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// Tales from software development

Windows Explorer slow to open – virtual CD/DVD ?

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Occasionally, Windows Explorer on my development PC is a bit slow to open. When I investigate why it usually turns out to be a misbehaving plugin. The last time it happened it was a particular version of TortoiseSVN that was the problem. Installing a later version resolved it.

This morning I woke my PC up from standby and every time I opened a new Explorer window the window frame would show but the contents would be blank for around 30 seconds before I’d see my drives.

Sometimes this type of problem is due to a loop in an Explorer plugin and it’s obvious which process is the culprit when examining CPU usage. So, I checked processor usage using both Task Manager and SysInternals’ Process Explorer but nothing was obviously wrong.

Fortunately, I got lucky and guessed what the problem was before wasting time and effort on the problem.

I use Daemon Tools to mount CD image  (.iso) files. The previous day I’d had a clean up and got rid of some of the .iso files lying around the file system including the one that was currently mounted by Daemon Tools. I’m surprised that I could do this as I’d assumed that I wouldn’t be able to delete the file if it was in use but apparently not.

Whenever I opened a new Explorer window it was trying to read the volume information from the virtual CD and, after 30 seconds or so, failing. Hence the delay in seeing the Explorer window contents.

I clicked on the Daemon Tools tray icon and ejected and unmounted the .iso file and the problem went away.

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Written by Sea Monkey

September 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Debugging

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