View Full Version : Windows 98 Explorer - directory trees misbehaving

08-11-2002, 04:56 PM
This one has puzzled me for years.

While browsing through my folders in windows explorer, often I use the + sign next to a folder in the left window to expand a directory tree, which expands the directory listing in the left window, while the right window has no change until I find the folder I want, then I select the folder I want & the contents are displayed in the right window. After I've finished doing whatever I need to within that folder, I want to close it & move onto another job & that's where the problem surfaces.

The problem is, when I try to reverse back by clicking the - sign next to the open folder (in the left window), the beep beep thing collapses the folder as expected, but then the folder expands itself again, much to my intense disgust as I have to repeat the step again to close it.

I can not simply go up a few levels & close the whole lot in a single move, as all the previously expanded folders reopen themselves. I have to go up recursively through each folder repeating the step twice for each level. This is a most infuriating behaviour in Windows 98 & I have never seen this behaviour in any other OS, though I have seen it frequently in Win98 machines.

Is there anybody out there that has seen what I am raving about & can give me a solution, apart from a bullet to the HDD at close range?

Rod J
08-11-2002, 05:12 PM
I'm running Windows 98SE and have had this annoying problem ever since I installed IE6. The IE6 install changed something because it doesn't do this with IE5. I've often wondered if there is a fix for it myself but I've just learned to live with it. Maybe someone else has a solution.

Also, ever since I installed IE6 it takes ages to load explorer or IE the first time (after (re)starting the PC) and starting a new IE6 window by clicking on the quick launch button also takes ages to display the window. Most infuriating! X-(

08-11-2002, 10:33 PM
The slow operation could be due to your PC's resources being eaten up by too many items loading on startup? If you already know the following, then please excuse my rambling, I'm a bit of a story teller.

I have noticed this behaviour when I installed the latest browser on an older PC. I searched for the reason & found my old Celeron 466 (my last PC) which had 64Mb RAM had a startup load of 131Mb total memory. When browsing the net & running multiple windows as well as other apps, my memory usage soared to well above 180Mb. My system was running really slow then with alot of swap file usage (paging). I upgraded the RAM to 128Mb & it went much better. I upgraded again, but with no discernable difference, ecxept there was less swap file usage, which meant apps & graphic images loaded a little faster.

Try this. From the start menu, select run, then type in SYSMON (capitals not necessary) & press enter. If you get a window with only 1 chart on it, click on Edit > Add Item, then select Memory Manager in the left window, them click once on Allocated memory in the right window, scroll down to the bottom, press your CTRL key & click on Unused physical memory, then click on OK.

The resulting chart shows your memory usage in real time & you can seehow it fluctuates as you run apps, open files, close apps etc. Try also adding Kernel > Threads. The more threads you have open, the more system resources are being used.

If sysmon is not installed, you can install it through the control panel > Add/remove programs dialogue box. Select the Windows Setup tab, scroll down to System tools & click on it, then click the Details button, scroll down to system Monitor & select the check box, the OK, OK OK, etc.

You can regain some of your system memory by disabling some of your startup programs that don't need to run every time you restart your computer. Type MSCONFIG in the run dialogue, then press enter. Under the startup tab, you can selectivly disable some of the programs that load when windows starts. When you exit, msconfig may ask for a restart. some of the items you disabled will be saved in the registry, & others will be in a new sub folder off the start>programs menu. If your computer misbehaves after disabling some startup programs, then you can always re-enable them the same way you disabled them.

Hope this helps


Rod J
08-11-2002, 11:02 PM
Thanks for that mike,

I've have used sysmon before. The number of threads are around 140. I see my allocated memory just now is 244Mb and I have 128Mb installed, so maybe that is part of the problem. I do have a few things in the system tray but I've always tried to limit the number of things starting up to a minimum. I've got considerably less than some friends PC's I work on ;)


Greg S
08-11-2002, 11:20 PM
Thats Windows. An imperfect o/s, and however good it is, it's never going to be all things to all people. You can amend this irritation by re-writing the source code, cost of obtaining for which I believe is currently around the $450 billion mark. Or perhaps a registry hack will cure it.

Rod J
26-11-2002, 11:23 PM
I've done some research on this problem, and it's definitely related to IE6 and Win98. I've been told that IE6 is not supported well in Win98, hence all the thrashing around and odd Explorer behaviour. I installed IE6 on a WinME machine recently and it worked fine, no problems. So I've bitten the bullet on my own machine and reverted to IE5. Starts much quicker and Explorer works as it should. :) I might even have a look at Mozilla for Windows as I like the Linux version of it :D