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Windows 7: Explorer is slow to read file list on second drive

10 Dec 2014   #1
margrave

Size 12
 
 
Explorer is slow to read file list on second drive

Lately I see that when opening a folder in explorer on my second drive, the list of files fills up slowly. In folders with hundreds of files it can take ten seconds. Why?

And why only on the second drive?

I've tried the recommended explorer settings:
1. Optimize this folder for "General Items" ... and "Also apply this template to all subfolders".
2. Tolls --> Folder options... --> View ..........
--> "Always show icons, never thumbnails" turned ON
--> "Display file icon on thumbnails" turned OFF
--> "Display file size information in folder tips" turned OFF

And no joy.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Dec 2014   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Is the drive asleep, do you ever hear it power down ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2014   #3
margrave

Size 12
 
 

Yes, it spins down ... and that produces additional delay upon wake up. But once it spins up it stays up, until it becomes idle for a long period. Even during that up-time I still get the slow-read issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Dec 2014   #4
margrave

Size 12
 
 

Now I'm getting this problem on my primary C:\ drive, too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2014   #5
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Not much information in your Specs about your machine.

Normally, when you begin to see intermittency and anomalous behavior from a hard drive such as you describe (e.g. as if it's struggling to read the data on its platters) that bodes ill for the drive. I'd begin to panic and scurry about trying to quickly back it up before it fails completely, if its contents are otherwise irreplaceable, as the drive is clearly due for a replacement. There's no fixing it, and no need to dwell on trying to fix it, as a hardware replacement with a newer faster quieter larger more energy efficient and less expensive per gigabyte drive is the appropriate course of action when you have an old and now failing hard drive that's clearly on its way out. Don't struggle to save it. Struggle to save the data on it.

But now you've said the symptom is "spreading" to your second drive (i.e. your primary C drive), and that's now indicating you might be seeing your SATA controllers on the motherboard starting to fail. Or, the chipset itself... i.e. the motherboard itself. This may be a little premature to contemplate effectively building a new PC as your solution, but it does sound like you have some kind of a drive-related hardware problem that's not isolated to a single drive.

Again, I'd immediately work on ensuring that any vital data you have is backed up adequately and successfully while you still have working hardware. You don't know yet if it's the two drives that are both suddenly starting to fail (which honestly seems less likely), or something fundamental in the motherboard that's in trouble (which actually does seem more likely, from your symptom description). But with your critical data now safely backed up and secure, you can try all sorts of possible solutions until you find what works... and then you can restore the data from your backup, if necessary.

I'd contemplate that in worst case it might be time for a new machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2014   #6
margrave

Size 12
 
 

This is a known problem, and there are solutions online, mostly around the "Optimize this folder for: General Items vs. Documents vs. Pictures vs. Music vs. Videos". Those worked for me at first ... but they quickly stopped working.

And the problem only affects Windows Explorer. Command line (both DOS/CMD and Cygwin shell) are unaffected.

So it's not a drive failure. Nor an interface failure.

I'm guessing that a Windows update has fubarred things. But who's to know which of the many updates it might have been?

Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2014   #7
margrave

Size 12
 
 

Anyone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #8
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

I had this problem on all my HDDs when I used Avast anti-virus. The worst was trying to view Programs and Features in Control Panel... five full minutes to populate my program list!
When I uninstalled Avast and put Avira back in, the problem vanished.
What's your anti-virus program?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #9
margrave

Size 12
 
 

Well ... I can see how that might be an issue. Good catch.
Mine is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #10
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

Malwarebytes is not an anti-virus program. That's a malware remover. Have you run a full system scan? Anything found?
You're not using something to protect your system like Avast? AVG? MSE? Avira? Panda?
If not, I'd download one of their free versions, install it, and run a full system virus scan, for starters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Explorer is slow to read file list on second drive




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