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File related Dialogs cause system to Stop Responding

Posted on 2004-03-21
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
While I was preparing the Question below, the problem has become worse and I'm now thinking it is a problem not limited to IE5/6 but more involving the OS.

The new behavior I'm noticing is that I can click on associated files and open the parent program, say Notepad and even Word.  Once open, I can still call on the Save As or Open dialog and the dialog will open.  If I open the parent program by itself and try to Save As or Open, hang!

This behavior has been very troublesome in Word, where any filerelated dialog box causes the program to search the for files and, thus, hang.

My only choice is to right click and create a new Word document.  Change the name to something appropriate.  Click to open the file and enter data.  I can't use the programs Open File dialog boxes to open new files or Save As dialog boxes to name/rename files.

File Dialog calls in IE 5.0 and now 6 result in "Not Responding"


While using IE5.0, my computer has been hanging (mouse works, icon stuck as an hourglass, nothing but Ctrl-Alt-Del works) when I use IE to call up a dialog box that lists files.  This includes the SAVE AS, SAVE TARGET AS, SAVE PICTURE AS, OPEN|BROWSE, etc.  I upgraded using Windows uppdate to IE 6.0 - still no go.
I can "end task" the NOT RESPONDING item and all the IE windows will close.
This hanging happens even when I'm looking at a PDF file using Acrobat Reader and click the little floppy "save" icon on the Acrobat toolbar.

Added info:
- I avoided this once by calling up a web page in Windows Explorer; I was able to save a picture.  When I tried exactly the same sequence later in the day, it was hanging just like an IE window would.
- I've experimented with the hanging behavior and, when I have both pointed at web pages, can usually get the Window Explorer window to hang and then End Task it, and all the Windows Explorer windows will close, but the IE windows WILL NOT close.  This may be a property of the End Task command.

As further information:
- I have been having trouble with my DDEML.DLL file allegedly replaced with an older file.  Actually, all my system files seemed to have a 1990 last modified year, so I set my System File Checker to Update File Information.
- Acrobat Reader uses the ACRD32 process, which usually misbehaves and keeps running even when all the programs using it are already closed.  I often close the process manually using Task Manager|End Task.
- MAPISP32 often behaves the same way as ACRD32, so I usually have to close it manually.
- I have a Palm Hotsync Manager installed on my notebook, as well as a CASIO EXILIM USB driver and all the usual Toshiba drivers.

I've tried:
- erasing content from Windows|Temporary Internet Files - currently about 800 files and about 5MB large,
- using Scandisk - did not find any errors,
- using HouseCall anti-virus from Trend Micro - no viruses found,
- using System Information|Internet Explorer Repair Tool|Repair Internet Explorer - finished and rebooted,
- using System File Checker|Scan for Altered Files|Update File Information - 1700+ files updated,
- using Registry Checker - No errors found,

None of these have fixed my problem of not being able to call up a dialog box that lists files.

My system is a Toshiba Protege 3020CT:
Microsoft Windows 98 4.10.1998
Clean install using OEM Preinstall Kit /T:C:\WININST0.400 /SrcDir=C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS /IS /IW /IQ /ID /IV /IZ /II /NR /II /C  /U:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
IE 5 6.0.2800.1106
Uptime: 0:00:48:56
Normal mode
TOSHIBA
GenuineIntel Pentium(r) Processor Intel MMX(TM) Technology
96MB RAM
71% system resources free
Custom swap file on drive C (1864MB free)
Available space on drive C: 1864MB of 6176MB (FAT32)
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Question by:mgcarlos3
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:K_2K
ID: 10646643
Take the CD-R or CD-RW out of the drive.

Any file related dialog "thinks" it needs to know up front the drive label on the media of every drive in my computer before starting to talk with you.  
Also, if you have a part time network, this same mis-thinking of Microsoft causes all network drives that are not connected to time out one by one before you get these dialogs.  So turn off all persistance and get your logon scripts to connect or map drives for you only if they are really there.


Good Luck,
2K
(\o/)
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:K_2K
K_2K earned 100 total points
ID: 10646665
btw,  any program that takes time shows "not responding" if the system doesn't get an answer in a certain amount of time.   Any explorer related window that is drawing folder lists that include failed network drives will show "not responding" until all the timeouts have finished, then "not responding" goes away.  You just have to be patient beyond reason to see it.   Grab a danish and a cup of coffee, read the obituaries, but do NOT force it closed.  Once it's done you will have your responsinveness returned, with a "X" icon over the offending devices in the list.  Some file dialog boxes are not so quick to show the offending device, but they do still come up if you're more patient than you should have to be.

Good Luck,
2K
(\o/)
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:parkerig
ID: 10646811
I've had similar problems in the past

Start regedit and look for
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs
( from XP machine so if not found just look for TypedURLs )

Remove all entries
Let us know how you go
BTW I don't think IE 5.5 and greater are WIN98 compatiable.

Hope this helps
Ian
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Author Comment

by:mgcarlos3
ID: 10647326
Thanks guys.

K_2K - no CD drive installed on my notebook, much less unformatted media.  No login scripts tryingto map unavailable network connections.
    I tried being patient and waited for the hourglass to disappear.  I patiently read 7 articles in The Economist, and I'm a slow reader.  This amounts to about 30 min. time alternately watching my frozen hourglass trying to make sense of the articles.  It's funny, but when I don't wait and End Task, the dialog comes up almost immediately.  This time, I had to wait about 20 sec. before it came up.  I don't know if it had anything to do with waiting for the hourglass to disappear.

parkerig aka Ian - erased all the typedURLs, but it didn't help.  Couldn't erase the DEFAULT though, but I didn't expect to be able to.  I'm using IE6 now, but this is 98SE.  Don't know if it makes any diff.

Thanks you all for the advice.  I'll keep you posted when I find something that works.  Make that If...
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Expert Comment

by:parkerig
ID: 10647420
Hi,
You mentioned WORD hangs.
Try going to control panel double click on find fast and DELETE the indexes.
I would also disable the find fast.
Please note Find Fast is called INDEXING on later versions.
On my XP box Indexing kills it

Ian
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Accepted Solution

by:
parkerig earned 400 total points
ID: 10647487
you say that you have checked for viruses.
But if you still are having problems you could double check.
I have a specfic routine I use.
It may be of use. It is for WORK pc's on a LAN but same logic applies.
Also run a spyware detection program - have you installed any IE6 toolbars eg google toolbar. If so there are some scathing reviews ( last year anyway )
I use ad-aware 6 from lavasoft for spyware. many available from www.cnet.com ( search spyware)

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Security/Q_20926180.html#10642793

Ian.
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Author Comment

by:mgcarlos3
ID: 10647545
Hi parkerig,

I've disabled Findfast a long time ago and I haven't seen a ff file since.  About the first thing I do whenever I install Office, that and get rid of OSA.

I don't have any toolbars installed, and this problem pre-existed IE6.  I'll try looking for spyware anyway and keep you informed.  Thanks.

gandolf
0
 

Author Comment

by:mgcarlos3
ID: 10702601
Hah Ha!

After I installed the "Spybot - Search and Destroy" program, I had it look for any spyware, and it found a bunch.  After removing all the offending bits, I checked to see if I my problem still existed ... voila!  Still there!

I must have hung my system a half dozen times in frustration!

Well, after all that I decided to backup my system.  As I scrolled through my My Documents folder looking for files, the system would freeze.  Huh?  While scrolling?  So, after a bunch of freezes searching back and forth, I finally found it, a file named:

laptop[1].doc.pif

Probably not a real PIF file, this file was causing any file dialog that listed it to hang.  Since most file dialogs default to "My Documents", this inability to show that file was tripping up all the dialogs.  A simple trip to DOS and, after erasing it, I can now open and save files again!

Question: Should I award parkerig the points anyway?  I wish I could award partial, bcs. if I wasn't so frustrated with the spyware thing not working, I wouldn't have decided to backup.
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Expert Comment

by:parkerig
ID: 11589850
mgcarlos3,
Thanks for the tip regarding the pif file in the my documents folder.
I shall remember to check for these also in the future.

Ian.
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