Interpartition Explorer Sluggishness RRS feed

  • Question

  • I’m running Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64 fully patched. I have two hard disks — an SSD for the Windows partition and a SATA disk split into two data partitions.

    I’ve noticed a persistent problem in Explorer — if small (1 KB) files are copied between any two partitions, the display is updated very slowly, sometimes taking longer than a minute to show the new file. (If files are copied between directories on the same partition, responsiveness is normal.)

    I’ll term this problem “interpartition Explorer sluggishness”.

    I never encountered this problem in Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT or Windows 9x.

    If all non-MS shell extensions are disabled with ShellExView, the problem persists.

    If all non-MS processes are terminated and all non-MS services are stopped, the problem persists.

    The problem is absent in Safe Mode without networking.

    I have traced the problem to the “TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper” service. If this service is stopped, Explorer responds normally when a file is copied across partitions. Of course, this service is needed if NetBIOS names are employed. It’s also needed for scripting with ADSI. It’s not, then, an optional service.

    I ran SFC and it found no problems. My system has no symptoms of infection. No events in the SysLog or AppLog are probative.

    Is interpartition Explorer sluggishness due to the “TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper” service a known problem?

    Is there anything I can do to alleviate it?

    regards, AndyA

    • Edited by AAronoff Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:13 PM
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:10 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    As I known, this service just provides support for the NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution for clients on the network, therefore enabling users to share files, print, and log on to the network.

    It will not affect the local file transfer.

    I considered that if there is any security application which use this service to monitor your system produce this issue.

    If you installed any security app, please temporarily remove it to see what's going on.

    I also would like to know if you have test this issue in normal mode without network connection.

    To determine your issue, please help to capture the system events with Process monitor both in Safe mode without networking and Safe mode with networking/ clean boot mode.

    You can compare the differences with filtering out the system events of Explorer.exe.

    Or please post back the both pml file you saved from Process monitor here for our research.

    Please upload them to a file sharing service like Onedrive or "Rapidshare" and put a link to them in your reply.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:35 AM
  • Hello,

    FOA, thanks for your reply.

    "TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper" service should not affect file transfer, but I have found that on my system, it does.

    All of the security apps had been uninstalled before testing began. (That's why I was able to state that all non-MS services had been stopped.)

    The testing occurred in Normal mode without any active processes or network connections. The only action was a copy of one small file from one partition to another.

    I'll perform additional testing with Process Monitor and provide a link to the filtered .PML files.

    regards, AndyA

    Thursday, July 31, 2014 5:32 PM
  • Hello,

    Process Monitor cannot work in Safe Mode. It throws the error, "Unable to load Process Monitor device driver."

    I could provide you with a .PML file that spans the time period necessary to copy a small text file in Normal mode from one partition to another. However, the file contains process information that is not public. I could email you the .PML file or I could encrypt it with your pubic PGP key. A third option would be to encrypt with 7-Zip, transfer the file to my web site and email you the password.

    What's your preference for transferring the file securely?

    regards, AndyA

    Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:27 PM
  • Hi,

    Please add following registry key:


    And then try process monitor in Safe mode.

    Then save out the PML files and please upload them to a file sharing service like Onedrive or "Rapidshare" and put a link to them in your reply.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, August 1, 2014 6:06 AM
  • Hi, Kate.

    Thanks for the tip to get Process Monitor to work in Safe Mode.

    As I already told you in my previous post, I must send the .PML file to you privately. Is there any way I can do that?

    regards, AndyA

    Friday, August 1, 2014 6:41 AM
  • Hi,

    The PML file doesn't contain any personal and sensitive information on your computer, please help to share out via the Network service like Onedrive.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:52 AM
  • Hello,

    Sorry for my late response.

    I do not agree with your statement about the innocuous nature of the PML file. That file contains information about the layout of my PC and certain applications that are installed. Due to the nature of my work, I cannot post such information in a public forum.

    If there is no way to provide that file in a secure manner, then we will need to abandon this thread.

    Please let me know what you decide.

    regards, AndyA
    author of Silent Runners.vbs

    Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:47 AM
  • Hi Andy,

    Regarding to current situation, you can try to compare the traces yourself.

    After capturing these 2 traces in different scenario, please filter out the explorer.exe and see the differences, and post back for our research.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014 2:32 AM
  • I finally found the cause of the sluggishness in Windows 7 Explorer and it's due to a bug in Windows 7.

    The sluggishness was caused by "Network Locations" defined in "Computer" that pointed to shared directories on PCs that were not (always) connected to the LAN. When the Network Locations were deleted, Explorer responsiveness returned to normal.

    It's unfathomable that MS would allow "Network Locations" to impose long time penalties on file management tasks when the network locations resolve to bad network paths not implicated in those tasks. (Why should it take longer than 30 seconds to copy a file from C:\directory to D:\directory if a "Network Location" exists for \\SOMEPC\SOMEDIRECTORY but SOMEPC is not available?)

    Given the excessive waits, Explorer could have displayed a message like "Looking for [network path here]" or it could have simply ignored the Network Locations since they were neither the source nor the destination of the file operation or the Network Locations functionality could have been simply omitted from Windows 7.

    Given the sluggishness that unavailable "Network Locations" can impose on Explorer, I'll avoid their use entirely.

    regards, AndyA

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:23 PM
  • In case it helps anyone, I had exactly the same symptoms on my Win 10 machine.
    Copying small files, and even listing folder contents would take ages (up to 7 minutes for a network folder with about 60 files & folders in it). I spent soooo much time watching the green bar creep its way across the top of my Explorer windows.

    Unfortunately I rebuilt it before finding this thread, but if I start to get the same issues on this build I will try killing the netbios helper task, and if that works, removing my 'Network Places'.

    This is though a later build (Fall update), so hopefully the offending code that had been brought across from Win 7 has been identified & cut by now.
    (Hahahahahaa.... Yeah, I know :)  )

    Monday, February 26, 2018 3:13 PM