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My Computer & Windows Explorer slow to open, Control Panel & large folder contents do not display

Posted on 2004-03-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-11
My Computer & Windows Explorer take a long time to start up.  Other applications are fine.

Control Panel folder opens but no contents are displayed.  Control panel items run fine when expanded off of Start Menu.   Contents of small folders will display in any view in My Computer or Windows Explorer, contents of large folders such as Windows will not display at all - neither Icons, list or details.

Have run Disk Scan ,Defrag & fixed lost clusters   Running Selective Startup with minimum number of items checked off.  Same results with Normal Startup.   System starts up & shuts down cleanly.  Checked registry & other aspects of system with Norton Win Doctor and other tools with no issues.

Do not have a Windows Me disk in order to try re-install - only IBM recovery disks which require a disk reformat.  Not sure what to try next?
Question by:Thibodeaum
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LVL 27

Accepted Solution

Jonvee earned 600 total points
ID: 10643080
You could check for Adware and Spyware using these three free links respectively:

   What is spyware : http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html

   SpyBot-S&D : http://www.spychecker.com/program/spybot.html 

      Ad-aware : http://www.webattack.com/download/dladaware.shtml 

For further information, look under the heading of 'Avoid Scumware'. There's
 also an option to scan your PC under "Do You Have Parasites":

You may also like to use this Free 'on line' virus scanner :


LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10643104
         >   Running Selective Startup   <

You may still like to take a look here, something may be 'hidden'.

This one describes the function of each program in MSCONFIG :

Presume you have tried system restore?  
Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore

or if your 'System Restore' is inoperative try a registry restore:
   Start > Run > type 'scanreg /restore' without the quotes, noting the space between g and /.  Select 'OK'.
You'll usually see FIVE backup registry copies, each should be marked 'Started'.
Choose the most recent one, so long as it's before the date of your present problem.

Author Comment

ID: 10643849

Thanks for the suggestions.  They have a lot of tools on SpyChecker.  I take that you're suggesting SpyBot in particular so I'll try it and Adaware.  Will also check the programs under MSCONFIG.

Someone else using the PC was trying too many things for System Restore to be on any help at this point.

I'll reply back with outcome.

Seen some comments about Icon cache fix.  Should I try that?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10645082
Got delayed logging in!       >  They have a lot of tools on SpyChecker  <

Yes they have, and yes you have chosen SpyBot as i had hoped, with Adaware.  Each is reported to fix parasites that the other can 'miss' .
You may also like to try the more powerful Process Explorer v 8.20, later, with reference to MSCONFIG and programs running in the background.     See below:

  >  Seen some comments about Icon cache fix. Should I try that  <

Yes by all means, however, you may like to first checkout 'scanreg /restore' (earlier comment), just as far as DISPLAYING the five dates, & not actually choosing one. This at least will confirm that you have the apparant
ability to 'restore' back a few hours, should you run into an issue with your Icon fix.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10645264
You may like to take a look here, it may help:

also this link:


Expert Comment

ID: 10647484
Could be spyware....or a virus...so definitely check for those but...

But I have a feeling you might have a ton of FONTS in your font folder

This is a very common slowdown of PCs, and it can happen slowly over time as software you install add fonts without your knowing... will slowdown your startup, explorer, etc...

If you have over 200 your system will slow down to the way you have described it.  Reduce your fonts to around 50 and that will help you greatly.

Hope that helps.

Expert Comment

by:Chetan Khurana
ID: 10651032
Here do these things in the give order to see if it helps.
1) Turn on the display of hidden files& folders ...
(explorer->tools menu->folder options->view & then choose to display hidden items)
2) Now go to c:\Windows\Applog.
Delete all contents.
3)turn off 1) option.

If this doesn't help, try deleting some fonts from c:\windows\font.
Sort them by similarity, and if some crucial font gets deleted, reinstall office (XP or 2001 etc).
Do this & let me know (eitherway!)

Author Comment

ID: 10654888
Have run more than one virus scan and found nothing.  Ran Spybot & Adaware and found a ton of stuff which I'm removing.  So far no difference but I'll finish cleaning that up.

Think that you're probably on track with large number of fonts.   Will try removing everything but a base set and let you know.     Hopefully sorted out by tomorrow.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Author Comment

ID: 10672983
Removed all of the spyware and that seems to have done the trick.  My Computer & Explorer open very quickly now.  Still can get to icons in Control Panel to display but the expanded menu items work very well so decided t leave it as is.

More than a thousand fonts on the system but didn't remove any of them yet.  Will do so but the system is already running better than it has for quite a while.

Thanks for all the help.  Back to the original problem of trying to get Norton running but that would be a separate question if I wanted any help, right?   Not sure if I need do anything to close this question or how the points are awarded?


Expert Comment

ID: 10673048
1000 fonts are definitely slowing down your PC.  Microsoft reccomends under 300.  I reccomend keeping it under 50, and installing a font manager if necessary to add more fonts.

I would move a bunch of them to a second folder FONTS BACKUP or something like that and put the ones back that you actually use.  No sense loading 1,000 fonts at Windows startup and slowing down everything you do on your PC.  I bet you dont use 20 of them...  I have 50 in my fonts folder and I do lots of photoshop/indesign work that includes custom fonts.

LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10675211
Glad your computer appears to be working more efficiently now, and thanks for regular feedback.

          >   to get Norton running  <
Yes, probably the best policy is to post a separate question.
You can still reduce your fonts, as first recommended by paulalves.

 To close this question, just select "Help" then  "How do I close a question?" and the 'points awarding' is your choice!
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10690649
You may like to have SpyBot-S&D permanently installed on your desktop, to periodically scan for parasites.  
The alternative is Ad-aware.     With both you are required to download regular Updates, but it's very
straightforward.    It would certainly help keep your computer 'healthy'.

         --------- thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 10694525
I have installed both and realize that updates are required to catch new parasites.

Thank you for your help.   My first experience with EE and I was impressed with both the knowledge and answer time.  

LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10696738

Excellent!    Glad you seem satisfied with the final result.   We are always very pleased to get this sort of feedback,
helps to make it all worth while.     Thank you.


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