How to prevent explorer.exe to get laggy when some network paths are not available?

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QUESTION :

I have set up some network path in Windows 8.1 which can only be accessed when I’m connected to a VPN. I don’t want to re-map/add them every time when I connect to the VPN (I do this quite often).

If I’m not connected to the VPN, however, explorer.exe gets very laggy. I can fix the issue by disabling the “Client for Microsoft Networks” in the properties of the network adapter (see https://superuser.com/a/390043). But then I can’t access any network path. This is even worse, because then I can’t access my locale network path which I need always, of course.

I tried it with both ways: mapping a drive letter to the network path or using the full name. Problem exists in both cases.

Another annyoing thing is: when drag-dropping a file between two explorer windows and randomly hovering the non-available network path “half-way” (because it’s in the list that teh mouse cursor needs to pass) while dragging lets the explroer.exe hang for ~3-5 seconds as if crashed.

How do I set up Windows to not get laggy when having non-available network paths without disabling the network path functionality at all?

With “laggy” I mean two things:

  1. all programs accessing filesystem using Windows own Open/Save dialogs “hang” for ~3 seconds
  2. I have to hit F5 after each filesystem operation in Explorer (copy, move, etc.), see Explorer does not auto-refresh

ANSWER :

You can use c:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file to block the VPN destinations. For example, add these lines will block vpn-computer1 and 2:

127.0.0.1        vpn-computer1
127.0.0.1        vpn-computer2

When VPN is connected, these entry needs to be removed, which can be done with a batch file.

I solved it now this way. I added a firewall rule to the Windows firewall (incoming and outgoing with the same name) and enable/disable it via batch file with netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="rulename" new enable=yes (resp. no). This works now perfectly fine.

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