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Slow folder access - contents of folder are displayed after 4-8 second delay

Posted on 1999-07-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I'm running Win98 SE on a P166mmx laptop with 56 megs of RAM and a semi-large 4.3g hard drive.  For whatever reason, maybe my computer's too slow, it takes anywhere from 2-8 seconds to show the contents of a folder when I open it.  I don't use the traditional explorer for windows (never really used Win 3.x) but I do use the "My Computer" version of it.  Is there any reason/explanation/fix for this problem or do I just need more patience?  Thanks in advance...

webguy
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Question by:webguy
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12 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1675902
are you talking about opening any folder, or just particular folders? because if  you are on a network and have mapped drives, it takes a while for windows to find them before displaying them the first time that my computer is opened.

however, if this occurs on every single folder that you open, i think there might be something wrong....

bush
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:webguy
ID: 1675903
It's only on folders which are deep into the directory tree...ironically, network browsing is instantaneous while local hard drive browsing is slow as hell.  Would a defrag help?  It's a relatively new install (last formatted: July 18 1999) so it shouldn't be too fragmented.  Dunno...
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Gtrist
ID: 1675904
I have also seen the problem occur if you have a CD in the CD-ROM drive. The system will be slow to display while it waits for information about the current CD
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by:webguy
ID: 1675905
The CD can be in or out, doesn't make any difference unless you're accessing the "My Computer" icon.
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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1675906
hmm.. if it is local hard drive browsing you suggestion of a defrag might help, but a scandisk first would be good as well.

also, in the directories which you are accessing, are there many files in there or just a few files. you might notice a performance improvement if you enable DMA on your hard drive...

bush
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1675907
Are you using a folder view or detail view. If folder view, it will take longer as Win98 needs to create icons for each file.

Bush, you should only enable DMA on qualified motherboard with hard drives that are DMA qualified. If not, a crash could result.

Given the size of your memory, you are probably getting a lot of file paging. Since you network view is faster I believe that your swap file and memory has quite a bit to do with the problem.

Try this, and if you see an improvement. If so, there's some permanent fixes that can be made.

Open windows explorer. Once it's open, then click View, Refresh. Now close Windows explorer. Open another program to load up memory, then close it and reopen Windows Explorer. Does it load faster?
Dennis

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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1675908
good point... i was assuming something ;) about the DMA that is...

bush
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Author Comment

by:webguy
ID: 1675909
I have setup my swap file to use a 120-meg partition...the size is min/max of 120 megs so as to keep it defragged and speedy (if a swap file can be speedy).  
I use the "list" view for folders and such, so yes it has to build the icons on the fly as I access the folder.
I am wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that all of these folders exist under the "virtual" folder that is the "My Documents" folder.  Anywhere else on the hard drive, including the Windows\ and Windows\System\ dirs, the speed is normal.  Could this possibly be the cause??  Thanks for the help!

PS: dew: I tried your fix and this is when I realized the speed difference between the rest of the folders and the "my documents" folder.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1675910
<<Could this possibly be the cause??>>

Yes it could, actually you've gotten ahead of me. When all of these like and unlike items are placed in the same folder, windows has to determine what each is, search it's DLL of known registered file types, select the appropriate icon and then print the details to the screen. This becomes worse when you start using many different programs with many different files types, such as Visual Basic, HTML, Word Docs, WordPerfect, Picture files such as pic, jpg, jpeg, bmp, au etc and a slew of others that require Windows to make this determination.

The only reasonable way we have been able to control this is to define specific file folders, (and yes I know when your assembling Web pages you can't do this) and sort the files into them, such as docs in one, jpg in another etc.

Unfortunately these searching, assigning and print-to-screen tasks and there speed are directly linear to the speed of the CPU, motherboard Bus, Memory and video.

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Author Comment

by:webguy
ID: 1675911
Dew-

That's what I thought...166 just ain't cuttin' it. =)
Answer up and I'll give you some points! =)

Lataz and thanks....

Chris
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Accepted Solution

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dew_associates earned 280 total points
ID: 1675912
Thanks Chris!  I'll keep your reference to this question though as I'm bound to have some web issue questions.
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Author Comment

by:webguy
ID: 1675913
Sounds good!  Hope to see your question(s) in the future...

slataz...

webguy
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