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  1. #1
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    My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    I had a rather sudden decline in performance of the "My Documents" folder on my PC a few months ago.

    I am looking for general troubleshooting advice. Here are some particulars:

    1) I run a pretty clean PC, and this only occurred on one PC that I maintain. I have lots of hard drive space, a big swap page, lots of free space, and I defragment regularly.
    2) The problem is limited to that folder.
    3) The folder opens quickly. But, then it responds slowly as I move around inside of it - clicking, page up/down, and the slider are not very responsive. Once they are active (highlighted) files open at normal speed when double clicked. So, it definitely seems to be a GUI navigation issue.
    4) That folder is definitely bloated ... but I have lost nothing.

    I am suspicious of the following:
    1) Did I disable a service that I should not have?
    2) Is My Documents corrupted, and if so, what do I do?
    3) Is there a buffer accepting my input, but not processing it as quickly as I like?
    4) Is there some memory limit for number of folders and files that can be in a directory (like, XP folders are limited to say 8,192 items or something like that)?

    I am most suspicious of #1, since this was a rather drastic and sudden slow down.

  2. #2
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    How many files and folders do you have in there. Windows Explorer can slow down if you have more than a few thousand files and folders in one location.

    StuartR

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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    A CTRL-A lists 1,629 objects. Probably about 100 are folders, although most of those are probably slim (I use My Documents as a generic file dump, and put projects in folders with shortcuts to the main folder, rather than files in the sub-folders).

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    You may have some corrupt file disk segments within the Docs folders.
    Try Start>Run>Cmd, and run checkdisk.

    Chkdsk C: /f

    ( if your Docs folder is on the C drive, if not sub whatever drive letter for C: )
    BOB
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  5. #5
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    Chkdsk listed minor problems; here is the meat of the report:

    Windows will now check the disk.
    Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
    Cleaning up 579 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 579 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 579 unused security descriptors

    There's a definite improvement in performance afterwards, but I am still not good as new.

    Other suggestions?

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    Since it found that many potential problems, I would run chkdsk again but first I would do some cleanup in the My Docs folder.

    Create a new folder ( not in My Docs. Call it Storage or something else ) and move some or all of your files that you are simply storing away. Even better would be to create the Storage folder in another partition or on another drive than the C: drive.

    Then run chkdsk again.
    BOB
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  7. #7
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    Sensible advice ... will do ... check back in a few days.

    Having said that ... I am frosted about this ... isn't Microsoft's philosphy that My Documents is supposed to function as both a repository for current documents and storage for old ones?

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    Another thing I ran into was if you use MS Word.Do a search for a file called "normal.dot". It's usually in the Documents & Settings%username%Application DataMicrosoftTemplates folder.
    Rename it "normal.old". When Word is opened again, it will create a new normal.dot file.
    There were a few cases where people said this made a world of difference in opening docs. I haven't tried this but it seems like it's worth a shot.

    ALSO:
    Disable Indexing Service
    The Indexing Service in Windows XP indexes your files presumably to shorten the time needed to search your hard drive if you are looking for a specific file or part of a phrase inside a file. However, the constant indexing of files actually slows down system performance and does not benefit search performance except for extreme complex searches.

    To disable the Indexing Service go into "My Computer", right-click on all your hard drive partitions one at a time, left-click "Properties". Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching". Select "Apply changes to subfolders and files". If any files cannot be updated select "Ignore All".

    You can also disable indexing by going to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services.
    Scroll down to Indexing and right click it, open properties. Right click properties and under General Tab>startup type, click the dropdown menu and click "disable". OK out.
    BOB
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  9. #9
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    1) Opening documents is just as quick as ever ... the slow part is navigating through My Documents with page up/down, the arrow, the mouse, or the slider.

    2) I wondered about this. I turned it off, and it doesn't seem to make much difference.

  10. #10
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    I think your navigation speed issue is because of the OS having to load the thumbnail images for the files it will display. This is a pretty inefficient process.

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    That would explain why most of the slowness appears to be on opening and navigating the folder.

    However ... my default is details (mostly a text view) so I have trouble seeing how this could make much difference.

  12. #12
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    Re: My Documents is Slow (XP SP2)

    Even in detail view the pic next to the file name must be looked up.

    Joe
    Joe

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