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windows explorer stalls on file open by association

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by easily_confused, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. easily_confused

    easily_confused Flightless Bird

    Not sure where to post this.

    When I click on a file in windows explorer the system stalls for a long time
    (opening the file by association).
    If, while the system is stalled, I open another instance of windows explorer
    it triggers the open to occur immediately (on .txt files, for example).
    If it happens to be a .doc (word) document, I have to open up to 3 instances
    of explorer to
    trigger the .doc to open in word. The first does nothing, the second opens
    word and the third opens the document in word.

    If I wait several minutes (I think, I haven't bothered to wait in a while)
    the document eventually opens.

    What I am saying is that opening subsequent instances of explorer triggers
    something.

    If I initially open the file with an application directly with the right
    click context menu, it open immediately.

    Now for the kicker. If I close all instances of IE8, the problem goes away.
    Opening IE8 again does not restart the problem immediately.
    It seems I have to leave it open for quite a while before the problem
    re-occurs.

    I usually have a VPN open to work. Closing it does not fix the problem,
    though. I hypothesized that possibly the system was searching through
    the massive directories at work, or hanging through the VPN for some other
    reaso, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Yes, everything is up to date. I have scanned for adware, cleaned the
    registry, kept my antivirus up to date.

    Thanks
     
  2. Shenan Stanley

    Shenan Stanley Flightless Bird

    easily_confused wrote:
    > Not sure where to post this.
    >
    > When I click on a file in windows explorer the system stalls for a
    > long time (opening the file by association).
    > If, while the system is stalled, I open another instance of windows
    > explorer it triggers the open to occur immediately (on .txt files,
    > for example). If it happens to be a .doc (word) document, I have to open
    > up to 3
    > instances of explorer to
    > trigger the .doc to open in word. The first does nothing, the
    > second opens word and the third opens the document in word.
    >
    > If I wait several minutes (I think, I haven't bothered to wait in a
    > while) the document eventually opens.
    >
    > What I am saying is that opening subsequent instances of explorer
    > triggers something.
    >
    > If I initially open the file with an application directly with the
    > right click context menu, it open immediately.
    >
    > Now for the kicker. If I close all instances of IE8, the problem
    > goes away. Opening IE8 again does not restart the problem
    > immediately. It seems I have to leave it open for quite a while before the
    > problem re-occurs.
    >
    > I usually have a VPN open to work. Closing it does not fix the
    > problem, though. I hypothesized that possibly the system was
    > searching through the massive directories at work, or hanging through the
    > VPN for
    > some other reaso, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
    >
    > Yes, everything is up to date. I have scanned for adware, cleaned
    > the registry, kept my antivirus up to date.


    "Cleaned the registry"... yeah.

    First - If you have Windows XP (I'll assume you do by which newsgroup you
    have chosen to post in) I suggest reverting back to Internet Explorer 7 for
    now. There may be som argument against it for security reasons, etc - but I
    think you might want to do this. (Of course - this assumes you had SP3
    installed before you upgraded to IE8.)

    Second - if you could provide some more details beyond the details you have
    given...

    You can obtain and supply the edition and version information:

    Start button --> RUN
    (no "RUN"? Press the "Windows Key" + R on your keyboard)
    --> type in:
    winver
    --> Click OK.

    The picture at the top of the window that opens will give you the general
    (Operating System name and edition) while the line starting with the word
    "version" will give you the rest of the story. Post _both_ in response
    to this message verbatim. No paraphrasing - instead - ensure
    character-for-character copying.

    What version of Internet Explorer are you currently using? Easy to find
    out. Open Internet Explorer and while that is in-focus, press and hold
    the "ALT" key on your keyboard. With the "ALT" key still pressed, press
    (just once, no holding) the "H" key. Now, with the "ALT" key still
    pressed, press (just once, no holding) the "A" key. That will bring up
    the "About Internet Explorer" window. It will give you the exact version
    you are using - repeat what you see there in response to this message.

    How to determine whether a computer is running a 32-bit version or
    64-bit version of the Windows operating system
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827218

    Those are instructions to get some very detailed information about
    versions - so not just WinXP SP3 w/IE8, please. ;-)

    Next - even though you say you have done it - here is what I suggest.

    Uninstall any third party firewall applications you may have. You'll be
    just fine with the Windows XP Firewall. Ensure it is enabled and you either
    understand the exceptions listed or you have no exceptions checked.

    If you have some all-in-one "Internet Protection" suite - remove it - even
    if it also contains your antivirus. You want to simplify - use a decent and
    less resource hungry antivirus only application - like Avira AntiVir (free)
    or eSet NOD32 (antivirus only - cost.)

    No matter what antimalware you have used - do the following:

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    (freeware version):

    SuperAntiSpyware
    http://www.superantispyware.com/

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    (freeware version):

    MalwareBytes
    http://www.malwarebytes.com/

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download and run the MSRT manually:
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx

    You may find nothing, you may find only cookies, you may think it is a
    waste of time - but if you do all this and report back here with what you
    do/don't find as you are doing all of it - you are adding more pieces to
    the puzzle and the entire picture just may become clearer and your
    problem resolved.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    You also should run a full CHKDSK and defragmentation.

    Windows XP CHKDSK:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
    * Will require a reboot.

    Windows XP Defragmentation:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Continue by fixing your Windows Update system...

    How do I reset Windows Update components?
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

    .... and click on the "Microsoft Fix it" icon. When asked, select "RUN",
    both times. Check the "I agree" box and click on "Next". Check the box
    for "Run aggressive options (not recommended)" and click "Next". Let
    it finish up and follow the prompts until it is done. Close/exit and
    reboot when it is.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ in Internet Explorer and
    select to do a CUSTOM scan...

    Every time you are about to click on something while at these web pages -
    first press and hold down the CTRL key while you click on it. You can
    release the CTRL key after clicking each time.

    Once the scan is done, select just _ONE_ of the high priority updates
    (deselect any others) and install it.

    Reboot again.

    If it did work - try the web page again - selecting no more than 3-5 at a
    time. Rebooting as needed.

    The Optional Software updates are generally safe - although I recommend
    against the "Windows Search" one and any of the "Office Live" ones or
    "Windows Live" ones for now. I would completely avoid the
    Optional Hardware updates. Also - I do not see any urgent need to
    install Internet Explorer 8 at this time.

    Then - when done - let everyone here know if it worked for you - or if
    you have more issues.

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
  3. easily_confused

    easily_confused Flightless Bird

    It is 32 bit WinXP

    Windows XP (Version 5.1 Build 2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090804-1435 : Service Pack
    3)




    > What version of Internet Explorer are you currently using? Easy to find
    > out. Open Internet Explorer and while that is in-focus, press and hold
    > the "ALT" key on your keyboard. With the "ALT" key still pressed, press
    > (just once, no holding) the "H" key. Now, with the "ALT" key still
    > pressed, press (just once, no holding) the "A" key. That will bring up
    > the "About Internet Explorer" window. It will give you the exact version
    > you are using - repeat what you see there in response to this message.


    I just used Help-AboutInternetExplorer from the menu. I guess not everyone
    has a menu?

    Version: 8.0.6001.18702


    >
    > How to determine whether a computer is running a 32-bit version or
    > 64-bit version of the Windows operating system
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827218
    >
    >
    > Uninstall any third party firewall applications you may have. You'll be
    > just fine with the Windows XP Firewall. Ensure it is enabled and you
    > either understand the exceptions listed or you have no exceptions checked.


    No 3rd Party Firewall or Internet protection suite
    I use free Avira

    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    > (freeware version):
    >
    > SuperAntiSpyware
    > http://www.superantispyware.com/
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    > (freeware version):
    >
    > MalwareBytes
    > http://www.malwarebytes.com/


    I use MalwareBytes already. Also Hijaack this, and winpatrol. I doubt
    this is caused by any sort of active malware.

    As for the rest of the suggestions below, it sounds like the usual
    shotgunning.
    I'll wait to see if anyone has anything to suggest that might relate to the
    actual symptoms.


    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download and run the MSRT manually:
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx
    >
    > You may find nothing, you may find only cookies, you may think it is a
    > waste of time - but if you do all this and report back here with what you
    > do/don't find as you are doing all of it - you are adding more pieces to
    > the puzzle and the entire picture just may become clearer and your
    > problem resolved.
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > You also should run a full CHKDSK and defragmentation.
    >
    > Windows XP CHKDSK:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
    > * Will require a reboot.
    >
    > Windows XP Defragmentation:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Continue by fixing your Windows Update system...
    >
    > How do I reset Windows Update components?
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058
    >
    > ... and click on the "Microsoft Fix it" icon. When asked, select "RUN",
    > both times. Check the "I agree" box and click on "Next". Check the box
    > for "Run aggressive options (not recommended)" and click "Next". Let
    > it finish up and follow the prompts until it is done. Close/exit and
    > reboot when it is.
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ in Internet Explorer and
    > select to do a CUSTOM scan...
    >
    > Every time you are about to click on something while at these web pages -
    > first press and hold down the CTRL key while you click on it. You can
    > release the CTRL key after clicking each time.
    >
    > Once the scan is done, select just _ONE_ of the high priority updates
    > (deselect any others) and install it.
    >
    > Reboot again.
    >
    > If it did work - try the web page again - selecting no more than 3-5 at a
    > time. Rebooting as needed.
    >
    > The Optional Software updates are generally safe - although I recommend
    > against the "Windows Search" one and any of the "Office Live" ones or
    > "Windows Live" ones for now. I would completely avoid the
    > Optional Hardware updates. Also - I do not see any urgent need to
    > install Internet Explorer 8 at this time.
    >
    > Then - when done - let everyone here know if it worked for you - or if
    > you have more issues.
    >
    > --
    > Shenan Stanley
    > MS-MVP
    > --
    > How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    > http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    >
     

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