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A suspended process makes Word/Excel loading slow

Posted on 2013-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hello,

I have an issue in my Environment.

What is happening (and how the problem can be reproduced):
When another process is suspended (using Process Explorer) opening a document with "double click" on the document file, the Word takes too long to open.
When I "resume" the suspended process, then the document opens.

When a process is suspended, the Word or Excel Software can be opened without problem. And then the File can be opened with File>Open.
The problem is happening only when a document is opened with "double click".

This happens in Outlook 2007. As tested, I am not having Problems in Outlook 2013.
This is not a local Problem. The same happens on other Machines too.

I've reproduced this problem on both physical and virtual machines running the following operating systems: Windows XP Pro x64, Windows 7 Pro x64, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Server 2008. Same problem with both Office 2010 and 2013.

Also, when a process is suspended (and it does not matter what process is suspended. It can be calc or notepad or any other process), if excel (for example) is already opened, double clicking the excel document will open (same as file>open). It seems like the problem is when the application (EXEL, WORD) is starting and not when its already opened.

Thanks,
Oren
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Question by:or1969
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

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Zoppo earned 500 total points
ID: 39620908
Hi or1969,

I think it's a problem related to DDE initialization. When double clicking a file in Explorer a broadcast message (WM_DDE_INITIALIZE) is sent to all top level windows so an application which acts as DDE server for double clicked file's filetype can return a WM_DDE_ACKNOWLEDGE. The suspended process in this case IMO blocks the system for some time (I think Windows cancels this after some timeout) since messages added to the message queue of a suspended processes aren't processed.

If the DDE server is already running Explorer doesn't need to re-dend the broadcast message, therefore the behavior is different.

I think there's nothing you can do against this.

BUT: Does it really matter? Is suspending processes and using i.e. Office applications at the same time really a use case you need to handle?

There's no official API function (and even no official tool) to suspend a process in Windows, I guess it's simply not intended to allow suspending processes.

ZOPPO
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Author Comment

by:or1969
ID: 39620916
To suspend a process you can use Microsoft Sysinternals Process Explorer. Right click a process (calc for example) and select suspend (or resume when suspended).

and yes, there are times ware I need to suspend (or there is a suspended process not related to any of Microsoft products) and still work with Microsoft Office.
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Author Comment

by:or1969
ID: 39620919
you wrote "...The suspended process in this case IMO blocks the system for some time (I think Windows cancels this after some timeout.."

Is there a way to reduce the timeout? any setting I can set?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 39620934
Well, I know how to use Process Explorer to suspend a process.

And well, ok, if you really need this I fear you have to live with it.

IMO there's no way to somehow change this DDE related behavior in Windows and Explorer. I don't know of any possibility to change such a Windows-internal timeout. Even if it might be there's a possibility, i.e. to use some inofficial, undocumented API or registry settings, I think it's highly recommended not to change them because it might be the system gets unstable or some other things may stop working correctly.

ZOPPO
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Author Comment

by:or1969
ID: 39620980
Thanks for your reply.
I've just opened a support ticket at Microsoft and hope they will provide a solution.
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