Right click freeze up, what is happening
January 7, 2004 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Whenever I right-click in a folder window, Windows Explorer hangs for about 30 seconds. Same thing if I select a file and hit the delete key. The right-click keyboard key: same thing. Eventually, I do get my right-click menu and can use it, but the lag is making me insane. I've done my Google homework and there's [more inside].

1) I'm running Windows 2000 Pro - all current critical updates installed

2) I've never installed "Eraser" or "Iomega Hotburn," two programs which reportedly cause a similar problem.

3) Task Manager reports nothing taking up much CPU. In fact, other applications operate just fine while Explorer ponders its navel.

4) I've done a little registry editing, but not much. If your recommendation is in that form, please be exhaustive.

posted by scarabic to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
I have the exact same problem, and 1) to 4) also apply to me. I figure my PC is just slow...
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:28 AM on January 8, 2004

Given that it seems to be (at least mostly) a right-click issue, I'd guess that there's something goofy with a context-menu handler on the right-click menu that some program has added.

A tool like this will help you selectively clear out items and retry rightclicks (after a reboot I think, as that stuff lives in the registry), to try and narrow it down.

Disclaimer : I haven't tried the tool I linked to, but I assume given that it's from PCmag, it'll be reasonably useful.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:43 AM on January 8, 2004

Via, er, somewhere, this thread says it's Norton. Symantec has gone downhill for years now IMHO (marketers getting paid more than the engineers syndrome, I suspect), so that wouldn't surprise me a bit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:41 AM on January 8, 2004

Shot in the dark, but when I was having somewhat similar problems (every time I clicked the drive dropdown in a Save dialog), it was because I had a mapped drive that no longer existed.
posted by yerfatma at 4:07 AM on January 8, 2004

Yeh, I have a bunch of stuff added by various programs (Winzip, Winamp, etc). I disabled them all by go to the options menu in each program, and it seems to have helped.
posted by Orange Goblin at 4:12 AM on January 8, 2004

If you have a HD full of files like I do (24,000 individual files) the delay is coming from your system reading the humongous file allocation table
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:17 AM on January 8, 2004

I just cleared up this same problem on my work PC, scarabic.

A program that I had uninstalled was still the default program for creating new files of that type. On the right-click menu you have the option of making a "new" folder, shortcut, or file, and my computer was hanging there while it tried to find the (now missing) program to create the new file.

I went into Tweak UI (If you don't have it, you can find it easily), to the "New" tab, and unchecked everything except "text document" (the only type of file I ever use the "new" menu for). Everything zips along just fine now.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:56 AM on January 8, 2004

I have/had the same problem that yerfatma alludes to. My office forces password changes every so often, and when they do one of the consequences is that any explorer view hangs forever. The other symptom for me was that MSIE required that I put http:// in the address field or it wouldn't find the web site. The solution ended up being (for me at least) to un-map the drives and then re-map them. According to the IT folks here it is a known issue (read: BUG!) but that M$ has not yet posted a solution even though it has been known for over a year now.

Good luck!
posted by terrapin at 9:49 AM on January 8, 2004

Never hurts to check to see if your drive needs a defrag, especially if you lot's o' files.
posted by cowboy at 10:13 AM on January 8, 2004

Response by poster: I'm suspicious of Norton at the moment, following stav's link. Like a couple people in that thread, my renewal just came up, and now I'm finding that the Norton app itself is butt slow when I run it manually. I'm variously trying to disable/uninstall it to see if I can eliminate the problem.
posted by scarabic at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2004

Response by poster: Ok, a full uninstall of Norton AntiVirus 2003 finally did the trick. Selectively disabling its features didn't help. Even turning off the automated protection completely. It's kind of a bummer. Lots of folks seem unhappy with NAV, but, until now, it's served me well enough. I guess I'll be doing some shopping for a new anti-virus app. Any suggestions in the 20-ish dollar range?
posted by scarabic at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2004

This actually isn't Norton's fault... it's Verisign's. A few of their certs just expired. When you right click, Windows checks Norton's digital certificate, which is signed by Verisign, whose certs expired on the 7th. Since they're expired, Windows tries to contact Verisign's server which is incredibly overloaded at the moment.

So, what can you do? For right now, the uninstall all you can do. Symantec will probably be coming out with a fix shortly, but things are still up in the air.
posted by zsazsa at 5:49 PM on January 8, 2004

Response by poster: aha - that's very good to know, and explains the sudden appearance of the problem. I'll try again soon. Thanks!
posted by scarabic at 11:01 AM on January 9, 2004

Response by poster: and there you have it - nice work, zsazsa
posted by scarabic at 11:04 AM on January 9, 2004

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