Archives » June 29th, 2005

June 29, 2005

Don’t Celebrate Too Soon

Okay, so I’ve got a lesson to learn about posting things too soon. The fix I wrote about earlier today did indeed make my system run better…for about a half hour. Then the freezing and the hang-ups came back. So I started mucking around in the registry some more, and what do you know, I bollocksed up my system. Just like I said I would. So here I am, at the opposite end of a reinstall, a little bit wiser about writing things before I’m sure they worked. And just not “Oh, I’m so excited!” sure, but really really sure.

The good news is that the computer is running much better now. Yay!

Windows Freezing on Right-Click

For the last couple of months I’ve been having a Windows problem, where if I right-click, delete, or try to open certain files, the window would freeze up and hang for a while. Not the whole system, just the window where the file was. It seemed like a Windows Shell problem. It was getting pretty frustrating, and Google wasn’t any help, and so I was at the point where I was ready to just format and reinstall. Not something I love to do, since it takes weeks to get the system back to the way it was. But things were just unusable.

So I figured that as long as I was reinstalling anyway, I should take the opportunity to muck around in the registry. After all, I didn’t have to worry about destroying anything, right? So I was poking around, and I kind of had an idea where to go, so I deleted a few keys here and there. Then I tried to open a file, and guess what? No lag time! No freezing! By blindly taking a machete to the Windows registry, I was actually able to fix the problem. So, I figure I should pass along the bits that I chopped out, in case it might help someone else. In any case, it will make Google a little bit smarter.

Open regedit.exe, and go to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex. Underneath the shellex key is another key named ContextMenuHandlers. And underneath that is a list of crap that you’ll probably never use, a list of programs that get to look at every file you right-click on. I had things in the list like PowerArchiver and WinZip, and bunch of others that I’ve forgotten by now. The point is that I deleted all of them. All of them, at least, except for these three:

  • {a2a9545d-a0c2-42b4-9708-a0b2badd77c8}
  • Open With
  • Open With EncryptionMenu

On the first one, I’ve learned that whenever Windows doesn’t want you to touch something it gives it an ugly name like that. So I left it alone. And the other two seem to be related to the Open With submenu, which I definitely didn’t want to go away. Everything else was crap, so I deleted it. And you know what, it solved my problem. Now right-clicking and opening files is as fast as when I first loaded Windows, even though now things like WinZip are gone from the context menu when I right click. Which, actually, is a good thing.

So, if you’re in the same boat and on the verge of formatting, give that a try first. Sure, you can really bollocks up your system by mucking around in the registry too much. But sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can really fix things too.