A friend with a fairly new PC (XP, 512 mB RAM) complains that whenever he tries to empty his recycle bin, it takes up to a couple of minutes to do so (even if it's just one small file in the bin). The PC seems to slow down to a crawl during the operation.
have you tried using spybot which is free to download. this will weed out any unwanted trackers and spies on your system which can slopw you down. and it may be good idea to scan your system with a good antivirus.
You can also try scanning your hard drive for errors (using chkdsk/scandisk) & defragmenting. Disk scanning may run a long time depending on the size of your drive so best kept running overnight. (Some experience a 'better' disk scan using chkdsk at the command prompt in DOS).
He has tried the suggestions above but there's no improvement. He also tells me that when he double clicks on the recycle bin icon the PC searches for about 20 seconds (with the animated torch) before opening up the bin. This seems to suggest that the PC does not 'know' where the bin is located.
He's tried the above suggestions but with no success. He now tells me this problem also occurs when he tries to open the Control Panel (ie: takes about a minute to open up with the "search torch" appearing).