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Windows 7: explorer.exe slows down

19 Jul 2009   #1
dcostalis

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit
 
 
explorer.exe slows down

Hi there,

I'm running x64 7264 (sorry if my specs say otherwise) right now, and I'm noticing that explorer.exe will slow down to unusable after a couple of days. If i kill the process and restart it, everything ends up working just fine, but until I do that, the taskbar is unusable, and there are weird alt-TAB issues. Has anyone else run into something similar? Besides that little weird thing, I've been running this for at least a week now without a reboot, so that's pretty great!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Jul 2009   #2
7echno7im

Windows 7 7600.16384 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dcostalis View Post
Hi there,

I'm running x64 7264 (sorry if my specs say otherwise) right now, and I'm noticing that explorer.exe will slow down to unusable after a couple of days. If i kill the process and restart it, everything ends up working just fine, but until I do that, the taskbar is unusable, and there are weird alt-TAB issues. Has anyone else run into something similar? Besides that little weird thing, I've been running this for at least a week now without a reboot, so that's pretty great!

How much ram? Also how many windows do you have open? Do you have any toolbars/add ons that add junk to explorer? (open explorer>alt>view>toolbars)

One thing you can do to get more performance out of explorer is allow Windows to run explorer.exe in separate processes. This also helps if one window decides to crash, they all don't.

Open explorer>alt>tools>folder options>view>advanced settings>Launch folder Windows in separate process (reboot may be necessary, not sure)

This is only recommended if you have lost of RAM ( I would guess over 3GB)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2009   #3
dcostalis

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 7echno7im View Post
How much ram? Also how many windows do you have open? Do you have any toolbars/add ons that add junk to explorer? (open explorer>alt>view>toolbars)

One thing you can do to get more performance out of explorer is allow Windows to run explorer.exe in separate processes. This also helps if one window decides to crash, they all don't.

Open explorer>alt>tools>folder options>view>advanced settings>Launch folder Windows in separate process (reboot may be necessary, not sure)

This is only recommended if you have lost of RAM ( I would guess over 3GB)
Yeah, I have 4 gig, everything else in my specs is up to date, except my build number. I've changed it at least 4 times, so I didn't bother updating each time.

And no, it's not a matter of "optimized speed", its a matter of explorer actually slowing down and becoming totally unusable, which is why I'm trying to track down if similar problems have been seen. Even with the most grueling of tasks, my taskbar should never become so slow that isn't usable with a 2.66Ghz quad-core and 4 gig of RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 Jul 2009   #4
Orbital Shark

 
 

Have you noticed anything (other than explorer.exe) using a large amount of resources in task manager? It could be that there is a process that's interacting with explorer which is causing this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #5
dcostalis

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Orbital Shark View Post
Have you noticed anything (other than explorer.exe) using a large amount of resources in task manager? It could be that there is a process that's interacting with explorer which is causing this issue.
No, nothing else. explorer doesn't ever end up using 25% (one core) of my processor either, so that means its not multi-core optimized (which is awesome. thanks MS). However, when it gets to that state, it makes the taskbar nearly useless, and the ALT-TAB gets flaky to where the only way to set focus to a window is to click it after bringing the ALT-TAB switcher up.

Probably just something weird with the 7264 build, I'm guessing (hoping).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2009   #6
7echno7im

Windows 7 7600.16384 x64
 
 

Do you have any odd/old software installed? I am sure a rebuild with the newest build will take care of this, although i have used 7264 and never noticed this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #7
gridsleep

Oberon
 
 
same problem in xp64

My computer is showing the same symptoms, right out of the blue, for the past couple of days. I have XP64 on one 320GB SATA 3.0 drive and 7 on another same drive, and a third 500GB drive for storage. I installed the latest NVidia chipset drivers on the XP because I was having intermittant crashes in PowerDirector 7 video editing software. I also installed the latest Radeon drivers and something else I can't recall at the moment. Installation was a little troublesome and unorthodox, and I was thinking it might be a mistake to install Nvidia's set, but the driver set from my mobo company is two years old. Everything was working fine for a couple of days, then I start the computer and it takes forever to boot. The slowdown occurs whether I boot to XP64 or 7. The only connection between the two is the 7 boot sector on the XP drive. I reinstalled the original mobo company chipset drivers but nothing improved. It is even super slow loading Safe mode. I am wondering if this is some coincidental hardware problem. The computer starts to boot, and the boot progress indicator moves along with a steady hard drive light. Then, I think about when it goes from boot to login sequence, the hard drive light suddenly starts pulsing, a long pulse for about a second, then 3 or 4 little blips over 2 or 3 seconds, then a long pulse, changing like that continuously, for the remainder of the time the computer is on. After that, the login graphic slowly appears, sometimes fading in too slowly to watch (kind of like watching dawn brighten as the sun rises). Eventually, the Windows desktop appears and I can actually run programs from the desktop icons pretty well, but the response time of the Taskbar can be measured in minutes. Windows 7 never even gets that far, or I just have not had the patience to wait the hour it would take to boot up. CAD brings of the Task Manager in a short enough time. Total Commander lets me access the drive, but when I try to change drives it locks up. Add/Remove programs comes up but never populates. CPU usage is 0% pulsing to about 2% every few seconds, normal. Page memory usage is about 500MB out of 8GB, below normal but not indicating any problem. It is almost as if the system clock is running 1000x slower for the Explorer.exe than it is for the rest of the computer. I do not have an explanation.

Running speed tests on the SATA drives in XP using the tester in Device Manager (Port 0 and 1 one one controller and port 0 on the other) the drive speeds vary greatly. One test can show 150MB/s or 12MB or 24MB or 0MB (those seem to be the same plateau all the time.) Max speed achievable appears to be random. Whatever is causing this problem, it affects SATA drive speed, and Explorer.exe running speed.

Right now I've booted into an Ubuntu 9.04 CD to be able to copy files off the XP drive onto an external drive. This is proceeding rather normally, so apparently the problem is not hardware related as far as the ATA DVD drive and USB drive is concerned. I'll probably end up completely rebuilding the XP64. I have already used the XP install disk to use FixMBR and FixBoot, so the 7 drive is no longer accessible. I'm not going to bother with than, any more. That this problem did not happen immediately after any software update is the kicker. It just started happening for no immediate reason. Also it appeared to damage my AVG firewall, which I was able to reinstall (on the XP--the 7 I didn't bother to try to boot into at all after it became so slow.)

If Ubuntu worked perfectly with all my hardware, I would be through with Windows permanently.

Windows XP64
Windows 7
Asus M2N-E mobo NVidia nforce 570 Ultra
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3000 3.1GHz AM2
Antec 750W PS, Antec 1080 tower case
Hitachi Deskstar SATA 3.0 320GB x 2, 500GB
Geil EVOONE DDR2 2GB x 4 800MHz CAS5
Sapphire Radeon HD4850 1GB OC PCI-Ex16
Hauppauge HD1800 TV card PCI-Ex1
no name USB port card PCI
Lite-On DVD ROM ATA master
Asus DVD RAM ATA slave
LG Flattron 22" LCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #8
dcostalis

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gridsleep View Post
I just have not had the patience to wait the hour it would take to boot up.
you have some hardware issues... The only remedy that you might have besides replacing something is to try upping your voltages in your bios by a notch.... but there's no guarantee there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #9
gridsleep

Oberon
 
 

I found the problem. It's the Nvidia Storage Drivers. Apparently they don't play well with some motherboards. There's even a warning in the installer. Maybe it's because I have RAID disabled. After rebuilding the system, as soon as I installed the Nvidia stuff, the boot slowed to a crawl again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #10
gridsleep

Oberon
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dcostalis View Post
you have some hardware issues... The only remedy that you might have besides replacing something is to try upping your voltages in your bios by a notch.... but there's no guarantee there.
Asus M2N-E has few notches for increasing the voltage. I've had to replace RAM twice because I made the mistake of getting 2.2v RAM instead of 1.9v. In this case, though, it's the storage drivers that don't fit the system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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