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I am not sure if it is really Windows Explorer related, but on my Vista Premium every time I open a folder, the system starts doing "something". I can see a sort of green progress indicator in the address bar and during that time the folder is not responding.

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I don't have any indexing service running, and my disks are well defragged. I have more than 50% of the disk capacity free. My process explorer doesn't show where the activity is exactly. I don't have any other programs or services running that need to process something on file folders. The system is virus free as well.

This happens on my file folders that contain files on the local disk, nothing is remote, no network files or shared files or anything like that, just regular local files. This behavior is the same for all kinds of file types.

I have the feeling that it is some kind of configuration related issue, but could not pin point the exact config.

Could not find something useful on Microsoft's site.

Has anyone noticed this and could explain it?

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migrated from Oct 29 '09 at 12:30

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

See this article : How to prevent Windows Vista's 'green ribbon of death'.
It lists 4 reasons for this. Although none of them seems likely in your case, you might still have a look.

I would also suggest that you try this:
Open up Explorer.exe, go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View. Then go to the Advanced Settings and check “Always show icons, never thumbnails.”

You might also, just to be sure, do a chkdsk -r.

You can also use Autoruns to see if any funny processes start-up without your knowledge, and you can use Process Monitor to examine the disk activity while the green ribbon is boring you to death.

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I had some views displaying folders contents as large icons, I changed all my views to "details" and that did the trick. that's strange, I didn't discover the reason. Thanks for the help. – albert green Nov 29 '09 at 14:13

Google for "sysinternals" (free download) and run the programs procmon, filemon and/or regmon. Those will tell you what processes are accessing files and processes, and you may be able to track down a little better what is happening on your system.

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thanks a lot, but I have already those programs and nothing appeared abnormal. That's my problem. it is kind of wired thing and I know that the way I am describing it is not helpful but I can't do more. I sent a question to MS, still waiting for answer. – albert green Oct 29 '09 at 11:47
Next you can start looking at the task manager and performance monitor for things like disk read/write queues, deferred processes, DPC queue, etc. and see what is spiking when this is happening. That may narrow down what is's possible you have a hard disk failing or having trouble with certain sectors or a controller going wonky or a cable loose. Check also the logs and run a disk check with chkdsk, or use a drive checker off the Ultimate Boot CD to check for bad sectors. – Bart Silverstrim Oct 29 '09 at 12:04

Windows Vista (and Windows 7) read a folder and its contents every time you open it, or it detects a change. On slower drives (e.g. network, non-indexed), this can take a long time, and you'll see the progress bar.

I don't know how to turn this off - I normally use another file manager where possible. In Windows 7 it's a lot faster, and you can press the stop button at the right of the address bar, but in Vista, this might stop it from listing all the files.

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