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Microsoft Office Word Initializing the Root Folders to Display Message Slow Response When Opening to Browse Files


Problem Summary. When attempting to open a file or save a file and select a location, choosing the drop-down list of available folders may result in a message that states, “Initializing the root folders to display.” This will slow down the operation of the computer.

Problem Solution. The problem is probably caused by the presence of a mapped network drive that is inaccessible or not connected. Follow these steps to fix the problem in Windows XP:

  1. Double click on My Computer on the desktop, or click My Computer from the start menu.
  2. Locate the Network Drives listed.
  3. Right click on the network drive(s) listed and choose to disconnect it.
  4. This should resolve the problem.

Other Causes. The problem may also be caused by an external drive that is falling asleep. Each time the computer looks to see what drives are available, it must wake the sleeping drive and this can take a few seconds.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com