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Why does Explorer slow to a crawl in Win98 ?

After I delete a large number of files in a folder ...say  200- 300 ...Explorer slows right down to the point that I have to reboot.  Other programs seem to run ok .  Any idea's on this?
Thanks in advance

P.S. Recycle Bin is not active.
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1 Solution
usaully when you delete files they go to the recycle bin. your recycle bin is getting full or is already full now. i had this happen to me just go to the recycle bin folder whoile your in explorer if you can and empty it. hopes this helps you out.
billreidAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
Whenever you do something in Win98, the system uses more and more memory, which makes subsequent actions slower and slower, you can try to use a 3rd party memory manager that frees up memory on demand.  There are heaps of these, try searching for "memory" and "free" at a download place like
Another reason may be that you have a huge hard drive, full of stuff, when you delete stuff, the data on your hard drive becomes very non-contiguous, so maybe your hard disk has to search more for your data.  In this case try a defrag regularly.  The defrag that comes with Nuts and Bolts is excellent.
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What is this folder you are deleting 200-300 files from? Are you deleting temporary application files ie, c:\windows\temp\ or are you deleting temporary internet files? From the description you mean Internet Explorer?? If this is the case and you are deleting temporary internet files with Iexplorer open try using the clear history option and delete files under "Temporary internet files" under tools/options/general - manually deleting temp' internet files is a bad idea, particularly with IE open.

As above,
if you are deleting your internet cache of files then when you go to your favourite pages it has to load all the graphics again, as they are not cached on your hard drive. This will take some time for each page you go to.
I'd just leave the stored pages alone unless you are running out of room on the HD, if so I'd find some junk you dont need on the hard-drive (old games, templates never used, demo movies etc...)

billreidAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points from 100 to 200
billreidAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the comments so far.

But no I am not deleteing an internet cache.
The  programs might be  Flight Simulator 98 or a Corel   Print House  , that has a large number of small files .. .    Clip art etc. sometimes numbering in the hundreds !

Are you "deleting to recycle bin"? If so, are you then "emptying recycle bin"? A little more info couldn't hurt.

>>svenedin>> Bit early for an answer don't you think, particularly based on MY comment!!
billreidAuthor Commented:
Sorry ,

I don't feel that Svenedin's answer is the best  solution at this time.

In all fairness I will try to assist PCGuru and others  with more info.

The computer is a Celeron 466 with 196 Meg of PC100 memory on an Abit BH6 motherboard. The harddrive is a 17 Gig with about  7 gig free .  I am running Win98 SE .
  I have been running Rambooster version 1.6 .   I do not use the recycle bin so it is disaabled.
Windows takes care of the swap file size.
The computer is running Sygate version 3.1  .  I am connected to the internet by cable modem . I have a hub connected with 2 other networked computers.  I am running Norton AntiVirus 5.0 with Auto Protect enabled.

As I said earlier this problem only occurs when I delete a large number of files at one time these are not cache files.  Good example was , I copied a folder to my harddrive which contained about 1000 clip art pictures.  When my daughter finished he project  I went to delete the files. when explorer showed the folder empty it took about a minute to recover. From that point on any actions in explorer were delayed by about 20 -30 seconds. Closing and resarting explorer did not help. Only rebooting the computer did.  
I may have to accept that this is just a flaw in the Windows operating system.
Hope I have enough info this time !
P.S.  I will be out of town from May 15 - June 10 so pls accept my late responses.
Thanks again    Bill Reid  
Hi billreid,

Your problem may be caused by corrupt registry on file C:\SYSTEM.1ST,
so try to reinstall your Windows with this method :

1. Backup your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
2. ATTRIB -r-s-h C:\SYSTEM.1ST
3. Delete only file C:\SYSTEM.1ST
4. Reinstall your Windows
5. Restore your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
6. Reboot your PC.

Good luck.
billreidAuthor Commented:
Answer accepted
If anyone else is plagued with this, try installing SpyBot.
Find it here:

I had this identical problem, tried all of the above and more, and nothing worked.
This tool removed 15 or more registry entries for something called BackWeb -- some form of spy ware that my vendor installed -- more than once.

Problem has disappeared!
And you are welcome.
Defragging, eliminating spyware, cleaning out temps and caches, disabling
needless bootware are all fine maintence tips. But they all have one thing

Windows misbehaves this way even after a clean install. On a clean install,
copy your Windows CD to several folders and try deleting them all at once.
BAM! There it is. Explain that with spyware? Explain that with System.1st?

I can confirm the delete hangover in Windows98se and Windows2000pro.
I believe I have observed it with NT4 too, but I won't swear to it.
It may be common to all flavors of Windows.

There really isn't any way to see whats going wrong with Win98. But with
Windows2000 you can open the Task manager and see that something is
seriously choking in Explorer.exe . Takes forever for the memory footprint
to creep back down to normal, and the CPU utilization stays pegged at 99%.
Doesn't matter how much memory you have in the system (I got 1.5Gig)
Explorer gets seriously bogged down even expanding to as little as 40Meg.
The normal idle size for explorer.exe in 2000 is around 4.5 ~ 6 meg.

Win98 doesn't ever seem to recover completely. Eventually you may regain
some limited use of your machine, but everything will be so slow afterwards,
you might as well reboot at that point and save yourself the aggrivation.

The workaround is simple:
Go to an old fashioned command prompt and use Del *.* or Deltree.
Instant deleting without the Explorer hangover.
By Jove, I think he's got it.  And you are right, it doesn't go away with any of those other things.  Nuff said.  Thanks.

I have seen this behavior on lot of machines. I absolutely agree with kenpeter. None of the remedies suggested above work.  I think it's a flaw in Windows itself.  Some time I have to delete 15 to 20 thousand files.  It can literlly take for ever to delete them if i were to use Windows Explorer.  As kenpeter mentioned, I just go to DOS prompt and delete them in few seconds.  In fact i use DOS prompt for any thing i can.
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