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A few days ago I encountered a strange problem that since then consistently persists, I noticed that Windows 7 all of a sudden became exceptionally slow at opening video files. I haven't got the slightest clue how this could have begun or what may have caused it. I use media player classic with k-lite codecs, the problem is not as noticable if I use windows media player. VLC seems noticably slower than windows media player but noticably faster than media player classic. But in either case, all these players should be opening files in a timespan of 3 seconds normally, only windows media player is doing it anywhere near that fast.

Also shortly after I noticed that Windows Photo Viewer also got this sort of a slowdown, usually taking around 10 seconds to open any image file (would usually be around 3-4).

I've had just about enough of this, and I don't particularly feel like going for the cure-all for all windows problems and reinstalling (this is a relatively fresh, and still quite clean install)

Anybody have any ideas for what could be causing this?

(Just to deal with this one straight off the bat: It's not hard drive problems, I get the exact same problems when I am opening these files off an SSD as I do from an HDD, or even a network drive... it's something else, this was the first (and only) thing I thought of).

PS: Audio files are opening just fine; haven't noticed games being slow at launching either.

I have an nvidia gtx 670 gpu, on driver version 364.51 (In case that might be relevant; and no way in hell I'm updating these drivers anytime soon). I don't have a calibrated color profile (color management settings are default)

  • My next step is trying to downgrade my nvidia driver... – Cestarian Apr 5 '16 at 6:42
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    @bwDraco what are you smoking? This question was asked on April 5th, that question was asked yesterday (BY YOU) so if anything YOUR question is a duplicate of mine, not the other way around (How can I make a duplicate question of a question that didn't exist when mine was asked?). Also, the issues were not exactly the same as yours either, even if the cause was the same. But if you must insist... I guess I'll mark your question as a duplicate of mine, which is the more accurate assumption. – Cestarian Apr 30 '16 at 16:49
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    @Cestarian That's not how this site works. We don't purely close duplicates by question age. The more general question tends to be the duplicate target. If a question (or very closely related category of questions) has been asked often enough, largely with the exact same answers, we create what's known as a canonical question to serve as a duplicate close target. See, for example, superuser.com/questions/100360/… – Bob Apr 30 '16 at 18:34
  • The other thing to note that being closed as a duplicate is in no way a reflection on the person who asked the question. It's simply a way for us to better organise the site and existing questions to best benefit future users, and to keep all related answers updated in one place. It's not a "me vs you" situation. Duplicate questions remain and are not deleted; they serve as links to the canonical question if someone stumbles on one by search. – Bob Apr 30 '16 at 18:35
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I downgraded my drivers from 364.52 to 362.00 since I already knew that the 364 drivers were known troublemakers, even destroying peoples cards at 364.72... (regression or deliberate...) it's not surprising that earlier 364 versions would also have had problems.

In other words, I'm fairly certain this was a driver bug. I'm testing now with 364.51

Update: Not seeing this problem on 364.51 but I am seeing some slowdowns in other areas, I think I'll stick with 362 for now.

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Perhaps you installed a video player (or video editing software) that tries to "sniff" the file (gather info about it, like length, artist etc.) at the same time or just before your Media Player application opens. If there is a bug in that program or it is not optimal, it might slow things dramatically.

Try to remember what you have installed recently.

Maybe you can try to right click and see which 'shell integrated' programs you have on the right click menu.

  • VLC does this, Media Player Classic does a lot less of it... Either way it's the same media player I've used for years and same windows photo viewer i've used for years... – Cestarian Apr 5 '16 at 14:36
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This worked for me:

Click "Start" and open "Control Panel."

Open the "Hardware and Sound" option. Open the "Sound" applet.

Select the "Playback" tab. Right-click "Speakers/Headphones." Choose "Properties."

Perform the following based on your sound or audio driver:

Select the "Effects" tab and click "Disable System Effects."

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