General discussion

windows explorer freezes when accessing portable hard drive

Good Day.

I am running a laptop with Win Vista premium. Recently, when I am trying to access my portable hard drive (seagate 500 GB) from my laptop, the windows explorer suddenly freezes and there's a green progress indicator at the address bar that doesn't complete. CPU usage goes up to 100%. To stop this, I would go to task manager and disable/enable win explorer. I checked the indexing and found out that it is turned off (I don't know if that has any relation to this).

I tried to defragment the drive, check for virus, but it's still the same.

Is there any way I can view the files from my Portable drive without windows explorer freezing?

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My answer is no.

Explorer is well known to lock up on content it doesn't understand. AVI files are the most common reason.

This is where I'll look at the volume, drive, folder with other browsers like Gyula's Navigator to see if I can find the files that Explorer chokes on.

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Today, MANY file typecs can choke Explorer.

I noted one but have seen Explorer hang on mp3, mp4, jpg, jpeg, pdf, exe and list doesn't seem to end. Any file that Explorer has to open to get more information can lead to an Explorer lockup.

It's been a few years since I cornered a 'softie on this one but the answer was less than a good one. When asked about Explorer crashes on corrupt files in a directory the reply was to not put corrupt files on the hard drive.

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Explorer and large drives is fine.

It's the files it crashes on. It attempts to render a thumbnail for many file types and crashes on the attempt. This issue is widely noted and why I wrote no.

The fixes range from telling Explorer to not render which some find unacceptable and since it is a command line I find most unable to do that. So I leave that discussion to the thousands of other posts.

The cause is known and the company that wrote this seems unapologetic about the issue. No fix has been seen over the years.

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thank you guys

Thanks guys just FYI i solved the problem with one of your suggestions. I turned of the thumbnail from folder options in control panel.

Again thanks a lot.

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Follow Bob's suggestion, BUT ...

in addition to AVI files Windows Explorer will also do this with some corrupt JPG files.

In addition to the Graphical Interface Bob suggested, you might also try the good old command line to check on the files.

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WIn Explorer cannot support large external drives?

So does this mean that win explorer cannot support large external drives? I am just curious because if I try to open files from c: drive explorer doesn't react the same way as it would with my external hdd.

BTW gyula works fine.

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