Windows Explorer Slow to Open or Slow to Load using WinKey+E

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Last Updated:
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

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The Problem: Windows Explorer Slow to Load

Working on a lab full of computers, I ran into an issue where the Win+E key would take anywhere from 10 seconds to 90 seconds to bring up windows explorer and in the process, the taskbar would completely freeze up, becoming unresponsive until Windows Explorer got done with it's coffey and donut break and finally decided to open.

If I opened the start button, right-clicked on "My Computer -> Explore", Windows Explorer would usually open instantly. (I hate going the "Right-Click Start -> Explore" route) It's habbit for me to open Windows Explorer using the WinKey+E key and really quite frustrating considering it was happing to all of the 21 computers in the lab! After doing some research, I found several folks pointing to Virus's / Malware which I knew wasn't the problem, but checked anyway. Being clean, I continued on in my quest of trying to figure out what the problem was. In another post, someone mentioned that unchecking "Enable Third Pary Addons" from the Advanced tab of Internet Explorer would fix the problem as well. This only seemed to half work and disabling all third party addons wasn't really a great option. I tried disabling all of the addons but that didn't help either. Yet several other posts mentioned to shut off and disable the WIA (Windows Image Accquisition) Service. I tried that and still no luck. Everything I found either didn't work or left me in the dark.

The Fix

Somewhere in the mix of doing some other work on the computer, I ran across the "ATI Hotkeys" but didn't put 2 and 2 together until... you guessed it, I was at my wits end. I finally went into the Catalyst Control Center and disabled the Hotkeys and Vola! No more Windows Explorer Slow to Open using WinKey+E! Whoever uses hotkeys for their video card settings anyway?? :p

BAM! Just tried it again and there it was! :D


One other thing I should mention, is that some folks are probably wondering why I didn't just stop and disable the ATI Hotkey Poller (ati2evxx.exe) service. Well, I did and still had the same problem when the Hotkeys were Enabled through the CCC... I even rebooted the computer just to make sure... no luck :( I ran across this as a possibility to kill the hotkey function for all new users who will login to the computers, but since this didn't work, I'm left with setting up the default profile with the setting disabled.

ATI Card: X1300 / X1550 Series
ATI Driver Version: 8.593.100.0
Catalyst Control Center Version: 2010.0210.2339.42455

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Rockstar. I have been having same issue although intermittant and has been an annoyance, just not enough to warrant time to do a search for it. If I already have some windows open to play with it is not a real problem as can still tab between windows, but if I needed a new windows explorer it was locking up the task bar and so I couldn't use start button. Disabling graphics card hot keys solved it.