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  1. #1
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    XP Start Flyout Menus Hanging

    I can't find a pattern to this, but sometimes the Start-Programs-etc flyout menus just freeze. It's as if the system is scanning the entire contents of the Programs menu and enumerating everything there before proceeding. Thing is, the drive activity light is off when this happens. Once it returns from the zombie state, it works just fine. The delay can be up to 10 or 12 seconds.

    I've tried setting a static swap file, letting Windows manage it and even turning it off - no joy, so it's not the VM swapping things around. I disabled the Indexing service long ago (I can search with the command line just fine, thank you), but I turned it back on to see if it mattered. Nope.

    SP3, fully patched, MS Security Essentials, 3 GB RAM. IBM ThinkPad X60.

    I poked around using the Search feature but couldn't find anything.

    TIA for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Hi there,

    Suggest you do the following to check for errors.
    1. Launch Windows Explorer and then right click the C: drive and go to Properties.
    2. Click the "Tools" tab and then click in the "Error Checking" menu at the top, click "Check Now".
    3. In the next menu, checkmark the top option only which is to "Fix file system errors" and then click "Start".
    4. You'll get a message that the utility can't run because the disk cannot be locked and whether you want to schedule a diags check on the next reboot. Click "Yes" and then restart.

    After the diags check completes, the system will automatically boot to the logon screen, or if you don't use that, to the desktop. Hopefully, you'll see an improvement.

    If you don't, check you AV setup. Most of these incorporate additional scanners which spring into action when you try to do something on the machine. That can cause the operation to hang temporarily.

    If you use AVAST antivirus (I do), right click the orange icon in systray, go to "Avast Shields Control" and choose to disable all shields for 1 hour. Then test the menus to see if there's any improvement. You can easily re-enable the scanners again via the same method.

    If you use a different AV, check the menus for similar options.

  3. #3
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    Thanks - CHKDSK has already been tried, though (I should have mentioned that).

    Just for fun, I started Task Manager and watched the processes. The flyout menu freeze finally happened - and it was Microsoft Security Essentials eating up the CPU! Talk about a slap in the face...

    I've seen MSSE eat up the CPU on other things over the years. Running a full system scan has always restored performance, so I just ran one. We'll see.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by katiedawg View Post
    Thanks - CHKDSK has already been tried, though (I should have mentioned that).

    Just for fun, I started Task Manager and watched the processes. The flyout menu freeze finally happened - and it was Microsoft Security Essentials eating up the CPU! Talk about a slap in the face...

    I've seen MSSE eat up the CPU on other things over the years. Running a full system scan has always restored performance, so I just ran one. We'll see.
    Apologies for the late response, but email notifications had stopped arriving in my Inbox for some strange reason and I didn't see your post until I came here today to check each subscription manually.

    I don't use MSE because test results by independent testers aren't particularly favourable and use AVAST (free edition) instead: http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

    But the problem you describe is most likely due to the way you've configured MSE. I'm not particularly familiar with it, so I can't tell you where to look in its menus, but there should be an option somewhere to reduce the scan intesity of the independent file scanner to a lower level. While file scanners are useful, they don't differentiate between programs which have slready been scanned and deemed safe and those which are unknown. Consequently, whenever you do anything on the machine, the file scanner jumps into full scale scanning mode to check whatever's happening for virus activity, even if all you're doing is opening a text file or something.

    I got fed up with it on Avast and simply disabled it altogether and take other precations instead. But do check the MSE menus to see what options are available.

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