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The Windows 7 Games folder is very slow, and it appears to be CPU bound by Explorer.exe. When I open it, the folder takes several seconds to load all of the games. It also takes several seconds to select a game by pointing to it.

After I open the Games folder, Explorer.exe continuously uses one CPU core with about 15-20% total usage of the quad-core processor. This does not occur unless and until I open the Games folder. Using Sysinternals Process Monitor, I found some abnormal registry accesses by Explorer:

Explorer.exe registry access loop Click for larger size

These registry accesses occur non-stop, and I need to terminate and restart Explorer.exe through the Task Manager to recover.

Any idea what may be causing this behavior? Rebooting doesn't solve the problem, and sfc /scannow exited without "find[ing] any integrity violations."

Edit: Explorer no longer continues to hog the CPU after closing Games, but accessing the Games folder and selecting a game is still slow. Process Monitor still indicates that Explorer was enumerating a whole bunch of files and registry entries. Why?

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This doesn't look like abnormal registry access to me. Then again, you need to use Process explorer to find out what is gathering most of the CPU time first of all. Next, a list of Explorer Shell Extensions. No default behavior of Explorer would cause this or comes to mind. – surfasb Jan 14 '12 at 16:25
What's abnormal about this was that it was doing this repeatedly, non-stop. Note that I can't reproduce this behavior any longer; see edit. The Games Explorer is still slow. This doesn't occur when accessing other folders or when opening Control Panel. – bwDraco Jan 14 '12 at 16:32
You still haven't tried Process Explorer yet huh? – surfasb Jan 14 '12 at 16:48
I do have Process Explorer, but I haven't used it in this case. – bwDraco Jan 14 '12 at 16:52
Is it just me or why does the "explorer" have a All_Caps extention? .EXE when pictures of process monitor and process explorer and the stuff I have here would use a lower case extention? Without being alarmist, there are other things about the question that might indicate a baddie, so that is what has me looking at other oddities. – Psycogeek Jan 14 '12 at 17:50

Games Explorer isn't a typical Explorer Windows. It does things in the background, so my guess is a certain shell extension or Game shortcut is causing it to hang while it looks for information.

There is the options for the Game Explorer. Try turning them off, but my #1 guess is still a Explorer Shell Extension.

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I can't identify any problematic shell extension. I tried clearing the list of hidden games and hiding some games again, and it did not help. – bwDraco Jan 14 '12 at 17:19
Did you try turning off all the Shell extensions first? – surfasb Jan 15 '12 at 6:06
Yes, through ShellExView. The folder is still slow. Only one shell extension was added before the problem began. I suspect the problem may be caused by an update to Windows. Any other suggestions? – bwDraco Jan 15 '12 at 18:11
@DragonLord: Uninstall the update. – surfasb Jan 15 '12 at 23:29
All of the recent updates were security updates for Patch Tuesday which I do not want to remove. I would rather wait for Microsoft to correct it. – bwDraco Jan 15 '12 at 23:32

This Microsoft forum post seems to indicate that other users have had issues because video drivers were out of date. Seems simple enough, but video drivers do a lot of weird things. Check your driver, make sure you've got the latest.

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Updating video drivers did not help. – bwDraco Feb 10 '12 at 23:52

Try changing the settings and tell it to not download new game info (If you haven't already).

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