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  • Windows Explorer extremely slow

    Posted on EezeePC Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Windows 10 version 2004 – May 2020 Update Windows Explorer extremely slow

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      • #2315891
        AskWoody Lounger

        Is anyone suffering from my current problem that Windows Explorer runs extremely slowly and I think it might be caused by a recent update. I’m running Win 10 ver 2004 Os Build 19041.630. As I just purchased a 3TB NAS drive and want to transfer all my data from a smaller NAS drive, it just takes forever to list the folders so that I can select them to copy across. I have searched for solutions and tried turning off Windows Search and several other background processes that were recommended, but no luck so far. Any help would be much appreciated.

      • #2315983

        Have you tried our old friend the command line?
        xcopy E :\Eezee\Documents\ F:\Eezee\Documents /s

        This should take it from hours to a few dozen minutes.

      • #2316217
        Chris Greaves
        AskWoody Plus

        > … Windows Explorer runs extremely slowly  …

        Hi EezeePC. “runs extremely slowly” is somewhat generic, and since I could say the same thing about my system I felt qualified to toss my tuppence into the ring.

        Microsoft is a Sales & Marketing company and I thing it is very good at sales & marketing.

        Microsoft is not a Software company and I thing it is very poor at software.

        So nowadays I am not surprised when (in Windows File Explorer) I navigate to a folder, key in “*.DOC” in the <F3> search box, and have time to wander off to the kitchen and pour another coffee before my screen is full.

        I put this particular lethargy down to:

        1. The data drive being encrypted with TrueCrypt and
        2. The specific folder (being searched) being on a SUBSTituted drive.

        I rather suspect that in order to locate each file, Explorer makes a succession of calls to the core of Windows, all the way up the folder tree to a physical file system, and at each step of the way asks the core to resolve the particular folder against the SUBST command, a hangover from my DOS days.

        Now I am certain that you are not using a folder within a folder-tree on a SUBSTituted drive letter on an encrypted drive, but you can imagine all the redundant back-and-forth going on as each folder in the tree (which is to say, for each DOC file in the target folder) is being interrogated and un-mapped repeatedly. So you can see that, in my case, although my brain knows what is meant by “W:\Tripping\DrivingCanada\DrivingNewfoundland\DrivingBonavista\“, dumb-old Windows might be asking “What is this drive called “W:”?, and dumb-old Windows might be responding “Why, it’s actually “T:\Greaves\Admin\Domains\“, three times over for each file in “W:\Tripping\DrivingCanada\DrivingNewfoundland\DrivingBonavista\“, and thus three treks through “T:\Greaves\Admin\Domains\”” for each of those responses, and thus four times three calls to TrueCrypt to get the data from T:.

        It all adds up.

        Thus, I can offer a weird explanation of why MY system might be slow, and a different but similar messy situation might be going on in your system (just not with encryption and SUBSTituted drives).

        As for “… caused by a recent update …” this could easily be the case, strengthened if you happened to note the general slowing-down starting within minutes of the latest update.

        But consider too Microsoft’s habit of Things Overflowing. File Lists in applications used to be limited to Nine entries, defaulting to four entries (why?) and now raised to fifty entries (why?). At the human level we had to switch to a slower method (File, Open, Browse) once our file dropped off the File menu’s most-recently-used list.

        A similar cascade can occur whenever Windows software exhausts a fixed-size table, or indeed any fixed-size resource. If a recent update brings in slightly larger DLLs, then there is less working memory for other applications, such as File Explorer, and some paging or data swapping can occur.

        In short the reasons for the slowness are myriad, and perhaps your best bet is to see if you can isolate each of your reasons for the slowness.

        For example, you suspect that the slowness is brought about by a recent update. Are you able to roll back to your previous version of Windows for an hour or two and see if the speed is improved?


        "Almost works" means it doesn’t work.

      • #2316250
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I would use Robocopy, it’s built in to Windows and is brilliant at that sort of data transfer.

        There are even 3rd party GUIs. Robocop or ChoEazyCopy.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2316251
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        And a PowerShell version from MS.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2316252
        AskWoody Plus

        This may be a tough one to diagnose BUT a cousin of it was my experience with Deletes of the Recycle Bin oddly starting to take forevvvvvver — Vs a few seconds.

        The infamous – Do a Re-Start (I did 2) – returned the speed so now I Re-start daily when able.

        W10 Pro 20H2 / Hm-Stdnt Ofce '16 C2R / HP Envy Desktop-Ethernet/ 12 GB / 256G SSD + 1 TB HDD / i5-8400 Coffee Lake/ GP=2 + FtrU=Semi-Annual + Feature Defer = 1 + QU=0

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