Windows Explorer running slowly

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  1.    03 Jan 2018 #1

    Windows Explorer running slowly

    My partner's computer is having a problem with Windows Explorer running slowly and poorly. It's been happening for nearly a month, she ascribes the timing of symptoms beginning to show to the same time she installed some new software. I'm not totally convinced as I've had a quick sniff around the Internet and it appears that this problem appears uncorrelated with any software installation. This software is also rather important to her so I'd like to avoid uninstalling it if at all possible.

    The symptoms are:
    • Icons on the desktop occasionally all showing up as the default "blank white sheet of paper" icon
    • Non-folder icons within Windows Explorer showing up as the default "blank white sheet of paper" icon
    • When trying to access a new folder, the progress bar never finishing
    • When trying to sort icons on the desktop, icons disappearing then reappearing some five minutes later (albeit correctly sorted)

    I have checked to see if this is a problem with the icon cache (which it isn't - deleting and rebuilding the icon cache does nothing) and with any possible memory leaks (which it isn't - Explorer is using approximately 50-60MB of memory, occasionally spiking very temporarily to 100MB). I have not yet checked to see if the problem is still there in Safe Mode but I will update when I do - I'm fully expecting the problem to be absent in Safe Mode. EDIT: confirmed that the problem is absent in Safe Mode.

    I've isolated the problem purely to Windows Explorer as other programs work fine. Indeed, if I use one of the shortcut icons on the desktop (or elsewhere), even if it's a "blank" icon, the file will execute appropriately and in a timely manner.

    Any ideas on top of what I've tried?
    Last edited by BlackOwl; 03 Jan 2018 at 06:25. Reason: Adding an update
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    03 Jan 2018 #2

    Please disconnect all connected devices to find out problem resolves if it does not perform a clean boot state.

    I would like to have you run a Clean Boot.

    How to perform a Clean Boot.

    Warning: Disabling items in Services or Startup may leave your antivirus disabled until the process is ended. For this reason I would suggest that you perform this process off line.

    Press the keys to open Run, then type msconfig in the search box. This will open System Configuration.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should enter the password or provide confirmation.

    (1) Click/tap on the General tab.

    (2) Click/tap on the Selective startup option.

    (3) Remove the check mark in the Load startup items check box.

    4. Click on the Services tab.

    5. Place a check mark in the Hide all Microsoft services check box, this will remove the Microsoft Services from the list but will still be running.

    6. Click Disable all, this will remove all of the check marks in the Services list.

    7. Click on Apply then OK

    Click on Restart in the window that opens.

    When the computer is restarted it will boot normally.

    If the problem does not continue after the restart please do the following.

    8. Divide the number of these services and startup programs by two and you place checks in the first half of these, then restart the computer.

    9. If the problem doesn't return in those services and startup programs remove the checks and place checks in the remaining services and startup programs and restart the computer.

    10. When you find which half the service and startup programs is in go on to the next step.

    11. The half which has the service and startup programs causing this problem remove half of the checks as you did previously to see which half has this service. Restart the computer.

    12. If it isn't in the first half of these services and startup programs, do the same with the last half of the services and startup programs.

    13. Once you have narrowed it down to the last three or four services and startup programs remove the checks one at a time till you find the service or startup program at fault.

    Once you have found the service or startup program post it in your topic. Do not take any action until I suggest the next step.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    04 Jan 2018 #3

    I performed the steps requested, and observed the following:
    • When selecting "Disable All", the checkboxes all changed to unticked. However, as soon as I selected "Apply", all three services for my partner's antivirus program (Avast) automatically reselected.
    • I continued anyway after deselecting the services (except Avast). When I rebooted, the problem persisted.
    • Getting back into msconfig afterwards, I noted that every service had reverted to being ticked. I'm not sure if this is supposed to happen.

    Any other ideas?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    04 Jan 2018 #4

    Boot your computer into Safe Mode and let us know if the issue resolves.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Jan 2018 #5

    The issue is not present in Safe Mode.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Jan 2018 #6

    Boot your computer into Safe Mode and try to Clean Boot again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Jan 2018 #7

    I assume you mean "Clean Boot into Normal (i.e. not Safe) Mode". The checkboxes behaved appropriately this time but the OS would not load, instead staying on a black screen with the scrolling circle of white dots. The circle does scroll, it's not completely frozen.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    04 Jan 2018 #8

    No configure clean boot from Safe Mode and test the Clean Boot result from normal boot state.

    Do you have a Windows Installation DVD?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    04 Jan 2018 #9

    Yes, that's exactly what I did to get the black screen.

    No, the computer has no optical drive. It's a laptop.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    04 Jan 2018 #10

    You can create a Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

    Boot your computer with Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive and from Windows Recovery Environment start the System Restore tool to restore Windows 10 to a date and time it was working.

    You can also use Startup Repair tool if System Restore wont work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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