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  1. #1
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    Windows Explorer very slow to expand subdirectories in left-hand pane

    Explorer for some reason appears to visit each subdirectory (at least both its MFT entry and its actual data payload) in the expanding parent and may perform additional processing as well, since it can process them at only around 20 per second (which means that expanding a directory with 1,000 or more subdirectories can take a minute or more, during which Explorer is frozen).

    XP and later versions of Windows do not suffer from this problem in Explorer, and it's hard to imagine why Win2K's version acts that way (since it can expand such a parent directory in the RIGHT-hand pane almost immediately). I've tried disabling options like 'display compressed files and directories in a different color' just in case they were forcing this behavior, but so far to no avail.

    Just a minor annoyance in an old system, but I'd be grateful if anyone knows how to eliminate it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Is this a recent development, or has it always been this way?
    Maybe you have more files and folders than the OS can easily handle. 1000 or more subdirectories is quite a lot.
    Explorer issue of this nature where quite common in the 2000/XP era.
    Perhaps you could disable automatic expansion in the left side, if possible, see if that make any difference.


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  3. #3
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    Thanks for asking, but no, not a recent development, happens on every Win2K system I've ever used with large numbers of subdirectories. Happens on Win2K systems with 2 GB of RAM, so it's not a hardware resource constraint. Doesn't happen on XP and Win7 systems running on the same hardware. And, as I said, it's specific to the left-hand pane: viewing the entire directory contents, including files as well as the same number of subdirectories, is nearly instantaneous in the right-hand pane - and very clearly it takes LESS processing to display the same subdirectory information in the left-hand pane, but for some reason Explorer on Win2K insists on doing a great deal MORE.

    I've put up with it for over a decade (since wanting to expand such a parent directory in the left-hand pane doesn't come up ALL that often), and perhaps I'm now just looking for one less reason to move my main computing to a more modern (but also more bloated and annoyingly 'helpful') system.

    NT had already had 6 years or so to civilize Explorer by the time Win2K was released, and when XP was released a year later it WAS more civilized in this area. I've always assumed that some minor Explorer setting was changed, and suspected or at least hoped that this setting was user-accessible (e.g., through the Registry). But perhaps it was a small internal change that no one ever bothered to back-port to Win2K (which makes me wonder whether the XP version of Explorer might be runnable on Win2K - perhaps the folks over at msfn.org would know).
    Last edited by - bill; 2013-01-18 at 23:38.

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    You might try one of these free replacements for Windows Explorer:

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...le-manager.htm

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    You might try one of these free replacements for Windows Explorer:

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...le-manager.htm
    Thanks, but I tried xplorer2 a few years ago and, while it did indeed manage to expand directiroes quickly in the left-hand pane, I stumbled upon a bug in it, which was not reassuring. I tried XYplorer around the same time but preferred xplorer2.

    I just want Windows Explorer to work reasonably in this respect, and since it does in XP and later systems I've suspected that there might be SOME way to get it to do so in Win2K. If there is none, I'll probably just continue to put up with it until such time as I no longer have much reason to run Win2K.

  6. #6
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    It seems as though WE is enumerating the contents of all the folders. Are you using any cleaning tools so that Explorer might be regenerating thumbs.db?

    Joe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    It seems as though WE is enumerating the contents of all the folders.
    Indeed, but there's nothing in the process of expanding the hierarchy in the left-hand pane that requires it to and in XP and later versions it clearly does not do so.

    Are you using any cleaning tools so that Explorer might be regenerating thumbs.db?
    I don't think I've ever seen Explorer on Win2K create thumbs.db files, and in any event there aren't any in the sub-directories in question and I haven't done anything to clean up such files. The thought had crossed my mind in the past that perhaps it was looking inside the sub-directories just in case it might want to represent them in a different color in case they contained, e.g., compressed data, but when I turned that option off in Folder Options it made no difference.

  8. #8
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    Maybe it is just a quirk of Win2k. It has been so long since I've seen a Win2k system that I can't even suggest anything else. Sorry.

    Joe

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