Windows 7 Explorer Unresponsive/PC Locks Up


I'm not sure I'm in the right forum.  Maybe this belongs in Performance & Maintenance or possibly Microsoft Security Essentials.

I am having trouble with Windows Explorer acting "lazy" for lack of a better way to describe my issue.  I cannot for certain blame this issue on MSE, but the Windows Explorer problem to be described does seem to coincide with the installation and configuration of MSE.  Maybe I am wrong?  But this issue has been sporadic since mid-Nov, when I first installed MSE, and has progressively gotten worse in the past couple of weeks.

What happens is basically that Windows Explorer goes to sleep or otherwise locks up my PC.  This most often happens after the PC has been idle for some time, perhaps 2 hours or longer (or thereabouts).  Ultimately, all I can do is do a hard reboot of the PC. 

I can no longer do a system Backup to my NAS drive as the PC becomes unresponsive several hours into the Backup.  I can do a Backup to a second HD, but that's because the BU will proceed before Windows Explorer 'goes to sleep'.

Windows Explorer will go 'unresponsive' even though I do not have any applications open.  When I try to open the Task Manager, I just get the 'busy' circle and it won't open.

My system is Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), with 8 GB RAM.  The PC is a Dell E520.  I have an Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT graphics card.

When this first started happening (again after MSE installation, coincidence or not?), I only had 4 GB RAM.  I upgraded to 8 GB (DDR2-800 MHz) thinking maybe that was the issue.  But in Task Mgr, I seldom use much over 2 GB of RAM.

Things that I've already tried are: 
(1)  Clean Boot (several times)
(2)  Disk Clean (~ once per week)
(3)  Defrag disk (once per week on schedule)
(4)  Remove unnecessary applications

I am sure that my old Trend Micro antivurs/malware has been removed.  MSE does seem to be working fine.  But I can't help but think that there is some 'behind the scenes' system service that is conflicting with MSE.

Also, I've checked the system error log to the best of my ability and there are numerous "System or Application Hang-ups" reported.  But I am not savvy enough to ferret out and interpret the logs.

Is there a way to "repair" Windows Explorer without having to do a complete reinstall?  Any Windows Update that may have caused this issue?

Thank you for your support.

John B.


Question Info

Last updated December 13, 2018 Views 17,743 Applies to:

Thanks for the input.  This is a final update on this issue.  Long story short........ my hard drive was incipient to failure.  I replaced the drive and of course had to reload ALL my software (OS & Apps).  All is well now.

This problem was hard to diagnose, because the PC would not freeze in Safe Modes thus leading me to believe that it couldn't be a hardware issue.  Be that as it may, I virtually replaced (singularly) just about every component in the PC except the hard drives and mobo.  But when I eventually gave up and tried to reload W7, the install would lock-up the PC.  I even went out and bought a new Full Install W7 (for another PC build).  And my fussy PC would not get through the install of the new OS w/o freezing.  So as a last resort, I went to the new hard drive, and reinstalled the OS and that finally fixed the problem. 

Thanks again and I hope that others can save some time if they experience similar problems.


PS  Incidentally, I ran Chkdsk/R & F numerous times to no avail.  And error logs were clueless in interpreting this problem.


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