I have one XP sp3 workstation that has developed a problem. Please note that this workstation acts as a "file server," with three shares published.
Operating at the workstation in question, whenever one opens My Computer or a shortcut that directly accesses a local directory, there is a long pause (perhaps 10 seconds) between the time the window opens and the directory's contents appear. In the meanwhile, a flashlight icon swings back-and-forth.
I have seen this behavior before. In the past, it's an issue accessing a mass-storage device (say an external/usb hard drive or a memory card in an externally attached printer) or a mapped network location that has become unavailable.
In fact, here are all the things I have tried:
- Disconnected all hardware devices.
- Removed all mapped network drives.
- Manually turned off Non-MS services or killed processes.
- Uninstalled all printers and scanners.
- Turned off the WMI service. (Some users indicate that the WMI service can cause this problem.)
- Logged into a different local user account.
- Turned off sharing by disabling the Server and Computer Browser services. (I have not tried unpublishing the shares.)
I have put the workstation back to its original configuration after my tests.
I have discovered that the problem does not happen if the computer is rebooted into "Safe Mode w/ Networking," indicating the problem may be with a service or startup item. I had hoped that by manually stopping services and closing processes would help point to a culprit. That has not happened. It looks like working with msconfig is my Next Step.
The Googled-Consensus indicates that Explorer is either looking for something and timing out or looking for something and finding it, albeit 10 seconds later. In general, Explorer is looking for something.
I am hoping for suggestions on how I can determine what Explorer wants. Of course, any suggestions on how to narrow out and resolve the behavior is helpful!