Debugging: copying .git folder hangs Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer started hanging when using copy & paste of folders. I noticed that it only involved folders that had a “.git” subfolder.


  • Copy a folder and explorer does not refresh; you have to hit F5.
  • After the manual refresh, click on a folder and the explorer gets an hour glass.
  • The explorer.exe CPU usage reaches 50% and higher.
  • Only happens when a subfolder was named “.git”.
  • .git folder could even be empty.

Easy approach unsuccessful
I uninstalled Git and TortoiseGit then restarted the system. Still happening. Hmmm, that should have removed everything. Nope, I looked in the Registry and TortiseGit was still hanging around. I removed all traces and then even used ShellExView tool and could not find any shell extension that could be doing this. Using that tool I disabled all non-Windows shell extensions. Still happening.

More tools to help
This happened a month ago so I don’t remember all the steps I took. I used some of the SysInternals tools but they didn’t help much; you need a lot of internal Windows details to really use some of them.

However, I think it was using the Process Manager and looking only at file activity that all the info finally gave me a clue.


5:23:14.4666723 PM	explorer.exe	5096	ReadFile	C:Documents and Settingst16205Start MenuLocal Disk (C)target.lnk	SUCCESS	Offset: 0, Length: 299
5:23:14.4668257 PM	explorer.exe	5096	QueryInformationVolume	C:Documents and Settingst16205Start MenuLocal Disk (C)target.lnk	SUCCESS	VolumeCreationTime: 9/15/2009 8:47:39 AM, VolumeSerialNumber: 64B6-6315, SupportsObjects: True, VolumeLabel:

It seemed to be hanging at that point!

I looked in the Windows Start Menu list and saw that I had placed a link of the C: drive there. Not a junction or anything fancy, just a drag and drop of a shortcut (I think). I removed that link and the problem was solved.

Back to Git
Reinstalled Git and all is fine, knock on wood.

No explanation yet
Not really debugging, just floundering with a purpose. But, why would this only effect folders named “.git”, when even Git is not even installed. Strange.

Windows XP Professional


WhatIsHang v 1.10:
ShellExView v 1.66
Process Explorer v15.04
Process Monitor v 2.96

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