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Why does my pc stall when displaying a directory?

Discussion in 'Software' started by jsm555, May 29, 2007.

  1. jsm555

    jsm555 Private E-2

    This is gonna be difficult to explain, but here goes:

    I'm running Win/XP SP2 and lately I've noticed that my pc "stalls" at times, for a few seconds, when I bring up a directory with Windows Explorer or other program, like when I go to MyDocuments - it takes maybe 30 seconds for the screen to actually display the files/folders in MyDocuments. I don't think it's actually a problem with Windows Explorer, because I have the same problem when other programs do a file list - the computer just 'stalls' for anywhere from 15-60 seconds and then takes off, listing the files/folders. Once I've displayed a directory, I can go back and re-display it and it pops right up. But if I wait an hour or so and go back to the directory, I'll usually get the pause. I've noticed that my wife's pc does this to some degree, so maybe it's not all that unusual - I've disabled indexing to see if that was causing the problem, but apparently not. I use AVG Internet Security, btw. Would more memory help? (I have 1mb now). I'm using an SATA drive and I've used Sandra to test virtually everything about the system, with all results in the "acceptable" range for the hardware type. The system isn't crashing, but this is really annoying. Any ideas what might be causing this?
  2. BirdBath

    BirdBath Sergeant Major

    It sounds like its time to defragment your hard drive.
  3. mcadam

    mcadam Major Amnesia

    Agree with this statement, and also clean out your system using Ad-Aware and C-Cleaner

    Both work very well and may help.

    You say you have "1mb" of memory - I'm guessing this is an error, what memory (RAM) do you have installed and how much hard drive space do you have?
  4. noahawk

    noahawk Corporal

    Do these directories have a lot of files in them? If they do, Windows has to gather the info for each file when you open the directory, and then start displaying the files and info it has found. If the information is on different parts of the drive, it has to go to a different part of the drive for each file, and it takes longer.

    If you try some folders that don't have as many files, it should display faster.

    The same folder may display faster right after opening the folder again because the info is still stored in memory (RAM), which is faster than a hard drive, but an hour later, the info may have been removed from memory, so it acts slower again.

    One more vote for defragmenting
  5. jsm555

    jsm555 Private E-2

    Yes, the 'my documents' folder does have a lot of files in it, but not in the root, only about 20 files are in the root, the rest are in subdirectories. But there are a total of around 45,000 files in about 2,000 folders -

    Yes, meant "1gb" not "1mb" - It's been a long day :)

    I have about 205gb (out of a total 250gb) free on my hard drive, and I just de-fragged it yesterday - I thought that sounded like a logical explanation also, but it didn't seem to help - I've run System Mechanic 5's Registry Cleaner, as well as Systemworks Windoctor, several times in the past few days, nothing really unusual.

    Here's something that is an indication of the types of things I'm seeing: when I was looking for a program this evening, I opened "All programs" and just did a mouseover on the directories to see which programs they contained. When I did a mouseover on the "System Mechanic" folder (a subfolder of a folder called "Utilities"), it took about 12 seconds to display the nine files (programs) in that folder. Same thing happened with the Startup folder - about 10 programs, but took about 15 seconds for the files to appear when I did a mouseover - I know that something's wrong, but what could it be?
  6. jsm555

    jsm555 Private E-2

    OK, here's a current status:

    I've run CCleaner, Systemworks, System Mechanic, and several other freeware/trialware registry 'fixers' - I've defragged the drive several times, and I've run a complete virus and adware scan using AVG Internet Security. I've also done an sfc/scannow.

    But I'm still having problems - for example, just now I did a right-click on an mp3 file that was stored on my desktop to see how big it was, and I got the hourglass for about 25 seconds before the action box was displayed. Something's terribly wrong - I hate to think that I'm gonna have to re-install windows, but I'm at my wits' end- does anyone have any ideas for me? tia --
  7. noahawk

    noahawk Corporal

    Hmm, if you go to Start > Run (or if you don't have a Run option, press Windows key + R at the same time) and type in eventvwr.msc This will load the Event Viewer. Click on the System option on the left, left click on the source column, and then look in the source column for any red Warnings listed under Disk. If you double click on any of those, if they mention a bad block in the Description area, you may have a failing hard drive.

    Another option is to locate and run the hard drive integrity tools of your disk's manufacturer and see what they report as well. Most, if not all, are located here at majorgeeks.
  8. BirdBath

    BirdBath Sergeant Major

    This could also be a Windows Explorer problem.

    You could try this http://www.majorgeeks.com/Dial-a-fix_d4899.html

    Put checks in all the boxes of section 5 on the main UI. The Registration Center.

    It would not hurt to run all the fixes but the section 5 deals with Explorer and your core runtime programs.
  9. theefool

    theefool Geekified

    In addition to this, just to be on the safe side.....

    Click START, then RUN, then type in: CMD (press enter).
    type in:

    chkdsk c: /r (press enter).
    y (enter)
    y (enter).

    type in:

    exit (enter)

    reboot the computer. This will take a long time to run.

    BTW, are ye running FAT32 or NTFS?

    To check it: Double click on "My computer", or click START, then "My computer". Then right click on "C". Properties. Does it have NTFS or FAT32 listed?
  10. theefool

    theefool Geekified

    Dial a fix has been known to fix a LOT of issues. :)
  11. Jazagod

    Jazagod Command Sergeant Major

    How much memory do you have installed? Possibly part of the problem is the fact your PC is busy allocating memory to do the job when it is elswhere?
    never know :)
  12. BirdBath

    BirdBath Sergeant Major

    Very good point. If you have alot of running processes in the back ground it will slow explorer considerably.

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