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When I open any MSFT Office program, explorer.exe consumes 90%+ of CPU.

Posted on 2006-10-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

I have an IBM ThinkPad T41, running windows XP sp2, Office Professional sp2, McAfee VirusScan 8.0 (updated with the latest definitions).
Here is what happens:
When I open any MSFT Office program, explorer.exe will jump to 90%+ (I installed SysInternals Process Explorer to follow the processes).  After about 15 minutes explorer.exe will return to normal.  I can then use the program like normal but if I open another Office program explorer.exe will return to 90%+.  
If I close the Office program explorer.exe will return to normal.
If I kill the explorer.exe process and restart it and open any Office program explorer.exe functions normally.  
I uninstalled and reinstalled Office and reapplied Office sp2.  When any Office program is opened explorer.exe will again jump to 90%+.

Found no Spyware/Adware.  Removed the indexing on hard drive as suggested in:
Found no Virus’ using Housecall and Stinger as suggested in:
And ran ccleaner 1.34.
Question by:Cloned3
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17844539
Hi Cloned3,
It looks as though you've done the pre-lims.

If you want to jump right into Hijack This, you'll get a lot of eyes on your logs:

Author: rpggamergirl

Get the newest version of HJT:

(an already renamed hijackthis)

Open Hijackthis, click "Do a system scan and save a logfile" don't fix anything yet.

Then go to the below link and login using your Experts-Exchange username and password.
Click on "Expert Area" tab
type or paste the link to your Question
"Browse" your pc to the location of your Hijackthis log and click "Upload"
Copy the resulting "url" and post it back here.

OR: paste the log to either of these sites:
1. http://www.rafb.net/paste/
then at the bottom left corner click "paste"
Copy the address/url and post it here.

2. or at --> http://www.hijackthis.de/ 
and click "Analyse", click "Save".  Then post the link to the saved list here.

Author Comment

ID: 17845558
Pasted by: Cloned3
Language: Plain Text
Description: Cloned3_HJT_Log


It is on the server.  
I am heading home to solve a Halloween crisis.  I will check on this later tonight.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17847792
pardon younghv  lol but rpggamergirl is not the author of hijackthis she would blown away with such a compliment.
it is far easier to download the newest version from the authors themselves
download HijackThis 1.99.1,
http://www.hijackthis.de/ << keep the page open for you unfixed log
save it to a folder on your desktop and then install to that.
run the scan copy the entire log and paste it into that page  >>  http://www.hijackthis.de/
below the panel hit analyze,

 then at the bottom of this page save the analyzed log copy that URL back here
no need to drop it at EE stuff.
It will be analyzed immediately.

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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17847807
Other causes of high cpu usage is your hdd needs a cleanout,
 run  the disc cleanup utility at start all programs accessories system tools.
Or ccleaner to delete the index.dat file.

Index.dat File

check the hosts files.
check events in control panel administrative tools
run a defrag and chkdsk
check if windows updates is running.
There is lots of windows updates and you may find one sitting on your toolbar pending a download this will consume a lot of resources until you install them and reboot.
Have a look in the task manager go to view and select columns add virtual memory size. now open the process and see which is hogging your virtual memory.
If your ram is not suficient hdd aging windows explorer will have to the work of memory.
Defragging and these other tips can aid this.


Expert Comment

ID: 17848284
try to install the latest version of the MSI file
you can find it here
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17848529
Merete - Thank you - I should have been more clear.
Too often my fingers get ahead of my brain.

I meant to give credit to rpggamergirl for the 'post' - I did a cut and paste of one of her old posts about running HJT and posting the logs. Will clean that up the next time around.


LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17848595
:) I am sure she would love the admiration.

Expert Comment

by:Greg Groth
ID: 17854765
Ok this is a guess try turning off auto updates in your office update scheme
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17855864
Cloned3  on another note are you using Outlook as your email client?
Your pst mayhave become corrupte?
If you open Outlook what happens any problems?


Author Comment

ID: 17858875
I have run defrags and chkdsk, nothing shows up in logs.
explorer.exe will max out any time an office program is launched not just Outlook but I will check the pst file.
When I open Outlook, XL, Word, PowerPoint, Access, InfoPath, Publisher explorer.exe will spike to 90%+ for about 15 minutes.  I can then kill the office program and explorer.exe will return to normal.  On the other hand; if I kill explorer.exe and restart explorer.exe then the office program will function normally and I can open any office program with no spike in explorer.exe.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17863393
Another probable cause
This problem occurs if the following settings are turned on, and you right-click an item to select that item:
• Show common tasks in folders
• Fade or slide menus into view
By default, both of these settings are turned on in Windows XP.

If these settings are turned on, information about the selected item is shown in the Tasks pane in Windows Explorer by using an animation. If you open a shortcut menu (the menu that appears when you right-click an item) while this animation is occurring, the animation may not be able to finish (and may use a lot of the CPU resources) until you close the shortcut menu.

To work around this problem, select the item before you right-click it. To select an item, either click the item or rest the mouse pointer on the item.
Method 1: Turn Off the "Fade or Slide Menus into View" Visual Effect
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System (or double-click the System icon).
3. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Performance.
4. On the Visual Effects tab, click to clear the Fade or slide menus into view check box.
5. Click OK.
Method 2: Use Classic Windows Folders
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click Appearance and Themes, and then click Folder Options (or double-click the Folder Options icon).
3. On the General tab, click Use Windows classic folders.
4. Click OK.

update office. There is updates for office.
check if windows updates is running.
Have you rebooted after installing the updates?

Is Mcfee monitoring your office activity?
Do you have bitdefender installed?

You may experience problems in Windows Explorer or in the Windows shell after you install security update MS06-015
After you install security update 908531 (security bulletin MS06-015), you may experience one or more of the following problems:
• You cannot access special folders such as "My Documents" or "My Pictures."  
• Microsoft Office applications stop responding when you try to save or to open Office files in the "My Documents" folder.
• Office files that are located in the "My Documents" folder cannot be opened.
• If you open a file by clicking Open on the File menu, the application stops responding.
• When you type an address in the Address box in Microsoft Internet Explorer and you then press ENTER or you click Go, nothing happens.
• When you right-click a file and then click Send To, nothing happens.
• When you expand a folder in Windows Explorer, nothing happens.
• Some third-party applications stop responding when you open or save data in the “My Documents” folder.


Expert Comment

ID: 17865461
did you try to install the latest version of the MSI (you can find the link above)

Author Comment

ID: 17867536
Problem solved!
It appears that it was a faulty docking station.  Why it caused the problems portrayed - who knows!!
How I solved the problem:
I undocked the laptop and started working on the MSI install.  After I rebooted; Outlook, XL, Word and explore.exe all worked great.  I shut down the computer and re-docked it.  When I restarted it I was back to explorer.exe spiking. Visibly upset I shut down the laptop and restarted it.  Same problem, explorer.exe spiked.  I shut it down and undocked it and everything worked great.  I borrowed another docking station and put the laptop in it and booted it and everything worked great.  The questionable docking station was used on another t41 and that computer displayed the same symptoms.  I switched the laptops several times and the laptop in the bad docking station had problems and the laptop in the good docking station worked.
I want to thank each of you for your suggestions.  I have added them to my bag-of-tricks for future use.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17868053
I missed the part where you told us you were using a docking station.
Those freaking things have been driving us (maintenance shop) nuts since we started using them.

Make sure you mention that part if you post another question.

You can request a refund of your points and close this out.

Accepted Solution

Computer101 earned 0 total points
ID: 18073557
PAQed with points refunded (500)

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