I discovered something last night on my own system which is a huge relief to me, so I figure I’ll share it on the off chance that someone Googles for the exact same thing.
Essentially, when I opened up Windows Explorer and clicked on my C drive, it was taking forever (i.e., several seconds) to show me the folders and files from the root directory. The D drive showed me things pretty much instantly. In light of my recent hard drive troubles I was concerned that this was my C drive’s way of telling me it was about to die.
But then last night it hit me what was happening. In the root of my C drive I had a zip file. And not just any zip file – one with thousands of files in in (the Torque source). Every time I was calling up the root of the C drive it was scanning that zip file in order to treat it as a folder, since I hadn’t disabled native zip file support in XP. I moved the file and everything was fine. I’ve disabled zip file support and placed it back, problem solved.
I guess it’s kinda sad that a lot of my peace of mind is tied to how well my PC perceivably functions, but whatever.