Why does Windows Explorer cause 100% processor usage and PC to Crash?

By dawsy95 ·
I am running an HP Pavilion dv9700 notebook with an AMD TurionX2 processor, 2Gb RAM and a 250gb disk. OS is Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 - upgraded from Vista Home Premium. Just recently it has been behaving very oddly when carrying out file operations using Windows Explorer.

i have been trying to delete and/or copy reasonably large numbers of files and have done this, as I always have, by highlighting the file or files I want and then pressing Delete/Ctrl+C/ctrl+V, or equivalent commands from the right click context menu. Sometimes it will carry out these commands okay. Howeveer on rather more occasions it will display a dialgue box saying something like "...Discovering items...." at which point processor usage shoots up to 100%, the processor fan starts running faster and faster and nothing else actually happens until the PC crashes. If I kill Explorer using Task Manager (after telling me that Explorer is not responding) processor usage drops back to more normal levels and the fan quietens down.

I have run virus scans (NIS2011), Malware Bytes and used Process Explorer to look for rogue or unidentified processes, all to no avail. I can find nothing obviously untoward but notice that even with no applications running, Explorer is using around 50-60% processor. It will continue to do this (whilst apparently achieving nothing) until the PC just switches itself off.

This behaviour is making the PC virtually unusable. Can anyone suggest what might be causing this and how to fix it please?

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All Answers

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First, delete smaller groups to clear up what you don't want now.

by seanferd In reply to Why does Windows Explorer ...

Then, defragment your drive. This should make it a bit easier on the system in the future.

Also, make sure that there aren't too many apps running, including background apps, when you want to delete large numbers of files.

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Reponse To Answer

by dawsy95 In reply to First, delete smaller gro ...

Thanks seanferd, but I was already there with this. I've tried to keep the system as 'clean' as possible and have not been running any other applications while doing this to eliminate them from the equation. I have also tried deleting/copying files individually or in small groups but still find that some operations will complete ok whilst others cause the processor to max out.

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explorer resorbs resources W7upgradedVista.....

by zamzien In reply to Why does Windows Explorer ...

We had the same problem, after all..concluded some buggy-software somewhere. probaebly through automatic updates ;.& installed a complete new retail W7 home premium [64].. more problems with AMD HP 625 notebook...

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Reponse To Answer

by dawsy95 In reply to explorer resorbs resource ...

I'm coming to the same conclusion zamzien. Have been building up the strength to start again and do a clean install! I might try Jim's suggestion of turning off indexing first though......

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Why does Windows Explorer cause 100% processor usage and PC to Crash?

by Jim Farmer In reply to Why does Windows Explorer ...

Had this problem with XP Pro, nothing seemed to fix it, then I turned off Indexing service & had no problems since-- indexing service uses huge amounts of CPU according to various forums.

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Reponse To Answer

by dawsy95 In reply to Why does Windows Explorer ...

Thanks for this Jim. I had read sometihing about this last night but was too tired to investigate further. Where do I turn off these services please? And are there others that can be disabled safely? There seems to be a lot of stuff that's kept running (like LightScribe utilities) against the possibility I may use them once a year!

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