I believe that this is a registry problem, but I'm not certain. I believe that it developed around the time when I installed Turbo Tax Deluxe 2002 on my pc, but again, not positive.
Symptoms: Whenever I right click on an icon in windows explorer (ie on the desktop or in a subfolder window) my cursor changes to an hourglass, the hard drive goes nuts for about ten seconds, and then nothing happens. task manager displays no processor usage, no unusual memory usage, all tasks appear to be responding normally, but nothing that communicates with Windows Explorer will operate. I usually respond by ending the explorer.exe process and restarting it using File/Run in the taskman, but if it happens enough times the whole system starts to get unstable, so a restart is a good idea.
My system is a Dell Inspiron 4100 Laptop, 1GHz processor, 640MB ram, 10 GB hard disk running Windows XP Home, with all MS updates applied.
I've tried the following:
NAV 2002, all updated & scanned (no viruses)
NPF 2003, all updated
Ad-Aware scanned (nothing much found)
Spybot Search & Destroy scanned (a few evil cookies)
Registry Healer scanned (a few invalid paths)
chkdsk /r (& reboot - no errors)
I generally run a pretty clean system using webwasher to prevent most evil cookies and I've been behind a hardware firewall the whole time, so I don't think I've been hacked. I think its definitely a registry problem, but I can't imagine what it could be or how to fix it. no error messages, just win explorer freezing. I've been using it like this for a few weeks, trying a new fix every once in a while, but its really starting to get to me. I'm ready to wipe & reinstall, but I don't have time to monkey with it the way I'd need to. Maybe its time for a new laptop...
thanks for any suggestions!