I use shortcuts on Windows 7 to different network locations on my university. This is based on the negative experiences with networked disks in Windows XP that would severely increase logon time with many minutes if the locations could not be resolved at the time.
The problem is that if I select/highlight such as shortcut in an Explorer window, left-clicking, or right-clicking to open the context menu - Explorer appears to try and navigate the remote location in the GUI thread, and therefore stalls/freezes for several tens of seconds.
This synchronous behaviour is of course a fundamental design flaw in my eyes, but maybe there is a way to stop Windows from trying to resolve the target locations even though the shortcuts weren't invoked in the first place? Could it be shell extensions (like WinRAR that are invoked to analyze the file)?