Windows Explorer on my HP G70 laptop has started hanging when reading folder contents. When this happens (which is VERY often) the green progress bar in the address bar starts running from left to right but gets progressively slower and never quite completes it progress to the right hand end. The folder I was trying to open does not open. This is usually accompanied by a siginifcant increase in fan noise and 100% CPU usage.
Sometimes I can kill the process by clicking on the X in the window title bar, sometimes I have to resort to an 'end task' in the Task Manager Applications tab. Either way, once I have killed it, if I try to reopen Explorer it puts up a window 'frame' but refuses to populate it or work again (or any other task that uses Explorer's UI - like Control Panel).
BTW once the Explorer has been shut down Windows Explorer remains in the Task Manager Process list showing 98% processor usage. The fan noise and CPU usage continue unabated.
If I kill Explorer in the Task Manager Processes tab, the system settles back down but of course the desktop disappears!! Only solution then is to reboot but you just know you'll be back here again very soon. Argghhh!!!
I can think of no good reason why this happening. No new software installed. Virus Scan clear. All available Microsoft and HP updates installed.
I have come across this behaviour before on another Vista Home Premium machine but as it was brand new at the time we did a full system restore and the problem went away. This current PC is heavily used for business and a full restore would require all the business apps to be rebuilt which takes about 2 days, so I'd rather get to the root cause rather than blitz it. Any help greatly appreciated.