Solved

Windows 7 Windows Explorer hang

Posted on 2014-01-15
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Last Modified: 2014-01-29
I have a network with multiple Windows 7 client machines. Since Monday, with no know changes other than maybe windows updates, a temperamental problem has started happening where when a user opens up Windows Explorer it often appear to hang.

Image of Windows Explorer hang
(The small magnifying glasses on 'Favorites' and 'Libraries' move round and round)

If the user immediately opens up another Windows Explorer it opens fine.

A secondary effect is that if a user tries to change the sort order such as ordering by Date Modified it will show the green progress bar in the address box and never actually refresh the view.
I have found that after changing the sort order if I press escape and then F5 the view will update to the new sort order.

I have a Windows 8 installation on my own machine and this problem hasn't occurred once.

I am not hopeful anyone give a clear answer as it's one of those strange temperamental issues but any information on how to diagnose this problem would help. Any questions or any specific details required, please ask.
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Question by:nevreg
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Expert Comment

by:Red-King
ID: 39781968
I've had a similar issue in the past where explorer would hang while copying files on Win 7 machines only. Maybe this is related
The advice I found was to make some changes to the network adapter settings of the computer.

Here are the commands which I added to a startup script for new builds and ran manually on other machines

netsh.exe interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh.exe int ip set global taskoffload=disabled

Open in new window


It didn't completely clear up the issue but it happened a lot less.
For those case where I just couldn't stop it I did a rebuild of the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39781978
What happens if you try a different Windows user profile?

Also try running System File Checker. Run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete and restart the computer.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:nevreg
ID: 39782365
Thanks for the tips but I'm afraid neither of these suggestions by Red-King or thinkpads_user worked.

It definitely has an odd behaviour. It is happening on every Windows 7 PC in the building.

If you click the Windows Explorer icon it may hang and once it has you can close and open Windows Explorer that way and it will always hang. However if you press the Windows Key + E straight after it has started to hang it will open just fine and give you access to all the network drives.

I may have to test re-installing a clean installation of Windows 7 on a PC and see if the symptoms persist.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39782377
It is happening on every Windows 7 PC in the building.

Then it has to be something that the computers are connected to. It is not a Windows 7 flaw. What are you connecting to with the computers that hang?  

There were updates yesterday but those updates did not affect my Windows 7 or 8 machines.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:nevreg
ID: 39782424
I have Windows 8 installed on my machine and I am not seeing a problem opening Windows Explorer or sorting lists of files.

We have 2 Windows Server 2008 R2 servers, one which handles our domain, database and some file shares and the other for email and backup.

We have another pair of Windows Server 2012 servers in a cluster which handles websites and exposes another primary file share.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39782439
You have not said explicitly, but I assume this issue (Windows 7 hangs) occurs on all servers.

Did you try restarting the servers?   I do not have clients with Server 2012 but I do with Server 2008 and am not having any issues.

Did your antivirus change?  (that is AV updates?).

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:nevreg
ID: 39782519
Our user machines login to the domain via one of our Windows Server 2008 R2 servers but have mapped network drives to shares on both the Windows Server 2008 R2 server and also the Windows Server 2012 cluster. Again, no problems from my Windows 8 machine.

I've tested it on a machine that doesn't have our anti-virus (Kaspersky) installed and it is still showing the same problem.

I think I may have to try restarting the servers at a convenient time but that may have to wait until the weekend or Monday now due to my current workload and this problem only being a big annoyance. I will post back with my progress.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39782534
Everything updated this week: Servers and Workstations. I don't see anything obvious now except for a restart.

You might also check the router for firmware updates, apply if there are any and possibly restart the router as well.

Please let us know.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:nevreg
ID: 39782542
I can see our domain server has installed updates and is pending a reboot.
I have set a reminder to follow up with a reply on this. I'll be sure to post an update.

Thanks for your advice.
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39782548
Sometimes pending updates can slow things down, so that may be the reason.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:nevreg
ID: 39817182
It's seems that the recent slew of updates had installed and were pending a server reboot. After finally scheduling the down time now the server is back up everything seems to have resolved itself. No more windows explorer hangs and the sorting is working as normal now. We were having problems searching in windows explorer too but that also seems to be working nice and smooth again.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39817531
@nevreg - Thank you for the update and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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