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Windows Explorer takes about 20-40 seconds to load, locks up randomly

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#1 spiderstave


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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:12 AM


I'm using Windows XP SP 3. For the past several months Windows Explorer had been slow to open, maybe about 5-10 seconds, but since it wasn't THAT long I just lived with it. Unfortuantely, recently it has begun taking much longer, 20-40 seconds, as well as randomly locking up and crashing.


- It's happening in any Windows Explorer window. If I press Ctrl-E it happens, as well as using a folder shortcut to open My Documents, although if I open My Documents the wait is only about 5-10 seconds.

- When pressing Ctrl-E, there is a delay of about 3-4 seconds before Windows Explorer opens at all. It then opens with an hour glass, shows me my drives/folders, but without icons next to them. The hour glass stays for about 20-40 seconds until finally I can click on something. When navigating through Windows Explorer, opening a new drive or a folder that contains a lot of files oftentimes causes it to lock up for about 20 seconds as the hard drive spins loudly.

- When returning to my desktop, typically about 2/3 of the desktop items have the default "Can't find the icon" icon that windows uses. Slowly, over the course of about 10 seconds the correct icons load, and I hear the hard drive spinning loudly.

- Lately I've also been occasionally getting blue screens/reboots.

What I've done:

- Updated and done full system scan with AVG free. Found nothing.

- Updated and done full system scan with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Found nothing.

- Performed a clean boot. Had same problem with Windows Explorer delay.

- Ran Windows Debugger on the minidump file that was created of the last BSOD. I won't post the whole thing here, but the last line came back with "Probably caused by : MA763004.sys ( MA763004+342 )", which is a driver for my M-Audio external USB ASIO sound device. This has been working fine, and the driver hasn't been updated since XP was first installed on this machine.

- Ran Chkdsk /r on C:\, found nothing.

- Ran SMART test on all hard disks, passed.

And now I'm running out of ideas, so I thought I'd post here and see if anyone had any additional ideas. I know typically you request a HJT log, but I wanted to post to make sure I didn't miss any obvious steps before I posted that.

The odd thing is no other programs seem to be running slow. Firefox, IE, Office, etc. all run fine. Additionally, when I browse files through another program, like using the "Save as..." file option, all folders load quickly and there is no delay. It's just Windows Explorer (and of course the occasional BSOD which is a pain, that happens about once a week). I'm getting to the end of my rope and tempted to just do a clean re-install of XP, but I'm hoping to upgade to Windows 7 next month anyway, so I'd like to try to get this install of XP to last until then.

Thanks for any help!

Edited by spiderstave, 25 September 2009 - 11:32 AM.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:33 AM

FWIW: A damaged system file...may not show any observable impact to the user from damage...but it may be reflected in system operation. The fact that any driver for a device...appears to be working properly...can be superficial and erroneous.

It's also good to remember that in a system...something wrong with one file may manifest itself in a malfunction of something else. Examples are all the various types of memory errors...which are really caused by something other than memory but manifest themselves in the functioning of system memory.

If you have a .dmp error file which fingers a given driver as having problems...IMO, it's having problems.

At the least, I would uninstall it and then reinstall it.

It might be a good idea (certainly won't hurt) to run the sfc /scannow command. This is designed to detect and replace any damaged or missing system files.

How To Use Sfc.exe To Repair System Files - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43051/how-to-use-sfcexe-to-repair-system-files/


#3 spiderstave

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 12:10 PM

Hello Louis,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I will give your suggestions a try and post here with the results.

Best regards,


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