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Usually when you have shared folder or a drive on a network location, it's browsable through Microsoft Windows Network. This is however painfully slow. Often when the computer or network location cannot be found, it takes ages before you get an error message and regain control over windows explorer.

Most of the time when I accidentally click on a location that is not connected (because I clicked a shared folder from a server at work while at home) I can sit and wait till the error message.

Is there a way to make the process faster? Like cutting down a timeout or make it look for the folders/drives/computers in the background in stead of holding up explorer?

Comment on answers:

This option requires me to use a different explorer to browse. Is there something I can do while using normal explorer?

This won't help me to browse between network folder/computers. Only speed up using shortcut folders. But then again, when this folder is not available, the hold of explorer is still there.

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migrated from Oct 29 '09 at 10:26

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

One simplest way is to use Total commander or FreeCommander (an open source alternative) to explore Your PC/laptop/NFS or even FTP server.

This will certainly speed-up your work, and wont block your explorer when accidentally clicking on shared folders.

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Thanks, I'll try it soon. – D. Veloper Oct 29 '09 at 9:29
This option requires me to use a different explorer to browse. Is there something I can do while using normal explorer? – D. Veloper Oct 29 '09 at 14:46

I always setup a WINS server (usually a Linux machine running Samba) and then point all Windows machines to it (manually if the IP address is static, via DHCP if the IP address is dynamic). It speeds up browsing enormously.

$ grep "wins support" /etc/samba/smb.conf
   wins support = yes

Always make sure one of the participants to the Windows network is a PDC, or a Domain Master or whatever. Setting up WINS in a situation like this is trivial.

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If your on Windows 7 I would recommend mapping a drive to a FTP service. That will be faster.

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I am on Windows XP. So this will not work for me? – D. Veloper Nov 8 '09 at 13:28
you can sorta do it on XP. Internet Exploder v.8 (I think) has a Map Network Drive button on it and in there you can choose "XP: Sign up for online storage or connect to a network server” and then you can assign a custom network location. Its just harder to find on XP, but its there. – djangofan Nov 9 '09 at 16:17

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