August 22, 2010

Windows Vista Mystery Shares

For reasons best known to Microsoft, when I try to delete a folder which has been shared (through the Explorer interface) it takes forever to complete. This would not be so bad if there were just one or two shares, but sadly (for reasons best known to Microsoft) a large number of folders randomly appear to have become shares (see the screen dump of a portion of my home directory at the right). I have no idea how these folders became shared. It certainly wasn't any intentional act of mine, and heaven alone knows what this does to performance.

Now, you are probably wondering why I don't just switch off sharing before I delete the directory. The answer to that is that although Windows is displaying the folders as shared, it doesn't really seem to believe that they are shared. So there doesn't appear to be an easy way to switch this sharing off.

If I had some idea how it had been switched on in the first place that might help, but as with so many other aspects of Windows performance this remains a mystery. If someone cold offer some insight I'd be happy to find out what's going on here.


TJG said...

Guess: I presume (from one of the other folder icons) that you're running TortoiseXX (Hg/SVN/whatever). It's entirely possible for the shell icon overlay cache to become "confused" and to start serving up the wrong icon, usually when too many icons are registered for overlays. (The various Tortoise projects coordinate in an attempt to avoid this by using a common DLL for icon resources).

Are any of those "shared" folders actually Subversion/Hg checkouts? If so, I suspect they're not shared at all, merely being given the wrong icon. Try restarting the various Tortoise icon caches to see if that helps.

Steve said...

Thanks, Tim. In fact it turns out it's a known issue, and Larry Hall pointed me at this article which explains it to my satisfaction, at least.