Question about Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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Xp windows explorer delay w/ "open with"

Right clicking ona data file and selecting the command "open with" takes more than a minute to come up with the list of suggested programs.

It used to take 5 seconds.  Any ideas?

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  • 2 more comments 
  • peter286 Dec 28, 2008

    I use Zone Alarm Security Suite.   Recently upgraded to the latest version 8.0.059.000.  Don't know if this is the problem.  One other item:  Nero 8 Burining ROM now takes a long time to load up.  I re-installed the software, but no change in loadup speed.

  • peter286 Jan 05, 2009

    Thanks for the suggestion and apologies for the delay in response -- holidays, etc....

    I'm afraid the problem is worse than a couple of memory hogs.  When I try to starup in diagnostc mode, I get an error to the effect of "Access denied" & wanting me to log in as sys admin.  Since I am the only user on the system, I AM the sys admin. (for better or worse).  It looks like the installation of XP is munged in some weird way.  In other words, the  will not permit me to boot up in diagnostic mode; the system logs (from Computer/manage) do not function, and I'm hoping I can back up my data before everyting crashes.  Already tried backing up to a previous restore point (several points - none work), but that does not work either.  What good is "system restore" if it cannot override an error situation?!

  • peter286 Jan 05, 2009

    Yes, it looks, like a re-install of XP is called for.  I'm an old fan of IBM's OS/2, which could be reinstalled without much hassle.  But then, those were the good old days . . .   :-)

    Thanks for your effort.

  • silkster May 11, 2010

    Have you installed any security/anti-virus apps lately?

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Sounds like you have too many background applications running that intercept right-clicks for their own functionality.
Click Start>Run and type in "msconfig". This runs the configuration utility that shows your startup programs and services. Select the "Diagnostic Startp" option , then click "Apply" and follow the restart instructions. When your system reboots select cancel when asked to restore the settings. Now all those burdensome background running applications that sap your system resources will be eliminated (temporarily) and Windows can run without being dragged down.
Try your issue again. If this time its quick and without the long lags you reported, you'll know that at least one of those startup applications is the culprit. Running msconfig again will allow you to restore the Normal Startup, and the Startup tab will allow you to remove selectively that application that is causing the issue. 
One way to identify which one is the culprit is to restart normally (select the Normal Start option in msconfig and reboot) and once back up, do a ctrl-alt-del to bring up the Task Manager. Click the "Processes" tab and then click the heading "Mem Usage". This will sort running processes by how much memory resources they consume. 
The memory hogs may not be the one giving you the problem, but it's likely that a heavy consumer is sapping the CPU cycles needed to handle your right-click pop-up menu and run-with selection. Make a note of the top heavy memory users (print a screenshot) and use this list to eliminate any that are also on the startup list back in msconfig. 
Don't use the "End Process" button in the Task Manager to simply stop them, as you'll likely stop one that is critical to Windows functionality. Msconfig's Startup list just shows the ones that get started at Windows boot up and can be eliminated without crippling Windows - much safer. 
Use your memory hog list to start eliminating, one at a time, the offending applications from the startup list until the issues is resolved. Its a little tedious, but helps clean up your system in the process. 
Hope this helps. 

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

  • Stephen McGloughlin
    Stephen McGloughlin Jan 05, 2009

    That's more serious than a delay in the right-click pop-up menu. Last time my system started falling apart and locked me out of admin functions I ended up having to rebuild it from the system restore CD. After much work and gigs of downloading (service packs 1 through 3 and all my drivers and updates) I got my system back to a useable state, but at least then it was fast and clean.



    Sorry the initial suggestion didn't help.

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