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Windows 7: Delay in explorer.exe startup

17 Apr 2011   #1
Plxply

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Delay in explorer.exe startup

Hello,

I've started to experience a strange problem where my laptop seems to be completely idle before starting explorer.exe (So I have a blue desktop with only the mouse pointer) this is after login as I have it set to automatically login. I have tried various things, I have looked through Autoruns and there is nothing which I can find which would be delaying startup, I have tried removing almost everything non-essential from startup however the problem does not fix. I have also tried doing a boot trace with Process Monitor to see if any process is timing out, however nothing stands out to me as delaying explorer.exe from starting.

Is there any further diagnostic I can do, or any idea on what can be causing the slow down?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Apr 2011   #2
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Have you added any information headers ( AKA "Sort Headers")? Especially "Size" information. Special Icons etc? All these things can delay Explorer startup.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #3
Plxply

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I appear to have overlooked the simple and have just attempted to boot into Safe mode. It seems that the problem does not persist and therefore I assume it's something I've done in regards to installing applications. My main question is, what is most likely to delay explorer.exe in starting or cause it to take a long time to appear? I will rerun a boot trace with process monitor again to see if I can find anything and possibly post the results (of course with appropriate filters as I know the files come out at 1GB).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Apr 2011   #4
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Various add-ons can delay Explorer start-up considerably. Does this only occur when you start Explorer after a boot, or every time you start Explorer?

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #5
Plxply

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Killing explorer.exe through the task manager and also relaunching it is extremely fast, so I assume it is something that is loading before explorer which is the problem? Typically either it would be stuck on the "Loading" screen for a long time or hold at the blue background with the pointer which I assume is before explorer.exe has started. I'm also looking through the boot log now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #6
Plxply

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I've noticed something very strange throughout process monitor, for some reason explorer.exe keeps accessing, reading and writing to:

Code:
C:\Users\(Username)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn
With one of these event taking 24 seconds, is this normal for Windows or is it possibly indicating an issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #7
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

No, it is not normal. There is no reason for Explorer to access "Burn" unless you are actually trying to burn a disc.

First. I would run CCleaner;

CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

then mrublaster;

MRU-Blaster™

then run a disc cleanup.

If this does not solve the problem, then also run a scan with Malwarebytes to see if some malware is affecting your system.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you run Soluto ( Soluto ), it will show you all processes running at startup and it provides the tools to manage them (kill, delay, etc.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #9
Plxply

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mike Connor View Post
First. I would run CCleaner;
then mrublaster;
then run a disc cleanup.

If this does not solve the problem, then also run a scan with Malwarebytes to see if some malware is affecting your system.
Done, done and done. I even booted up a live CD of Ubuntu in the event I managed to attract a rootkit, although the avast scan came up completely clean.

The main problem is normally applications are started after the execution of explorer.exe so therefore this I assume is most likely something beforehand going wrong. Although I shall run Soluto to see if anything can be found.

If anyone else has any more ideas or thinks they can find it in the process monitor log please tell me, I've been trying to fix this for the last week.

EDIT: Here's the Soluto result, I don't think Dropbox is the problem but I will try and see what happens if I remove it. The main issue is that "System" is taking 50 seconds, which is how long it took before to get to the desktop.



EDIT 2: Well I uninstalled Dropbox and I don't know how to explain it but somehow my boot time got significantly longer:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #10
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

A couple of points. It shouldn't make any difference to the length of the Explorer file manager startup time what other applications you start. The only things that can normally affect this are modifications to the Explorer file manager itself. Some programs, especially many shell extensions, use "hooks" and similar techniques to add functionality to the Explorer file manager, ( Windows Explorer is not just the file manager, Explorer is the default Windows shell). The more information you want to display, and the larger the directory you want to open, the longer explorer takes to do it.

However, if you suspect some other program is affecting file manager startup time, ( although this is very unlikely), then you can use CCleaner "tools" to disable startup entries, and see if that solves the problems;



If you get some "odd" problems with Explorer or other programs, then it is often a good idea to delete old prefetch data. You can also do this with CCleaner;



Some other Explorer problems can also be solved by using CCleaner to delete various caches etc.

I have not seen a problem with "Burn" in this regard, but it seems likely that Explorer is trying to do something which it would not normally do as a default action when starting.

This can only be due to either old data which has not been cleaned from a cache, or some external program which has changed Explorer's default behaviour.

Also, it is often necessary to restart Explorer. There are various ways of doing this, the simplest way on a standard Windows 7 installation is;

Press <CTRL> + <SHIFT>, now right-click on an empty area in the Start menu. You’ll see a menu with two options, Exit Explorer and Properties.

Select the Exit Explorer command. Start menu, Taskbar and Desktop will the closed and the other applications will continue to run in the background.


To manually start a new Explorer.exe, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to launch Task Manager.


Go to File > New Task(Run) type explorer.exe in the new task box to restart the explorer.


This can also be done with a simple batch file;


Code:
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe explorer.exe
Copy the code to a text file, name the file RestartExplorer or similar, and save it as a .bat file. Clicking on this will now stop Explorer and restart it.


If you clear the "Tray Notifications Cache" using CCleaner, ( which resets the cache and solves quite a few problems), then you also need to stop and then restart Explorer before continuing. as otherwise the cache is NOT cleared. Restarting the machine itself is no use in this case. For changes to take effect you MUST stop and then restart Explorer.

It is also a good idea to check that everything is as desired by shutting the machine down and re-booting

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Delay in explorer.exe startup




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