I've worked on systems for quite a few years now and this one has me pretty baffled. I'm running Windows 8.1 and recently (I know for certain this problem didn't occur 1 week ago at least) all processes that read file meta data are extremely slow. For example, if I right-click a file and click properties, the window can take up to 10 minutes to appear. Similarly, loading up the "This PC" file explorer takes about 60 seconds. Other file system intensive processes do not seem to be affected. For example, running an AVG or Malwarebytes scan takes about the same amount of time to run as usual. (I tried these specifically because they leverage the disk so heavily). I also tried running attrib from command line and changing attributes on a file that took a long time to load properties and it went through immediately like I'd expect.
For troubleshooting, I ran chkdsk with no errors found. My gut feeling is that something physical on the drive is failing, but the problem seems so specific I'm not sure. Does anyone have any suggestions for other things to try or investigate before I try a new drive?
Small Update: Looking into Event Viewer, I found a lot of errors around SearchIndexer.exe. I'm doing an SFC scan now and will delete and rebuild the index as suggested in SearchIndexer.exe faulting on Windows 8 to see if that help and if it's the cause. Certainly not a smoking gun, but there's a chance.