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Windows 7: One folder on desktop is crashing overall performance

02 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
One folder on desktop is crashing overall performance

Hello there. Thanks for dropping in. I've set this up by categories to make it easier to navigate, esp if you want to skip a section, go ahead.

Situation/Clues: I keep my laptop in good shape and optimize/scan often. I have one folder on my desktop that has been really acting up and causing problems. They are:

1). Folder itself: neverending green bar and right clicking crashes. No problem w/ bigger folders.
2). Desktop: freezes and then is sluggish til restart.
3). Background programs: "microsoft windows has crashed" error. Task manager has problems.
4). Shut down: Takes several minutes. Have to force "windows log-off sound"
5). Other: Same problems in safe mode.

Contents of problem folder: It has a performance/safety subfolder w/ programs like Avast, malwarebytes, ADWcleaner, CCleaner, SAS, etc. I recently deleted iObit programs like smart defrag and ASC. This folder also has/had some basic programs like spotify, foxit reader (I deleted some to see if they were the problem; they weren't).

Steps I've taken To help save your time some things I've already tried w/ no betterment or worsening:

1) Hardware: /scannow, /chkdsk, defrag
2) Programs: autoruns, windows troubleshoot and update
3) Scans: virus/malware/adware/spyware and avast boot scan
4) clean boot
and others

Thank you so much for reading this. I've been having a crap time figuring this out and I really appreciate any help you can give me.

Tl;DR: Desktop folder makes windows manager and desktop freeze. When it's done it's sluggish as hell and have to restart. No other folders do this. Even rightclicking on folder does this. In the folder are some safety/performance programs (avast to CCleaner etc). I've tried so many things to no avail (see steps). It's a very isolated problem so I hope it's not hard to figure out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 32 bit

When you say CCleaner.exe is in there, and other programs, you mean the exe files and all their supporting files?

As an experiment try making a folder under C: (assuming windows is in C:\Windows) named Utils ( C:\Utils )

Drag move your desktop folder into it. See if the symptoms disappear. If that works then you can make a Toolbar on the Taskbar for easy access.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for responding Miles.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
When you say CCleaner.exe is in there, and other programs, you mean the exe files and all their supporting files?
Most of them are just the shortcuts that were made during the install. There are a couple in there that do have their .exe and supporting files, which have their own folders so the subfolder won't get cluttered. I think TDSS Rootkiller has something like that. Possibly CCleaner.

I tried the experiment. It's a clever idea, though unfortunately it didn't fix it.

I have a possible idea: if I remade the folder and put back the programs I needed, might it fix issue? Assuming the problem is the exact folder itself for some reason.

Also, would it be worth uninstalling the programs (and later reinstalling) to test if it's one of those? Or would these ideas have nothing to do with the windows manager issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 32 bit

The right click issue makes me think there is a bad shell extension. This procedure seems germane:

Troubleshooting Context Menu (Right Click) issues are a process of elimination exercise.

Right-click crashes are usually caused by 3rd party shell extensions, which you can narrow down
using ShellExView. See "Method 2" in this article for more details Right-click is slow or weird behavior caused by context menu handlers
Right-click is slow or weird behavior caused by context menu handlers
and here :

Manage the context-menu entries for files, folders, drives and Namespace objects
Manage the context-menu entries for files, folders, drives and Namespace objects

The ShellExView utility displays the details of shell extensions installed on your computer, and
allows you to easily disable and enable each shell extension.
ShellExView - Shell Extension Manager For Windows

ShellMenuView is a small utility that display the list of static menu items that appeared in the
context menu when you right-click a file/folder on Windows Explorer, and allows you to easily
disable unwanted menu items.
ShellMenuView - Disable/enable context menu items of Explorer

How To Edit Or Remove Items From The Right Click Menu.
Context Menu Editors: Add, Remove, Edit Windows Context Menu items

The entire page is here
but I wanted to highlight the shell extension part since you already tried many of the fixes.

How a shell extension usually works is a COM DLL is registered with the system to respond to certain things. When one of those happens, Explorer goes through the list of handlers for that event and notifies them what is up. If one has a bug it can slow Explorer down, confuse it, even make it crash. That's why I think it's most likely a Folder right click handler that is bad.

Just to be on the safe side it wouldn't hurt to run scandisk first. Make sure files aren't corrupted on the machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I got the programs listed and read all the information on it. I then used the shellexviewer to disable the extensions for all the uninstalled or unneeded programs.

And apparently the folder is gone haha. I think I deleted it from C:/ without moving it to desktop, and then I cleared recycle bin without thinking. I'm smart like that.

But, I did make another folder with all the same programs and I checked it, and I checked all the other desktop folders. They are loading instantaneously now, which is awesome! I guess I was just used to it, but now I realize they and the context menus were lagging and now that's fixed. And there are no issues now! It feels so much better.

I've seriously spent hours trying to fix this crap and you just honed it out lol. Thank you so much for your help MilesAhead :) I really appreciate it. And you saved me so much time and frustration lol

Thanks again, and I hope you have a great week!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 32 bit

Glad you got it. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 One folder on desktop is crashing overall performance

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