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Long delay when navigating folders in "save as" or "open file" boxes - only occurs in Microsoft products

Posted on 2006-04-24
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Any time I attempt to navigate folders from the "save as" or "open file" boxes inside of any Microsoft product (including Office 2003 suite and Frontpage 2003) I must wait approximately 45 seconds for EACH folder level. That means that if I must double click on 4 different folders to reach the one I need it will consistantly take about 45 seconds x 4 folders (or about 3 minutes).  It does not matters how many times I attempt to go to the same or different folder, whether it is on my network (Win 2000) the result is the same each time.

As I mention only Microsoft products suffer this problem so I imagine it must have to do with some common faulty library used only by Microsoft's software.

There is no other indication of a problem other than this lengthy wait between folders..... meaning that there is no CPU load during this time and all other programs function normally - even during this delay.

Any ideas?
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Question by:Shawn Connelly
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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16531417
I just fixed a client's pc that had this very same problem.  It was caused by a combination of LOTS of startup programs, and some spyware.  These are the steps/tools I used in this order

1. Adaware -- free
2. Spybot Search & Destroy -- free
3. Spysweeper
4. Startup Control panel (www.mlin.net) -- free
5. CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) -- free
6. Hijackthis 1991 version. -- free
7. Add/Removed a few suspicious programs
8. Disabled a few unneeded services.

Use the Task Manager to see how you're doing.

After I finished, it was like a new computer!

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 16531577
Problems in Windows Explorer or the Windows shell after you install security
update MS06-015:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918165
http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?t=19125
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16531632
It's probably caused by an Office or XP Recent update, Before this problem occurs, have you tried to restore back to last point before this problem starts ..?

If you have updated anything, try to un-install those updates one by one and each time check if it's fixed or not..
Check for this security update which belongs to word 2002, if it's installed on your system then un-install it..
Security Update for Word 2002 (KB895589)..

Goto Start < Control Panel < Add/Remove Programs

There is a little box up the top coner that says "Show updates" tick that. Then you can locate the update..
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16539699
The problem has been going on so long now (more than a month - not entirely sure). Admittedly I have been too complacent about this but now that I am deep involved in a lot of Frontpage work this problem is now affecting my productivity.

Because of the length of time this has been going on and the fact that I am not entirely sure when it began, a system restore wouldn't be much point. I could rebuild but I will only do that as a last resort.  

From the task manager I shut down about 300MB of background programs (like all the crap loaded up for the Creative Audigy, ATI AIW 9600, AVG virus scan, MS Antispyware, etc.)... did not help.

Expert4XP: If it is spyware it isn't known by the MS Antispyware (aka Windows Defender) software. I am not ruling out the possibility but it is unlikely.

What I will do next is kind of the opposite of what was suggested here. I will run updates for Office 2003... Windows XP is already fully updated.

I will let y'all know the results.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16539826

At least go to www.mlin.net and download the Startup Control Panel free applet.  After you install it, you can look in your Control Panel for the "Startup" icon, and using it you can easily disable (or re-enable) loads of software that sneaks into your startup list.  Of course some of it is valid, but do a Google search on anything that looks suspicious.  It is fairly easy to see something that is not needed.
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16540728
Expert4XP: Thanks for the link.... This guy has some pretty useful programs.... some of his tools will surely come in handy!  
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16540993
Hello Sconnell,,, Can you check for any errors found on your event log...

Click Start --> Run --> Type eventvwr then enter
Click on applications --> check on the right pane for any red or yellow marks..
Also check on system if theres any errors found and post them here..
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16557622
There were quite a few updates to install but they did not help at all.

I should add another point about this problem and that is the delay only occurs when I select the look in pull down menu. To clarify, if I simply navigate (up / down folders) within the folder/file view there are no delays.  However, if I wish to jump directly to a specific folder via the "LOOK IN" pull down menu... this is when a 45 second delay occurs.  I don't know if this additional info. will help...

Thank you again.

moh10ly: There are no related warnings or errors occurring. Pretty clean in fact.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16558489
Hello Sconnel, if you have Windows OEM version then please follow Shehrayar's first comment at the following link..
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21234031.html

If not then I would suggest as what exactly was suggested in the above link, that you go and borrow Windows CD from a friend and then you can extract the file from it and replace it with the one at your system..

Hope this would help..
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16567011
Now this problem is becoming extremely annoying. I opened Access 2003 and selected new database... as soon as I tried to pull down the menu to select the appropriate drive letter and folder that darn 45 second delay appeared again.

Like I stated before. This problem only affects Microsoft products.  I am upping the point value to this question.

Thanks moh10ly... I will follow your link next.
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16567018
Hello moh10ly: I have the corporate edition and the CD.  

>If not then I would suggest as what exactly was suggested in the above link

What above link?
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16567021
>What above link?

Sorry... DUH... I get it now. :-)
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16567077
moh10ly: That won't help.

BTW, even creating a new folder causes this delay!!
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16567091
Can anyone help me find a really cool program I once had. It allowed one to watch the calls that a program was making which is very useful in debugging. I search Google and found nothing related to this particular (free) tool.  

I am thinking if I could see what is going on "behind" this delay I might be able to determine exactly what component may need to be replaced.  That is unless someone knows what actually occurs within a Microsoft program when a directory lookup is done.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16568476
Hello Sconnell, Do a scan with the following software..
http://www.registrytool.com/
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16601260
I own Registry Mechanic and it found nothing unusual.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16601661
Did you run the ccleaner (see my previous post above)?  Many times the delay is because of tons of files in the temp folders.  Run it as logged on for each userid you have on the pc, if more than one.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16601872
Sounds logic that it might be a virus, Have you run antivirus on safe mode? can you check if this delay persists when you open MS products under safe mode please??

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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16609657
>Can anyone help me find a really cool program I once had. It allowed one to watch the calls that a program was making >which is very useful in debugging. I search Google and found nothing related to this particular (free) tool.  

I think you are thinking of some of the Sysinternals freeware programs which are excellent, such as Filemon or Process Explorer which I have used:

http://www.sysinternals.com/ProcessesAndThreadsUtilities.html


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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16610437
Yes.... the name "SysInternals" escaped me... Thank you!!!


Tried everything except testing in safe mode. Could not get in with F8 (probably my SCSI controller causing this). Anyhow, I changed the boot.ini and I will reboot now.

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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16614759
In safe mode the problem is not evident but obviously I cannot operate in safe mode.

Hmmm... what next? Maybe a selective start. Already killed most processes by way of SysInternals ProcessExplorerNt (thanks Expert4XP). BTW, if you are running Retrospec backup... don't try killing its service as it will TOTALLY lock your computer.

Unfortunately ProcessExplorer did not reveal anything odd.

However, SysInternals Filemon did reveal some interesting data. I will get back with those details later.

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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16614887
Well I guess this is a security bug, Reinstall SP2 and report back the computer case.
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16634136
Hey folks... I never had time to complete my last message and I have only a few minutes now.

Basically, what I mean by, "However, SysInternals Filemon did reveal some interesting data." is that it appears that whenever I initiate a file/folder lookup in a Microsoft product, Filemon shows that the MS program spends a "lot of time" searching through folders that no longer exist (e.g. network folders from a long ago connection). I am not claiming that this is the source of the delays but I found it interesting that these folders are still cached somewhere inside my hard drive. CCleaner and Registry Mechanic did not change this fact.

I will provide further details when I have more time.
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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16634201
Open Windows Explorer, on left panel highlight/select My Network Places.

Then look at the list in the right panel.  You can delete any (all) obselete references to non-existant machines or websites. Actually you can delete every reference link in the right if you want.

I remember now one pc that had a ftp leftover link on the right side panel, and everytime he did anything it slowed the computer down.  As soon as I deleted the links, everything went back to normal.

Hope this helps.
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by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16696405
Hello Expert4XP: I am afraid I had already done so and I regret to report that it made no difference. But I did the cleaning up directly from the registry.

Poking fun of your EE handle.... do you really believe any of us can claim to be experts when talking about anything Microsoft creates?  I am far more confident that I can solve most problems with Linux and most flavors of GUIs than I can with MS XP. And I use XP more often. I have never lost a battle with Linux but, like this time, I seem to be losing more and more XP battles. :-(   See my other question (might be related?): http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Microsoft_Network/Q_21851529.html

I am nearly reaching the point where I am thinking that I should just forget about trying to solve (and learn from) this problem and $%^# - do a rebuild! My stubborn determination that there must be a fix (e.g. a bad DLL or OCX) is waning.

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Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16696424
Well, isn't this bizzare! The problem (related to this question) is now longer happening! I just successfully navigated all over the place from a bunch of MS Applications. This did not work last night!

I wish the same could be said about the other problem: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Microsoft_Network/Q_21851529.html

Anyhow, I am not sure if this will last. I will do a reboot tomorrow.

Good night.

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Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16712212
Sometimes (perhaps most of the time) the solution to a seemingly complex problem is so simple that one doesn't even consider it.

I was so focused on finding a Microsoft fix (in the way of a registry correction or replacement of a component) I never considered that another problem I was experiencing was the cause of this one.

The solution? Update the "Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller" driver from version 7.x to 8.41.1.3 (dated Sept. 19, 2005).
I first tried removing all the networking and reinstalling. That did not help. What worked was asking Windows to automatically update the NIC driver. Amazingly and for a change Windows DID update this driver. I did not find this NIC driver version on ASUS's website.

This begs the question, what would I do if I could not update the NIC driver?  For the most part, I will admit I got lucky!

Related questions:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Microsoft_Network/Q_21851529.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21852880.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21825856.html

Thanks for your effort folks!

Grading suggestions welcome!
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Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16712335
sconnel, glad you fixed it yourself.  Was the delay only on navigating network folders, or was Windows just enumerating all folders when you said "save as"?

>> Poking fun of your EE handle

More often than not now, I think I think I chose the wrong handle.
So, just call me Xpert4XP_NOT
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Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16712714
Good that you have a sense of humor though.... you need it for dealing with Windows. Just wait until Vista is out! Take everything you know now and flush most of it down the toilet just like every time MS releases a new product. :-)

>Was the delay only on navigating network folders, or was Windows just enumerating all folders when you said "save as"?

The extreme delay occurred whenever I attempted to navigate folders either locally or on the network from the OPEN FILE or SAVE FILE dialog box.





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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16713095
sconnel is a bit aggressive, lol doesn't he?
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Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 16714726
Yeah... that's me and on the weekend's I beat up the neighborhood children just for kicks.  

I don't know.... I think I feeling more aggressive ever since I moved to the U.S.  Being a nice Canadian boy doesn't cut it with all the rage down here. I've got to go get my first gun soon.

LOL

Just kidding folks!

To those that are not American... it's not really like that down here... and to the those that are American, I love this country! In general, I find American's more hospitable than Canadians!  NOW I am in big do-do! THEY are going to recall me for re-education. LOL
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