Folder tree flickers when you view a mapped network drive in Microsoft Windows Explorer

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Article ID: 831129 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you view local drives or mapped network drives in Microsoft Windows Explorer, the left pane (folder tree) or the tree view may flicker, or the whole folder structure may constantly be updated with speeds that vary from one update every few seconds to one every few minutes. Therefore, users who are logged on to a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based terminal server may experience performance issues with Windows Explorer.

If you open a folder to a network share on a Windows Server 2003 server and then perform a Network Monitor trace, you may notice that server message block (SMB) keepalive packets are sent every 32 to 33 seconds.

CAUSE

This problem occurs because if you map a drive to a share on a server and then changes occur in the file system of the folder structure on that mapped drive, Windows Server 2003 sends change notify packets to report these changes to the client computer. On the client computer, Windows Explorer updates the open window when it receives a file change notification.

Note Excessive flickering can also be caused by antivirus software or by another third-party program that constantly updates the folder or the folder tree on the server that clients are connected to.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, apply the hotfix that is described in this article, and then enable one of the following registry entries:
NoRemoteRecursiveEvents


NoRemoteChangeNotify
Important You must configure one of these registry entries to modify the default behavior in Windows. For additional information about how to do this, see the "Installation information" section of this article.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

No prerequisites are required.

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer to apply the changes after you apply this hotfix. However, you do not have to restart the computer immediately after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Windows Server 2003, 32-Bit Editions
   Date         Time   Version       Size       File name
   --------------------------------------------------------
   06-Nov-2003  02:18  6.0.3790.100  8,168,448  Shell32.dll
Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Editions
   Date         Time   Version       Size        File name     Platform
   --------------------------------------------------------------------
   06-Nov-2003  02:17  6.0.3790.100  12,953,600  Shell32.dll   IA-64
   06-Nov-2003  02:18  6.0.3790.100   8,168,448  Wshell32.dll  x86

Installation information

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
After you apply this hotfix, create the
NoRemoteRecursiveEvents
registry entry or the
NoRemoteChangeNotify
registry entry in one of the following registry subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
If you create the entry in the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
registry hive, the setting is applied only for the currently logged-on user. If you create the entry in the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
registry hive, the setting is applied to all users who log on to the server. Create one of the following registry entries:
  • Entry name:
    NoRemoteRecursiveEvents

    Type:
    REG_DWORD

    Value data:
    0
    (the default) or
    1


    A setting of
    1
    for this registry entry turns off Change Notify requests for file changes and for folder changes that occur in level 2 (and below) subfolders of a mapped network share. The server still sends a Change Notify event when a file or a folder is changed in the root of the mapped network share. However, the server does not send a Change Notify event when a change is made in the second subfolder or in a deeper subfolder of the mapped network share. By default, the setting for the
    NoRemoteRecursiveEvents
    registry value is
    0
    (zero).
  • Entry name:
    NoRemoteChangeNotify

    Type:
    REG_DWORD

    Value data:
    0
    (the default) or
    1


    A setting of
    1
    turns off Change Notify requests for file changes and for folder changes on mapped network shares.

    Note If you set this value to
    1
    , change notifications on network drives are disabled. You must press F5 or click Refresh on the View menu in Windows Explorer to manually update the changes in the current folder of a network share.
Note When you enable the
NoRemoteRecursiveEvents
registry entry or the
NoRemoteChangeNotify
registry entry on a computer that uses a network-based configuration (for example, a %USERPROFILE% variable that points to a network drive or to a UNC path), Windows Explorer does not automatically update the display when file changes or folder changes are made by other users.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about this problem on Microsoft Windows XP-based computers, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
816375 Windows XP Explorer Pane Flickers on Mapped Network Drives


For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the Standard Terminology That Is Used to Describe Microsoft Software Updates

Properties

Article ID: 831129 - Last Review: July 24, 2007 - Revision: 4.11
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbhotfixserver kbbug kbfix kbqfe kbwinserv2003presp1fix KB831129

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