double-clicking .exe files to install them = 4 minute delay until install window appears

I'm hoping someone can help me solve a problem I'm having.

Whenever I want to install a program, my computer takes forever to show the window that guides you through the installation.

For example, I download Firefox, Double-click the .exe installation package and then nothing happens for literally 4 or 5 minutes. Eventually the wizard installation window will open and allow me to install by clicking Next etc. But why is there such a delay for the setup window to initially appear. My computer never did this when it was brand new.

Anybody know how to fix this? I have uninstalled the Avast anti-virus I was running thinking it was a scan issue. But this didn't help.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You need to find out what it might be doing while you wait. I would guess some type of anti-virus scanning, or internet traffic and it has to wait before it proceeds.

You can use Task Manager to see what is working while you wait, start it ahead of time and set it up to see what process is taking the higher processor time. Then maybe something will show up.

There are other programs more involved you can use if this doesn't work, but it will take some testing to find out.

Also, check the event viewer to see if any relevant info shows up, especially around the time of the incident.

Does it make any difference if you try to install just after a cold boot?

I uninstalled my anti-virus. There is no longer any scanning software on my puter.

I watched the resource monitor. When I double click the .exe nothing changes in the resource monitor. No new programs start, the ram doesn't change, the processor doesn't move. Nothing changes whatsoever. After about 5 minutes then the setup window appears.

Any other ideas?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Since it seems nothing is showing your system doing something, and you probably are not showing internet activity, it must be doing something, or going somewhere incorrectly and needs to work back. If these are unstalls needing and internet connection, it may be that showing things down. I suppose you could check that by disconnecting the network and see what happens.

If there is something wrong with the Windows Installer, we may be able to replace that, but I will have to check.

You have opened an Administrative Command Prompt and typed SFC /scannow

Let it work and see if it shows any errors.

If it was me, I would download Process Monitor from SysInternals, set it up and start monitoring just before you click the .exe. Let it log until the system comes back then stop the logging. Look at it yourself, or zip it and send to me if you can, or attach using the paperclip. Maybe we will see something in the log.

What you would expect to see is many entries by some process during that 4 to 5 minutes your system seems to go to never never land.

I installed Process Monitor. When I double click an exe "Explorer.EXE" starts being listed and keeps repeating without end until the setup window finally appears.

this is happening on 2 computers. on the laptop, if I turn off Wireless, then the exe window comes up much quicker. I turn on Wireless, then it takes a long time to come up. Does this clue you in what the problem is?

Your comments spurred me to iinvestigate whether wireless was on or not. thanks


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Anytime something needs to check with or connect to the net, it can delay. I would be a little surprised if you did not get some message sooner than 4 or 5 minutes.

Do you have anything running that might be keeping a window from opening, like a desktop popup blocker?

Can you save a log of the events and zip and attach? Explorer.exe is probably not causing the problem, but something trying to get it to do something else. If you right click on one of the Explorer entries and select properties, then look at the process tab, at the bottom in the box may give you a hint of what is going on. Also the stack might show what thread in delaying the startup.

If nothing else seems to make sense, look for the PID and the Parent PID to see where the instance came from.

No internet connections are attempted though when there's a delay. I have run exe when an outgoing firewall is active and it doesn't prompt for internet. I've uninstalled firewall too, but delay still occurs. So I don't understand why internet affects. But when wireless is off is does come up quicker.

I have no popup blockers or anything installed.

How do I save a log? the process monitor log?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
The object with saving a file, which you can do from the file menu, is to keep it as short as you can. Start it, click the file, and stop the log as soon as you think you have enough data. Then choose to save the file using the file menu to a location and name you will know. If you want to attach, right click on it and send it to a compressed format, then attach.

I do not know if you can send it to another member via private message, but if not, attach using the paperclip.

The other way to figure out what might be going on is to use msconfig.exe to keep certain programs from starting so they cannot interfere with the .exe startup. This is just a trial and effort method.

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