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Whenever I use the Windows key+E to open Windows Explorer, it ends up locking my access to "My Computer" for up to 5 minutes. I cannot even open task manager to try to stop the process. I have been installing critical updates for Windows XP which might be the problem.

What's going on?

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Have you tried just running Explorer from the Start Menu, Run dialog, or the Desktop? Does it exhibit the same behavior as the shortcut? – Iszi Apr 27 '11 at 18:53

Possible suspects include network shares that are no longer available, and third party software that appears as a disk in Explorer. Sometimes such third party software tries to access hardware that is not present, and has a long timeout.

When it finally starts up, look for anything in My Computer that is not an internal hard drive. Disconnect any network shares.

To see a list of your network shares without having to endure the five minute wait, go to a command prompt and enter the "net use" command. You can then remove each share using the "net use /del" command. For example:

net use /del \\old_computer_name
net use /del x:
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