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I've got a fresh install of ArcGIS 10.0, and whenever I try and open a tool from the toolbox (for example, Project Raster) it takes literally 5 minutes to open the dialog, and then at least 30 seconds for any clicks I make in the dialog (for example, to select input files) to register.

Does anyone have any idea why this is? The rest of ArcGIS isn't too slow (at least, no more than normal) but using toolbox tools is just impossible! This doesn't happen on my laptop, and this computer is significantly faster than my laptop (this has 12Gb RAM, quad-core processor etc).

Are there any known problems that might cause this?

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Are you on Windows 7 (64-bit?) – Mapperz Nov 8 '11 at 16:57
FYI, ArcGIS 10 still isn't multithreaded so it can't take advantage of your quad-core processor except for a few UI-related things. If you open Task Manager while you're running a hefty geoprocessing task you'll see the ArcGIS process is only using 25% of your CPU (1 of the 4 cores). Updating your Arc installation is a good first step but I'd start with SP2 and its associated patches, SP3 just came out a week or two ago and ESRI's track record of releasing bug-free updates isn't that great. – Dan C Nov 8 '11 at 18:52

Use the latest Service Pack 3

close arcmap...

delete - normal.mxt (will be recreated when arcmap is restarted.)

The next works if MXD's are networked based (ie not on the local drives)

A registry setting called "OpLocksDisabled", which must be set to 0 (zero). This is called "Opportunistic Locking"

This change affects the Registry - BACKUP first

Administrator privileges required.

1)Go to Start Menu.
2)Choose “Run”.
3)Type “regedit” without quotes and click OK.
4)Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> Services -> MRxSmb -> Parameters.
5)OplocksDisabled (should equal "0x00000000 (0)", change by typing just “0” without quotes if necessary).

*Use at your own risk

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more info on Opportunistic Locking from Microsoft: Your system stops responding, you experience slow file server performance, or delays occur when you work with files that are located on a file server, and configuring opportunistic locking in windows. It bears emphasizing that disabling oplocks will only make a difference if the toolboxes and/or data are on network drives (and that that is also the source of the symptoms described). – matt wilkie Nov 8 '11 at 19:03
Note that deleting normal.mxt will remove any customizations you have saved to the default ArcMap startup. – user3461 Nov 8 '11 at 20:08

Do you have access to a compiler?

If so, how long does this take for you. For me opening Project Raster takes 31 msecs.

public static void ListTools()
    var t = Type.GetTypeFromProgID("esriGeoprocessing.ToolboxWorkspaceFactory");
    var wsf = Activator.CreateInstance(t) as IWorkspaceFactory;
    var tbxWs = wsf.OpenFromFile(@"C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\ArcToolbox\Toolboxes", 0) as IToolboxWorkspace;
    var enumtbxName = tbxWs.ToolboxNames;
    IGPToolboxName tbxName = null;
    var ticks = Environment.TickCount;
    while ((tbxName = enumtbxName.Next()) != null)
        var tbx = ((IName)tbxName).Open() as IGPToolbox3;
        var enumName = tbx.ToolNames;
        IGPToolName toolName = null;
        while((toolName = enumName.Next())!= null)
            Debug.Print("\t" + toolName.DisplayName);
            if (toolName.DisplayName == "Project Raster")
                var ticks2 = Environment.TickCount;
                var tool = ((IName)toolName).Open() as IGPTool;
                Debug.Print("{0} msecs to open tool", Environment.TickCount - ticks);
        Debug.Print("\t {0} msecs", Environment.TickCount - ticks);
        ticks = Environment.TickCount;
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Have you applied Service Pack 3 after install? There are a lot of bugs fixed there. Also such behavior can be influenced by an old Internet Explorer version, which is used in building toolboxes UI.

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Yes, I have installed SP3, and IE is at the latest version. – robintw Nov 8 '11 at 17:15

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