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I have just noticed an interesting thing in windows xp.

When I run a program from the command line the waiting time for starting the program varies considerably depending on the current directory. When the current directory is the same as the target program then the program starts instantly. But when the current directory is an external usb disk then the execution starts after a while.

Is this related to my external usb disk or to the path searching algorithm of windows xp?

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Probably a combination of time to load via USB (moreso if it's on a USB-1 port) and spin-up time, if your USB disk spins down when it has been idle for a while.

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