View Full Version : Taking a long time to open a folder...why?

03-12-2006, 12:35 PM
Hi all :)

Just recently or more like ever since my fresh install of Xp Pro on my computer, I've found certain folders, folders that I've backed up before the installation, would takes a very long time to open, eg 2+mins or from time to time it just freezes the explorer. Incase if you were wondering, this had never happened with the previous Xp installation I had or ever.

Some of the folders are very large with countless files and folders reaching 10-15GB (videos, pictures, software installations etc) in size while some are just around 300MB (docs from MS:Word, saved files from other progs eg from PS or AutoCAD and games save files). Yet for some reason the folders that are around 300MB are the ones that takes the longest to open (approx 2mins or else crashes the explorer), while the 10-12GB folders would take approx 15secs.

I do defrag, even tried 3rd parties defrag utilities (even one paid one, DiskKeeper), however none has improved any access time into the folders. Had also done full Ad-aware & Spybot scans and AV scans with Avast. Used some cleaning progs like CCleaner & Window Washers too. All no help.

Currently the system is on WinXp Pro with SP1 installed. Btw I've tried formatting again however no go too, certain folders for some unknown reason would just take a very long time to open or else crashs the explorer.

So if any one have any suggestions it'll be great.

Many thanks

03-12-2006, 01:38 PM
Get SP2.

03-12-2006, 01:45 PM
Haha yes that thought did come up, though would still like to know what is causing this extreme delay in opening up a folder. However would give it go if all else fail, as this did not happen in any of my previous installation of WinXP so... :s .

03-12-2006, 02:42 PM
The folder may be too full. Empty it out into another folder and see what happens.

03-12-2006, 03:39 PM
If there is a lot of stuff in a folder, the HDD has to read all the files, names, extensions etc and so it takes a long time to do this, as to why it does it now could be due to the fact that your HDDs may need a good defrag

03-12-2006, 04:13 PM
Dump all temp files.

03-12-2006, 04:50 PM
install sp2, theres no reason not to.

03-12-2006, 05:35 PM
Yes I guess it would nice with SP2 installed though would be nice to know why this is happening now and not before with my previous installation :s

As for the defrag, yes I've done A LOT of defrag lately, I have been trying to fix this problem ever since I've reformatted and had the new XP installation on. However, no defrag (even with 3rd party defrag progs) and scans disk helped so far.

As for Temp folder, yes that is very often cleaned, most of the times its done by CCleaner else manually by me.

I have tried moving the files into a different folder however gives same results, though will be trying to separate the files to make the folder smaller. Though what is weird, is that the folders that are small in size are the ones that takes the longest (eg 300MB folder takes 2mins) while folders that are several GB in size takes less time and doesnt crash the explorer.

Many thanks

03-12-2006, 05:48 PM
I've just tried making the folder smaller, same result, no imporvment. I've also tried disabling the index searching funcation, though no improvement as well.

Should of mention this before, the drive is NTFS, its a storage drive so Windows is not on it, currently about 41GB out of 49GB is used, thus leaving about 8GB to the HDD needs for transfering or what have you.


03-12-2006, 06:10 PM
Install mobo drivers.(again if you think you already have, and might as well get the latest)


Move one of the offending folders to your other harddisk, open it, then report back.

03-12-2006, 07:20 PM
SP2 has nothing to do with it.

Is your partition Fat32 or NTFS?
If FAt32 the total space used by all directory entries in the folder exceeds 32K.

The recommended minimum partition size for an NTFS partition is 50 MB because of the overhead involved in using NTFS.

Turn off Automatically Search for Network Drives and Printers under your Folder Options in Tools, from with Explorer.

Do a chkdsk on it to fix and damaged files or file structure problems.

Don't have too many sub-folders in sub-folders in subfolders....well you get the idea..

03-12-2006, 11:29 PM
Yes just moved one the folders that took ages to open into another drive (not another partition but a complete different drive), and to my suprise the time to open the folder was normal, less than a second. Moved the files back to the original place and yep, the folder again took a very long time to open.

Hmm...I really hope this isnt the case but...is this a sign of my HDD dying?

Had also tried turning off the "Automatically Search for Network Drives and Printers" but no improvement, same result, still takes ages to open up the folder. The folder that is taking the longest time to load has a decent sub folder dir, not too complex compare to others. Scan disk also reports nothing.

As for the HDDs, all HDDs are in NTFS.


04-12-2006, 06:38 AM
Well then, Now we have a start, Ignore all the rest of the fluff put foward to get in the way and look at possible reasons for one HD to be slower ( the final solution would be to replace the HD)

Have a look at the Hard-drives propertes and see what read/write speed shes running at.

If its IDE then replace the IDE cable and isolate it (meaning dont put any other drives on that cable, just for testing)

Do all that and report back.

04-12-2006, 12:31 PM
Sorry for the stupid question but where abouts can I get the HDD properties that show the running speed?

Also what do you mean by "If its IDE then replace the IDE cable and isolate it (meaning dont put any other drives on that cable, just for testing)". This is my current setup.

1st) Prim Master IDE => Partition 1 & Partition 2
2nd) Prim Slave IDE => Partition 1 & Partition 2
4th) Sec Master IDE => DVDRW
5th) Sec Slave IDE => CDRW
6th) SATA 1 => Partition 1 & Partition 2

Do you mean just remove the Prim Slave IDE device?