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Explorer.exe is slow to start..

By warrendeape
Aug 24, 2011
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  1. Hi,
    First off, I'm not even sure what the problem is but the title I chose is the best way I can describe it. Here is what happens and what I've done so far (this is regarding my parents' computer):

    Immediately after windows loads, we are unable to access the internet (they have a cable connection). When I open Firefox I get the message that there is no internet connection. After about 3 minutes of waiting, all of a sudden, we have a connection and everything works fine.

    One thing I've noticed is that I am not able to navigate within 'My Computer' during these 3 minutes either. If I double click on it or get to it any other way, the flashlight-scanning-over-a-folder icon appears as if it is searching for the contents 'My Computer.' Then, once all my drives show up in the explorer window, I can access the net and everything runs normally. Sometimes it seems to help if I bring up the task manager, close explorer.exe, and then open it as a new task within task manager. I think though that it only works as a matter of timing (when the 3 min or so are up anyway) although it seems to get me there faster.

    I've ran Malwarebytes' and CCleaner, and minimized the start-up programs to those that are absolutely crucial. Another thing - explorer.exe takes more time to load if I go to a folder that has [a lot of] windows shortcuts in it. I've never seen this that happen before, so as an only solution I deleted any shortcuts that were not necessary - from within all folders including the desktop. The connection/explorer.exe problem still persists though. It began all of a sudden and I'm not sure if it was right after they had their new cable modem installed or not. Thanks in advance.

    Edit Note:
    Win XP Home Edition 2002 Serv. Pack 3
    2.0 Ghz processor, 1.0 GB RAM, 25 GB of free space on the hard drive
    The entire time windows is loading, etc, the computer usage is < 10%.
  2. mikybee93

    mikybee93 TS Rookie

    It probably isn't the solution to your problem, but it might give you some insight and will definitely be a decent start.

    Download this program called Soluto, it runs on startup keeping track of what programs start on startup and how long they take to start. It then allows you to remove any programs and tells you how long your new startup time should take.

    I've started using this on three different computers and haven't encountered any problems with it, so give it a go. It just takes a single bootup with no interruptions to calibrate.

    I'm not sure if this will solve your connection errors though... but it's the best help I can offer.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I would indeed suspect the cable modem. You should check if the device has the correct driver for windows, if it is 'asleep' when not in use, and also check with any forums on your cable connection supplier as to whether the connection is permanent or has to be re-connected after a timeout.

    When windows has no internet connection, it often behaves very, very sluggishly, and I am sure the problem is down to lack of internet connection on a 24/7 basis.

    A remarkable number of average users are not in charge of their PC and are quite unaware that lots of Windows applications, especially anti-virus etc, are queuing up to use the internet the moment you start up. This is quite unnessessary, but most peole don't know. Whether you know that, I cannot be sure.
  4. warrendeape

    warrendeape TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies.

    I'll try Soluto, though I use CCleaner to enable/disable start-up programs. It probably isn't an exhaustive list...here is what I left enabled as a start-up program so far:

    ctfmon.exe (was just reading about it now, seems kind of useless. Gonna disable it.)
    zBrowserLauncher - iTouch.exe (also gonna disable)
    DLCDCATS (Dell all-in-one printer software)
    AdobeARM (Adobe stuff)

    I also think it is related to the Cable modem. I've never used one like it before. Somehow it is also part of their phone service and is used with their cordless phones. I'll look around on the net for product information to see what I can find.


    For what it's worth the modem is an ARRIS Touchstone Telephony Modem, modem WTM625G

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