It is very common on my windows xp machine for windows explorer (including taskbar) to be frequently unresponsive for several seconds (and sometimes up to a minute) any time I am browsing the file system (or using the start menu). This can get a bit frustrating....
I suspect it may be due to some network access thing happening but I am not sure of this, or what apps/services could be contributing to the problem. Is there a way to find out exactly what windows is doing (or trying to do) during these freezes so I can narrow down the search a bit?
I am not after a list of things to try as I have been through many of these (e.g. defrag, network drives, etc etc) - but nothing seems to fix the problem. What I am really after is a way to diagnose (or debug) what is happening so it doesn't just become a guessing game of "try these 100 different things and see what happens". But maybe this is not possible?
UPDATE: Window's "Performance Monitor" perfmon seems the best approach so far for diagnosing such problems (thanks JP for the pointer) - but I am still struggling to use it in a successful way mainly due to the overwhelming number of options it provides. I have made some educated guesses at the things to monitor but so far the best information I can glean is that the following processes have unusual CPU/Data IO/Page faults during a freeze:
explorer. Since these are very standard windows processes I am not sure if this helps narrow down the cause much.....Any further advice?