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Why does running "search" cause explorer.exe to go berserk?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by hawgowar, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. hawgowar New Member

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    I open search in windows XP. I look for a file, click start. Then my computer begins to slow down to a crawl. I can basically do nothing else. Turning on task manager before running search shows explorer.exe consuming up to 400,000 k of "Mem Usage". Didn't use to do that. I have run every anti-virus and anti-spy and anti-trojan scan I can find, both my own and internet based scans such as Panda's.

    I am not a programmer, just a common user, so I hesitate to tweak registries and such without step-by-step assistance. I use the computer mostly for internet, email and word processing. Not a gamer at all (unless you count spider solitaire). :laugh:

    Any assistance from computer gods and godlings would be greatly appreciated. :respect:
  2. Alec§taar New Member

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    Disk I/O maybe? It is, after all, the SLOWEST part of your computer, by far... & iirc, it definitely can eat CPU cycles as well!

    The memory part may be some datastructure it is populating while it goes thru its Win32 API FindFirst/FindNext procedure vectoring thru your Directory/Folder-SubDirectory/SubFolder trees on your diskdrive in the filesystem.

    APK

    P.S.=> Personally, because of some work I do (coding), I try to get THE fastest performing disks there is, because this is the slowest part of your computer (well, other than floppies or Cd/DvD drives that is)...

    E.G. -> I have a friend named Jim who, while we were out last summer enjoying a concert outdoor party this city has each week in the summer near a lake, who said to me:

    "You know what I think makes a really fast computer? GOOD FAST DISKS! They make the most difference in how a computer really performs! I compared some 10,000rpm WD Raptors to some slower 7,200 rpm disks & the difference was big!"

    I tend to agree, but then again, it's biased on my end because I tend to do quite a bit of file-based I/O work as well! apk
  3. hawgowar New Member

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    Thanks, but I haven't changed to slower disk drives lately. Unless they have both worn down quickly in the last month or so. Like most dumb users I use the hardware the machine came with except for I added memory and a second disk drive. The newer drive is faster than the original C:\ & D:\ drive, but since SEARCH has to look in both it makes little difference.

    Didn't know that slow drives could make SEARCH use a lot more memory, thanks for that tip and I'll make sure when I replace drive they are faster.
  4. Alec§taar New Member

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    Ah, I guess I misunderstood you man... I thought it was always this way for you, not just recently. See my P.S., as to the speed difference... if you have added a LOT more data to your drives in new programs, or files of any kind? A slowdown is VERY possible, just physics really... diskdrive heads have to travel over more material on seeks.

    That doesn't make you dumb man... it makes you someone who uses 'stock equipment' & nothing wrong w/ that - it's actually the normal thing to do!

    It's us "hotrodders" of PC's that are, imo, the 'weirdos', lol... always chasing 'MORE SPEED'...

    No, no... that's not true, & you're misunderstanding ME on this point: The search is going to use somekind of datastructure (like an object, but does not contain functions in it, but contains MANY elements in it (e.g.-> Name, Rank, Serial #)) to populate filefound data into it, to create the list you see, & gets treated as a SINGLE variable.

    It is VERY of like a website or database "return recordset" when you query, say, prices @ pricewatch.com, searching for a particular diskdrive, vidcard, Cpu, etc. & it will always consume RAM to do so.

    APK

    P.S.=> I don't know what to say here man, I have NEVER compared the amount of memory used on searching queries, on say an unpatched version of any OS, & then a patched one for example... as to the speed of it? Well, the MORE you put onto a disk, the more data it has to vector thru, so it taking longer would make sense in that situation though... apk
  5. hawgowar New Member

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    Yeah, the whole system slows to nothing because SEARCH, or rather EXPLORER.EXE starts using massive amounts of memory when I run a search.

    I can search for, say, some small file that isn't where I thought it was, and explorer.exe will start hogging memory like a mofo. Over 400,000 K at times, usualy in the 300,000 range.

    Funny thing, is that even when the SEARCH is finished, and I have clicked it off, explorer.exe will still use over 100,000 k unless I use task manager to kill it, then restart it.

    Never used to do that. I could run a search for some piddling file that I misplaced and still surf on Firefox or play solitaire. Now, whenever I do a search, I can't do anything else until it is over and I have ended and restarted explore.exe, or rebooted.

    Curiouser and curiouser.
  6. Alec§taar New Member

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    Well, question:

    Does your motherboard have SPECIFIC drivers for the IDE/EIDE &/or SATA drives onboard?

    If so, can you see if they are std. WHQL Microsoft ones, or motherboard manufacturer designed ones (the better ones imo, on the latter).

    If they ARE motherboard oem (original equipment manufacturer ones), are there updates that exist on their website, which you may have missed & need to apply possibly, to fix this?

    Also - is your BIOS updated as well? If not, look into it... it may be as SIMPLE as this.

    APK
  7. hawgowar New Member

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    Uhhh, pretend I am a knuckle-dragging mouth-breather (close enough in computer terms) and use little words.

    I never fuss with BIOS or registry or things geeky people do for fun. My computer is a tool, it enables me to do email, word processing, play solitaire, post on political opinion boards and surf the net for news and the odd naughty picture. I am 54 years old. Although I have been on the net since 1995, I have no programming skills. I follow directions well (Mensa) but computer innards just never appealed to me, much like the internal workings of my car's engine never appealed enough to me to learn advanced mechanics. My passions lie elsewhere.

    I do the automatic updates from MS, and I also regularly (weekly) check HP (my computer's manufacturer) for any updates they have, even though they email me if there is anything new I need to update. I do the things people recommend non-programming neanderthals such as I should do for overall computer maintenance (such as keeping the inside of the case clean, updates, defraggin the hard drives, antivirus and antispy and all that).

    It is just that suddenly, explorer.exe started using a massive amount of memory whenever I ran a search. I thought maybe there was a software conflict of some sort. I did not know a slow drive or the bios could cause that, but then, that is to be expected.

    Thanks.
  8. Alec§taar New Member

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    I know you're NOT though, so I don't treat you (or anyone) thus... but, sometimes, the problem w/ this field & many others is, there are a LOT of technical terms & 'acronyms' (PkZipped English, lol)...

    Fair enough - you're the one who's "NORMAL" imo, rather than PC-hotrodders... lol, we're the 'strange ones' imo!

    Well, sometimes, that's NOT enough (well, it's enough to get basic function w/ Windows install disk native drivers that is) - to get full no bug function, updating your BIOS &/or motherboard drivers (usually, a Cd-Rom comes w/ it containing these & they are better than the MS ones, for getting ALL YOU CAN out of your motherboard & equipment).

    Plus, motherboard manufacturers & chipset makers FREQUENTLY update BIOS' & the driversets I speak of (VIA, NForce, etc.) so, looking for the "latest/greatest" & applying them can't hurt, in ANY regards... even IF this is not the fix for this.

    This is why I asked IF you had added more programs, or data in files, lots of it... this COULD imo theoretically, make your search in Explorer.exe have to make whatever datastructures/variables it uses MUCH LARGER as it 'sifts thru' the contents on the diskdrives in question.

    QUESTION - when you search, are you searching ALL OF YOUR DISKS? See if this happens if you only search say, 1 disk (not Cd-Roms, just a single harddisk)... it may show us IF I am correct or not on this account, by making a far smaller dataset for it to search thru.

    Heck, if you only have 1 harddisk, then search a single directory only (like C:\WINDOWS) & see if it does this to you again, just for experimentation's sake...

    GOOD LUCK!

    APK

    P.S.=> The reason I am asking this is, you state the memory usage STAYS UP, after the search is done... it very well may be that the diskcache is holding whatever data it touched after, & is NOT 'letting go' of it like it ought to, @ least not right away... apk
  9. Namslas90 New Member

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    Has anyone been into your MSCONFIG, possably turned off INDEXING feature(s)? Have you checked/cleaned your Internet Options > cookies,files,history latley? Have you defragmented your HDDS latley? CLeaned registry lately? Are any of the HDD"S almost full, if they are full and old they could be dying!! How much RAM does your system have? How many total GB's of HDD storage, and what is your CPU type/speed??
    SYSTEM Specs help a lot in diagnosing problems!!!

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