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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Windows Explorer slows dramatically (Windows XP Home)

    I'm having a problem that has been recurring for many months now. Right off the bat I will say I have no viruses (virus scan regularly), and when I do searched for spyware I never have any except for one called, "Atwala", which, no matter how many times I delete/quarentine it, it still sticks around. The problem I'm having is that my computer randomly, and frequently slows down to the point of almost freezing. When I do Ctrl/Alt/Delete and look at how many CPU's are running it says 100%, and "Explorer.exe" is always the culprit. This usually happens when I'm in Windows Explorer , but once I'm there it is a matter of 5 minutes before this happens. My quick fix is I go to Ctrl/Alt/Delete and right click on Explorer under processes and debug it. About a minute later the computer has sped up and I'm back on track. This issue is killing me, I can't find a fix anywhere, I have no spyware, adware, or viruses. I have minimal cookies, internet files, i have sufficent extra space on my hard drives (about 100 gigs free on C drive), I defrag every night, have almost nothing running (AIM, Trend Micro (virus), and Spysweeper. I am not a newbie when it comes to computers, and I know what to do to keep my computer running fast. But this is just ridiculous, my ONLY theory is that maybe this "Atwala" spyware is what's causing the trouble but I can't get rid of it.

    IF anyone has any idea, id appreciate it. Thanks

    -Ben

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (Windows X

    Random thoughts, questions or ideas, i.e. I don't know your answer... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> I'm not sure that atwala is the problem. It does seem to be a very popular word in Uganda, from my Googling efforts. I saw a couple of references to it being another ad generator for web pages, like doubleclick, so I don't know if there's any getting rid of it or not. Have you checked Tools, Folder Options, View and made sure that the automatic checking of network connection is NOT ticked? I don't know if that would be it, but you should uncheck it anyway. How about disabling AIM for awhile to see if that helps? I don't use it but I wonder just the same. Does the problem NOT occur if you're just surfing the web with IE and NOT running Windows Explorer? I also use Trend Micro and haven't had a problem like this, so I think we can assume it isn't pccillin, but have you taken a look at what software you have installed that might be checking for updates automatically? I know I'm fishing there 'cause that shouldn't cause Explorer to hang up the system.

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (Windows XP Home)

    Ben,
    So far as "atwola" is concerned, the def is:
    --------------------------------
    Atwola is an unwelcomed cookie which is shared among two or more web pages for the purpose of tracking a user's surfing history.
    -------------------------------
    Spysweeper does not check for this type of malware or cookie.

    I suggest you try AdAware SE & Spybot S & D. Also Pest Patrol and Tracks Eraser Pro claim to remove it.

    Beyond that if the removal does not work, I would resort to doing a Windows "Repair" install.
    BOB
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  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (Windows X

    Atwala is an AOL cookie, or so I've heard, but I'm not one-hundred percent positive of that. I have SpySweeper set to delete it on sight, i.e., 'Always Delete'. I've had that bloody thing show up ever since I made the mistake of getting an AOL screenname a couple of weeks ago, at least, it seemed to have shown up at the same time. Foolishly, I thought I could "just" get a screenname, and that would be that. Anyway, the atwala cookie seems quite persistent.

    Yes, SpySweeper 4.5 DOES detect and quarantine this cookie.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (XP Home)

    Do you have any .avi files in the directory you are in when the slowdown occurs? There have been a lot of stories of corrupted avi files causing this symptom - explorer tries to read information from them and gets stuck.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (XP Home)

    ^ yes, there are avi files everywhere. but the irony of the situation is that i don't always have to be in Explorer for it to lock up. Sometimes I'll just be sitting here.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Explorer slows dramatically (XP Home)

    That sounds similar to the problem a colleague at my last job had, but after several days of checking AV, spyware etc. the IT department had to give up and simply reimage her PC so I'm afraid that doesn't help much. Do you have any network drive mappings that might have changed?
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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