Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Slow to Open Disks Drives Files Window from All Software Applications

Posted on 2012-03-27
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Worker gets a new Win 7 Pro computer. Same office, same RJ45 jack, same port on the corporate switch. No errors on the port, all looks good. No mapped drives to servers at this time. Problem: open any software application and chose: file, open: the very, very, very long wait for the window that shows the drives & folders to respond and open and display the C, D, E, and F partitions/drives that the machine has on it. On the Windows XP Pro computer he is moving his files over from the 'file, open' choice in any software program is instantaneous. He can't understand why it takes 90-120 seconds for the 'window' to open to show his drives. This new Win 7 machine has great specs, but it is so slow to open files in the software, Microsoft Office 2010 is the one we can point to as it is all three apps that are very slow to complete opening from the files menu, but it happens is the other software apps too. I see that thousands of others on the net are saying they have this problem with Windows 7 too. What can I do as the IT person that has to fix this problem or put him back on Windows XP Pro? Thanks, ISFCO
Question by:I_S_F_C_O
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37774511
You could have a bad image that you are installing on the computer.... or was the OS built from scratch?

Author Comment

ID: 37774576
There was not an image used; just installed from a CD. We have other Windows 7 pro computers that are also slow in same manner, but they all have drives mapped to old 2003 SBS, which, we were TOLD, is why the 'file/drive open window' was performing poorly on those other Win7 pcs. Now that I am looking online I see this is a very, very common reported problem and there's a lot of conjecture. But on this computer there are no networked drives, mapped drives, no domain login or attachment, just a plain computer with internet access through the standard Cisco firewall. Apparently there is something that effects a huge number of new windows 7 users/computers. It is so obvious when you do file, open in Word 2003 on a windows xp computer and it takes 1 second to open the drives windows; then you do the same thing on a blazing fast speced new PC and MS office 2010 and windows 7 pro 64bit, and it takes 120 seconds to open. There is no hourglass and if you click on the file menu again it says not responding. If you wait it will eventually open the the 'C' drive so you can drill down to the file you want to open. It is crazy slow on a very speedy PC.

Expert Comment

ID: 37774583
I know you stated you had no network drives mapped, but how about printers?  

Recently in my office I had 4 users (3 on Win 7 x64 and one on Win7 x86), all running AutoCAD 2012 products with a couple of Xerox WorkCentre devices mapped from a Windows 2003 server using the latest x86 and x64 drivers.  These users all experienced obscene waits on trying to open drives (local and network), opening Word, Excel and Outlook would frequently hang, and printing would hang.

I ended up removing the Xerox printers from all user profiles on the affected machines, restarting the spooler process, and then removing the drivers.  Testing without any Xerox drivers showed that the issue had been resolved.  Those users needed to print to the Xerox devices, so I installed the Xerox Global Print Drivers locally, and everything continued work normally.  I've heard of similar issues using various HP, Canon, and Sharp multifunction devices.

Hope that helps.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 37774605
"Now that I am looking online I see this is a very, very common reported problem ... Apparently there is something that effects a huge number of new windows 7 users/computers." ~ I_S_F_C_O

I live-and-breathe Windows 7 installing, configuring, and troubleshooting on everything from a domain with over 9,000 Windows 7 Enterprise workstations to my home workgroup with four Windows 7 Ultimate machines.  To be honest, I have very rarely seen this happen and I don't recall seeing any type of similar question posted on Experts Exchange over the last year.

Have you checked the Windows event logs right after this happens to see if there are any pertinent messages?
LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37774948
New installation: are all the correct drivers installed? Check Device manager and look for any problems.
Unplug the network cable, reboot machine, problem still exist?
Could be a faulty hard drive?

Expert Comment

ID: 37776559
I've been running into this problem on my own computer for quite some time. I'm running an I7-960 with 12gb RAM, W7 pro 64bit and at times it truly does take minute(s) to load a simple directory tree. This drives me crazy and is really Pi--ing me off. Know that I've tested my "10k rpm Enterprise Class" hard drive for bad sectors and  my original OS installation was born from scratch using the Windows OEM DVD. So far I don't see any answers here that make sense!

Accepted Solution

I_S_F_C_O earned 0 total points
ID: 37798277
We were able to find the reason why, using MS Office 2010, that it was either taking many minutes, or was hanging indefinitely trying to open our files from within the software programs. Apparently when you install MS office 2010 on a 64bit OS the setup routine uses the 32bit installer by default, instead of the 64bit install routine that is available in a subdirectory in the DVD of MS Office. We had to uninstall the 32bit version and  then install the 64bit version after a reboot and now when we run all those office software packages we can open our files quickly and without the hang or delay. I hope this helps someone else and I cannot believe that Microsoft does not have a splash screen that explains the install options and lists possible consequences of not using the 64bit or 32bit installer as relates to the OS 'bit' version.
LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37798341
We were able to find the reason why, using MS Office 2010, that it was either taking many minutes, or was hanging indefinitely trying to open our files from within the software programs. Apparently when you install MS office 2010 on a 64bit OS the setup routine uses the 32bit installer by default, instead of the 64bit install routine that is

Microsoft actually recommends installing the 32bit version as most office addon's will not work properly with the 64 bit executables.

Author Comment

ID: 37799233
Well, we went around the campus and checked to see if the same problem happened on each PC that had office 2010 on a 64 bit win7 pro OS. We saw they did have same problem, SLOW to open or hung 'file open drive/disk' window. We uninstalled and then put on the 64bit version and 'magically' that problem was gone.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 37799265
I won't object to this question's outcome, but Ve3ofa is exactly right (as usual).  We haven't fully deployed Office 2010 on our largest network yet, but we already have hundreds of Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit workstations with Office 2010 32-bit installed, and none of them have displayed this type of behavior.

Please take a few minutes to read through this previous EE question along with the associated articles that I referenced within it.  The Office 2010 automated setup routine specifically does checks on your local  system before it selects which version to install, as those articles will explain:

The bottom line is that you don't really need to install the 64-bit version of Office 2010 on an x64 system.  In all probability, there was some other major contributing factor causing the problem, and the Office version swap just happened to eliminate it.

Author Comment

ID: 37799391
I hear you, but seeing is hard to argue with and what I saw today and tonight is that even on the pcs without server access, so no drives mapped, and no printers installed had the problem stop instantly once we rebooted after uninstall and then installing the 64bit OS. I will tell you TRULY that the one pc that has 2007 office and a 64bit OS still at this moment, is manifesting the problem BIG TIME. I don't have a license for 2010 for that user so until I get one later this week I do have a pc with the problem with which to experiment if you have a specific suggestion. I did, for fun install office 2003 in different directory and on another user profile that I created today and then clicked the 'open file' choice to see how it performed. There was zero delay, the default directory I set on the c drive opened instantly. Then I mapped a drive to the server and changed the default to that drive, and it opened almost instantly. I do find it pretty 'weird' and coincidental that the issue shows up in office 2007 and 2010 32bit and on the same machine on the same day it is problem free with office 2003 and 2010 64bit. If you have a suggestion though, let me know before I get a license and upgrade her to 2010 64bit.

LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 37799404
To be honest, it sounds like something that is specifically inherent to your environment and would be very difficult to diagnose within this forum.

Regarding your machine that has the 32-bit version of Office 2007 on a Windows 7 64-bit machine with a continuing problem, as you said yourself, "seeing is hard to argue with."  My largest network has literally thousands of computers with that same configuration, and we simply don't see that problem.

Sorry that I couldn't help a bit more.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37818709
We found out why the problem was happening through internet research and trying various recommendations out to see what did work. The other answers did not solve the problem.

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