can anyone tell me IF any of the mentioned or other file managers are independent of explorer.exe?
I am not sure how file managers work
do they uses explorer.exe to get access to the folders and files and then displays the information with their own style?
do they use explorer.exe to perform its tasks? (eg copy, paste, etc)
or are they totaly independent of explorer.exe?
I am asking this, because I see very little or maybe zero difference between file managers and explorer.exe, when I compare the speed, system resources consumption, stability, etc
I love the interface of file managers, but I really need a more optimized, stable and fast file manager than explorer.exe, that will be able for example to open fast a dir with many subfolders, etc and not just to offer customized buttons and menus
Though I can't say with certainty, I believe that all I have tried do run on the back of explorer.exe and subsequently use Explorer's feature set as well as add several features of their own. And I must take exception and say that some - if not most - of the third party file explorers do add more than just "…customized buttons and menus…".
The only two I have experience with are Directory Opus and Total Commander, and both offer a number of additional features that you cannot use with explorer.exe on its own. I'm not sure whether or not you've read through this thread - I realize that it's a long one - but if you want to know what specifically these utilities can do above and beyond what explorer.exe does you can find a lot of it here in this thread.
You'll find better and faster searches, the ability to unpack/extract various types of compressed archives, multiple panes and tabbed interfaces in which you can drag and drop files to move and/or copy them, access ftp servers directly from the file explorer replacements, color-code files and folders that you want highlighted for whatever reasons, and more that I am not taking the time to list here.
The easiest way to find out just what they can do besides look different is to read through the posts to help you decide which you might like to look at more closely, and then download trial versions and give those that interest you a try. Can't hurt anything, and you may find out that there is something you can use.