Why does unzipping files take so long?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Siegfried Heintze, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. I downloaded a 150 MB zip file from http://eclipse.org with the firefox
    browser on a new notebook (I'm hoping there is no adware on it yet!). I
    opened up a windows explorer window on the zip file and right clicked to
    extract the files. I got a dialog box and it said it would require 2 hours
    to extract all the files!

    After waiting for 20 minutes I aborted and used the cygwin.com free unzip
    program which unziped everything in a couple of minutes. Why is the vista
    program for zip files so slow? Is there anything we can do do speed it up?
    Siegfried Heintze, Aug 2, 2007
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  2. Siegfried Heintze

    Bill Yanaire Guest

    Vista has lots of problems. Wait until SP1 has been finalized and it might
    get better. I had problems copying data files from one drive to a USB
    drive. Took 4 times as long on Vista than XP.
    Bill Yanaire, Aug 2, 2007
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  3. I downloaded a 150 MB zip file from http://eclipse.org with the firefox
    I can't repro this problem.

    I downloaded eclipse-SDK-3.3-win32.zip, 140MB, containing 1,831 items.

    In Explorer I dragged and dropped the contents from a zip file to an
    unzipped folder, which took 2 minutes 11 seconds.

    This is on 64 bit Vista, with a 2.4GHx Core 2 Duo processor and 3Gb of RAM,
    and a 10,000 rpm Western Digital Raptor SATA drive; Windows Performance
    Rating 5.2.

    There are many, many variables which could affect performance - CPU, other
    background processes, anti-virus, filter drivers, disk IO, available memory,
    etc etc.

    You may be seeing a genuine problem; and I'm not suggesting Windows built-in
    zip is super-efficient - it probably isn't the fastest. But, the problem
    you're seeing is not universal. In many situations, the zip performance in
    Vista seems to be quite acceptable.

    You'd probably need to run some tests on your machine to see where the
    bottleneck was with that particular operation - use Perfom and add counters
    for CPU processor time, memory pages/sec, Physical disk queue length, etc.

    Andrew McLaren, Aug 3, 2007
  4. Did anyone ever find a solution to this problem? I have a new machine with
    2GB RAM, a very fast processor, but even with antivirus turned off and
    nothing else running, extracting , say, a 10MB zip file takes over 40
    minutes! The transfer rate is 4k/s, so it would actually be quicker to
    download the files from a dial-up modem then extract them from a zip file on
    my machine!
    obscurereference, Sep 17, 2007
  5. Although you are undoubtedly seeing a problem, it is not the universal
    experience for all Vista users. There is some specific or local condition
    which is causing the slow performance you are seeing.

    I have plenty of gripes about Vista; but speed unzipping files, is not one
    of them - I can unzip quite large zip files, nice and quick on my main
    machine. As I said:

    Start by playing around with Perfom, and see if you can delineate the main
    parameters of the slow performance.

    Other folks might have better ideas, hope this helps a bit.
    Andrew McLaren, Sep 17, 2007
  6. Siegfried Heintze

    HeyBub Guest

    Turn off your virus checker. Does that make a difference?
    HeyBub, Sep 17, 2007
  7. Siegfried Heintze

    pxmm Guest

    Turning off Remote Differential Compression (Contro
    Panel->Programs->Programs and Features->Turn windows features on o
    off>Unheck 'remote differential compression') helped a lot for me, it'
    still not quite as fast as I think it should be though. I think I hear
    of a problem with the 'calculating time remaining' part of fil
    transfers that made it take a while to start but that was patched
    pxmm, Sep 17, 2007
  8. Siegfried Heintze

    bob_c_b Guest

    I ran into this back in January with my Vista Home Premium X32 instal
    on my wife's Dell E520. I rolled her back to XP MCE2005, but I'm gettin
    ready to give the Vista install a shot again.

    I have not experienced this with Vista Business x64, if anything
    operations of that nature feel faster for me. Using Windows built i
    compression or 7-zip has been very snappy
    bob_c_b, Sep 17, 2007
  9. Siegfried Heintze

    Gareth Guest

    I had the same problem, so I ditched Microsoft in favor of WinRAR. No
    problems since.
    Gareth, Sep 17, 2007
  10. Siegfried Heintze

    JethroUK© Guest

    i have to say it took Vista nearly an hour to extract the data files off my
    old machine

    i wonder whether it has anything to do with Vista indexing the extracted
    files one-by-one (which might not be the case if Winrar extracts them)
    JethroUK©, Sep 18, 2007
  11. I'll chime in and say it universally frustrates me as a Vista user as
    well. Vista's explorer shell has horrible problems with at least two
    things: zip files, and files that are "in use" by another process even
    though the other process is no longer running. I've gotten used to
    the fact that whenever I try to open up or extract files from a zip
    file it's a good time to go for a bathroom break. I've also gotten
    used to the fact that I can't delete files when I want to, and if I
    wait until after said bathroom break, I'll more than likely be able to
    delete what I wanted then.
    MichaelDouglasKrause, Sep 18, 2007
  12. Siegfried Heintze

    bob_c_b Guest

    I've tried this today and the issue is not universal, I've used native
    Vista compression and 7-Zip and got close to the same performance and
    not specifically slower than XP. I tried one archive witha a variety of
    different file formats and sizes, folder was 1GB and I compressed it
    with Vista file compression and extracted it with the same and 7-Zip.

    That said, I had the slow unzip issues back in January/February with
    Vista 32 bit, which I don't have installed right now.
    bob_c_b, Sep 18, 2007
  13. It is a know issue that has to due with permissions.

    If using something like WINZIP before you unzip the file
    right click on it and select unblock. I did this yesterday and a file
    that took almost a min to extract was done instantly.


    Robert Martin, Sep 18, 2007
  14. Siegfried Heintze

    malcolmp Guest

    I bought a new laptop this week, and unzipping files is appallingly slow.

    Like the original poster, eclipse was a nightmare. The spring framework
    (with approx 9500 files) had an original estimate in DAYS!!! Although this
    then came down to a 'paltry' few hours.

    There are posts all over the internet on this problem. It's not just an
    isolated case. I'm raging that this OS is clearly not ready.

    I also found that if trying to unzip a file in the same directory as one
    where unzipping is already occuring causes Explorer to throw a wobbly and

    I'm so annoyed with this. I have to unzip stuff on my old XP machines, then
    copy across to the Vista one.

    Vista Schmista. Most of my developer friends are now buying MACs. I really
    wish I'd done the same. Never thought I'd say such a thing.

    malcolmp, Nov 18, 2007
  15. Siegfried Heintze

    Dave Guest

    hmmm. I don't even notice files unzipping.
    Just click on them and the folder opens.
    Dave, Nov 18, 2007
  16. Siegfried Heintze

    Picsoetje Guest


    I've had the same problem since I have a Vista-machine (zipfolders was
    working perfectly under XP).

    The good news is that it looks like it will be solved with Vista-SP1.
    I had the opportunity to test the latest beta (RC) version and I could
    notice that unzipping with "ZipFolders" was lightning fast.

    Let's hope together that it will be kept in the final SP1 release :))
    Picsoetje, Nov 18, 2007
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