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Windows 7: Explorer.exe slowdown and lockups

20 Jul 2013   #1
Persons Can Wai

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Explorer.exe slowdown and lockups

I've been having quite annoying problems with the windows file browser (Explorer.exe) recently - when I open a location that contains things other than "plain" files (like Computer, Network, or Control Panel), nothing loads - there are no icons displayed, the address bar shows loading for an infinite amount of time, and the navigation bar is screwed up, showing that it is continually searching. Other problems that explorer experiences are not loading thumbnails, and completely freezing up on right clicking a file. Oddly, the explorer window invoked by Open/Save/etc doesn't experience any of these things - well maybe the right click problem, but not the never ending navigation bar searches. When I kill explorer.exe and then manually launch it, SOMETIMES the problem goes away - my computer loads instantly, thumbnails do too, but right clicking still causes it to need to be restarted. And sometimes I restart explorer.exe and it works for like 1 minute before reverting to it's old ways.

What could cause this? I have an up to date anti-virus, up to date firewall, and I also have Malware Bytes antimalware on as well. I don't believe it is caused by malware in any way. The memory usage is not out of the ordinary or high for the process, and the CPU usage is like 0-1% when this also happens. I haven't installed anything big recently, and for the most part, my computer has stayed the same. Could this be affected by defragging? I haven't done that for a while. I also don't have much ram (only 4GB on Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit). I could do a registry scan and also checkdisk, but I want to know what you guys think about this problem as well - any ideas?


Continual loading


Thumbnails not loading


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jul 2013   #2
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Does this happen if you boot to Safe Mode with or without Networking?

When did it start happening? Do you have a System Restore point before then?

Try running chkdsk /r against the drive, see if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #3
LazyLizard

Windows 7 HP 64Bit
 
 

Yeah, Safe Mode and msconfig might help you narrow something down.
A peek at the event log shouldn't hurt. Maybe something there.

Otherwise I can only think of playing around with Sysinternals Autoruns or, as mentioned above,
a system restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jul 2013   #4
Persons Can Wai

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Sorry for the delayed response. The problem is very sporadic. Such as, it comes and goes. I learned how it may be caused by a context menu item, so I tried disabling all third party ones a while back. Didn't make a difference.

I'll try chkdsk, but I can't do a system restore as I have none of those points. I make system images instead, and usually don't have lots of space available. The problem has been around for a long time, but only recently has been happening more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2013   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Here is a Tutorial from Brink that might help and won't hurt.
I have fixed Windows Explorer with this Tutorial on my computers.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2013   #6
Persons Can Wai

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Thanks for posting that too! I remember about SCANNOW but it's been some time since I've run it. Ran the checkdisk as well... so far everything is fine, but not enough time has gone by to see if it's a fluke.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2013   #7
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Hardware?

On my PC when HDDs are plugged into certain SATA connectors, the HDD controller becomes a bit twitchy.

Connectors 1 - 3 work perfectly, but connectors 4 - 6 sometimes become unresponsive.
It could be heat related, as it usually only happened after my PC had been running for a few days.

When I had HDDs plugged into those connectors, Windows Explorer (on my PC) would behave the way you are describing.

Try plugging your HDD into a different SATA connector and see if that makes any difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2013   #8
Persons Can Wai

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
On my PC when HDDs are plugged into certain connectors, the HDD controller becomes a bit twitchy .

Connectors 1 - 3 work perfectly, but connectors 4 - 6 sometimes become unresponsive.
It could be heat related, as it usually only happened after my PC had been running for a few days.

When I had HDDs plugged into those connectors, Windows Explorer (on my PC) would behave the way you are describing.

Try plugging your HDD into a different SATA connector and see if that makes any difference.
Interesting! I will try that. And thanks for offering another potential solution. I actually just came here to say that I ran everything but the issue still exists. Scannow found nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #9
Persons Can Wai

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well, time for an update.

Scannnow said everything was fine.

I changed the SATA connector (they are a bit loose on my computer after all, all of the slots) and while I will not say the issue is ~officially~ solved, so far I have yet to experience the problems since doing it. However, my computer has experienced a couple bizarre BSODs related to the windows kernel. Both times I wasn't present for them as the system has done an automatic restart. For now I'm writing it off as a fluke. Had to also reconfigure the boot sequence in my BIOS after changing the connector too, otherwise it wouldn't boot on it's own. I also disabled some other crap, such as the floppy drive (I have none) and putting the HDD as priority 1. Now my computer starts slightly faster than before!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2013   #10
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Oops

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Persons Can Wai View Post
Had to also reconfigure the boot sequence in my BIOS after changing the connector too, otherwise it wouldn't boot on it's own. I also disabled some other crap, such as the floppy drive (I have none) and putting the HDD as priority 1. Now my computer starts slightly faster than before!
Sorry.
I should have mentioned that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Explorer.exe slowdown and lockups




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