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If I hit the Windows key to bring up the Start menu to search/launch something, the menu appears but shows "Searching...." for a few seconds. Sometimes, it shows what I was looking for, but then it disappears to "Searching..." again, coming back a few seconds later.

Similarly, in Windows Explorer, right clicking on anything (file, folder or empty space) always takes a few seconds too. The menu appears eventually but frustrating.

Sometimes Windows Explorer takes a few seconds to show icons; the window and sidebar will appear but the drives or contents of a directory don't show for a couple seconds.

The above seems to be intermittent.

I have recently re-installed Win7 from scratch (non-crapware'd version) and after "breaking it in" I noticed the problem has come back.

I don't think it is a performance issue (I have an Acer Apsire i7 2.2GHz with 8GB RAM and an SSD). I have run SpinRite on the disks recently too, so data corruption shouldn't be an issue. I don't use any bloated anti-virus (just MSE) and don't use suites like MS Office.

Is there any way I can troubleshoot this short of uninstalling programs one at a time?

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2 Answers

Take a look at: http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/run-windows-explorer-folders-in-a-separate-process-to-prevent-crashes-and-system-freeze/

It'll load up explorer windows as a separate process, and you have more than the recommended amount of RAM for this setting. It doesn't sound like it'll fix the searching issue, but it might fix the slow windows explorer issue. I'd also suggest running a memtest to see if any RAM is failing.

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I finally gave up and did the un-install-and-see method.

Uninstalled any apps that had contextual menu items.

One by one:

  • PDFCreator
  • Notepad++
  • 7Zip

But then all the above problems have so far gone away when I uninstalled VLC 2.0.7.

I downloaded and reinstalled VLC 2.0.8 and the slow downs didn't come back (yet anyway).

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