or anything would show up. Restarting the computer returned things to "normal..." until the next time I opened that folder. If I tried to move or delete the folder or it's contents, the computer would just hang indefinitely while the "deleting" or "moving' dialog box displayed on the screen.
I had no real need for that folder or anything in it, so I've just been avoiding it. Yesterday, however, I just happened to recall the problem and tried deleting the folder. Lo and behold, it worked! Unfortunately, my downloads folder immediately started displaying the exact same behavior, and it's full of stuff I really do need. I tried doing a system restore, but it failed to fix the problem.
Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.