Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

“My Computer” Taking Too Long to Open

Posted by William Diaz on July 18, 2010

I have run into this a couple times on different workstation and thought I would share with you how the culprit was identified and resolved. The problem manifested itself as the “My Computer” the window getting hung after opening. The delay would range anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes. The same would also happen for “Printers and Faxes” and “Scanners and Cameras”.

I started by connecting to the workstation Event Viewer remotely and saw a few instances of a WIA error: “The Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) service terminated unexpectedly…” I checked WIA service and saw it was stopped. Since the service does not necessarily need to be running if the devices are not in use, it didn’t really raise any eyebrows. However, an attempt was made to start the service, but it failed. Some quick research pointed to the possibility that the Windows Image Acquisition service was failing due to a driver issue with a connected image device.  I eventually came across this Microsoft KB article: Enable Logging of Wiadebug.log in Windows XP.

The information describes a method to enable WIA trace logging. The article points out that this can be used by developers for troubleshooting drivers during development, but I figured why not use it to troubleshoot the WIA service itself.

In both cases, trace logging was enabled on the WIA service by going into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\StillImage\Debug\wiaservc.dll\DebugFlags and setting DebugFlags DWORD value to 7 (the default is 0)*:

After modifying the value, the PC was rebooted and I logged on. The log file is created in the root drive path and is named wiadebug.log. Upon opening the text file the problem revealed itself:

You can see there is an attempt to find a device, a Visioneer Patriot 430 Scanner, but it is not being found “in the list.” In both cases, the scanner software was uninstalled and re-installed, which corrected the issue with the delays opening My Computer.

* After troubleshooting, the DebugFlags value should be reset to 0, otherwise continued logging could have an adverse effect on system performance.



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