After years of horridly slow access to my home NAS (network attached server), I accidentally stumbled onto the solution. I have looked repeatedly for a solution and never found one that worked for me.
None of my XP systems ever have a problem, but all the Win7 systems do.
All of my installable software is on my NAS in a ‘downloads’ directory. It is reasonably large, with 450 files in it. I am regularly in this directory and having it take minutes to get to a file has been a big source of my irritation with Win7.
It turns out, I basically inflicted this pain on myself. I do not like the ‘new’ details pane of Windows 7 because it takes about 3 times as much space as the old status bar:
Sure, it’s fine on the 1920×1080 displays, but not all of my systems support that resolution, particularly my laptop.
I turn the details pane off and turn the old status bar back on for every Win7 install I have so I have a nice small status at the bottom:
Doing so absolutely kills the performance of the explorer window when the directory is large and on a NAS. I usually type the first few characters of whatever file I want. That works pathetically slow if the status bar is in use. Without fail, it will not make it all the way to the file I want, and then explorer hangs for long periods.
Once I stumbled across this Win7 ‘bug’, I tried to find any other complaints of this problem and didn’t.
Maybe I’m the only one that has this issue, but, maybe, that one other guy out there pulling his hair out over this problem will benefit from my discovery.