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Computer Freezes When Handling Large Files


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#1 Torazo

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:18 PM

My computer freezes up when I try to move or download large files. I do not know how large the file has to be before it freezes, but the larger the file is, the sooner my computer tends to freeze. My friend tried updating World of Warcraft on my computer and it started at 14% and froze at 15%. The update size is close to 4.5GB. I have tried moving a folder, that was about 15GB, onto an External HDD and it froze as well, but when I move that 15GB folder anywhere on the HDD it was on, it doesn't freeze. I tested my external HDD on another computer and it managed a 30GB folder transfer in 22 minutes without freezing, so I know it is not the external HDD or the other computer. My computer uses Vista Ultimate 32-bit whereas the other computer uses XP Home. Note that the only time this computer freezes is when it has to process large files. It does not freeze on disc cleanups, virus scans, spyware removal, or anything else for that matter... Just processing large files. I have another friend that has Vista Ultimate 32-bit and also had the same model computer as I did when I first noticed this, but his never froze. I sent my motherboard in for replacement and they gave me a newer model. It is quite unlikely for 2 motherboards to be faulty in a row. I did not replace the Processing Unit or the Video Card. Seeing as my motherboard did not like the video card, I had always assumed that the cause of the freezing was because of it... It used to freeze when I put games onto high video card usage, but that itself processes a lot of information through the CPU, then again, I cannot find updates for my video card, so I really can't say for sure. There are no error messages involved. I have checked for problems all over the place. System Restore... I have no idea if it is on or off, but I am 100% certain it is irrelevant to my problem. I have not run into a virus. I have run CCleaner to clean the registry, but that was long after this problem started. Note that I have formatted the HDD, with the old motherboard and new motherboard, and the problem still persisted, so I am confident that this is a Hardware issue and not a Software issue. Points of interest; 1) Video Card/Motherboard Incompatibility 2) Outdated Video Card Drivers. I have downloaded drivers, but it has stated that my drivers are outdated. Somewhere in between, that message went away. 3) CPU Processor (This is what I am placing my money on, if I had to bet) 4) Faulty HDD (or this one... Hm.) 5) Faulty 2GB Stick of Kingston RAM 6) Faulty Video Card Those are the 5 options that I have come up with, but I have no idea how to tell which of those it is. Is there a program that I can run that can identify what problems arise when a computer freezes? Windows Vista Ultimate (6.0 Build 6002) AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2 CPU's), ~2.3GHz 2046MB RAM (Kingston Life-Time Warranty) ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series (Note states "No Problems Found") HDD ST3160815AS ATA Device 150GB Motherboard is an M2A-VM Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have no money, otherwise I would have replaced this computer by now XD

Edited by Torazo, 16 October 2010 - 11:20 PM.


#2 falloutgod13

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:09 AM

Have you tried the pc pitstop utilities? You may want to give that a try and post a link to your system results. http://www.pcpitstop.com/testax.asp

Edited by falloutgod13, 17 October 2010 - 11:11 AM.


#3 AI_inc

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 03:16 PM

This is just my thoughts, but when freezing occurs, the first thing I check is the memory, and you say your using Vista 32bit.
I would bet your maxing out your 2Gb's of memory! The first thing to do is to run memtest, and if you come up with no errors, then I would buy 2 more Gb's of memory. Vista uses a lot of memory!
Plus if it's not updated, Vista used to have a hard time moving large files! So if your not up to date, with windows updates, then I'd update your OS first.

Good luck to you!
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#4 Torazo

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:01 PM

This is just my thoughts, but when freezing occurs, the first thing I check is the memory, and you say your using Vista 32bit.
I would bet your maxing out your 2Gb's of memory! The first thing to do is to run memtest, and if you come up with no errors, then I would buy 2 more Gb's of memory. Vista uses a lot of memory!
Plus if it's not updated, Vista used to have a hard time moving large files! So if your not up to date, with windows updates, then I'd update your OS first.

Good luck to you!
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The problem with this is that it doesn't freeze when I am using 1GB of it, or more, when having a game window open, my internet browser, msn, and multiple other things, but it freezes when I try to move a large file when no memory is really being used in Task Manager.

Right now, about 400,000K of memory is being used by applications, 300,000K of it by applications that I can close, and only 1.26GB of my memory is in use.

My Vista is up to date. Like I said in my original post though, I have tested this on 2 computers that had equal specs... More specifically, the 2 computers with Vista that I have tested it on were completely identical. Me and my friend went out and bought the same model from the same company, both with Vista Ultimate. Mine had the problem, my friends did not. My computer at the time actually had a motherboard defect, so I had it replaced by the company that made it. Since then, I had always thought it was an incompatibility with the motherboard/video card, so I didn't think much of it... Then it started :filtered: me off the other day, so I decided to look into it some more.


@falloutgod13, for the test I do need...

http://www.pcpitstop...?conid=23945528

Edited by Torazo, 17 October 2010 - 08:14 PM.


#5 Joe C

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

Your pit test shows you only have 15% free space on your hard drive, you need either a larger drive or to move some stuff off of it, I think the least you free space should be about 25-35%. After to get more free space on the drive you should give it a good defrag

#6 Torazo

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

Your pit test shows you only have 15% free space on your hard drive, you need either a larger drive or to move some stuff off of it, I think the least you free space should be about 25-35%. After to get more free space on the drive you should give it a good defrag


I have more than enough free space on my HDD. I have tested this with clean Vista installments with it still freezing. I have even tested this on my friends computer. I forgot to mention that he almost always has less space on his HDD than I have on mine. His computer never froze while mine almost always did. The only difference that we had was that I had a video card at the time, which is why I initially thought it was my video card, but he ended up getting a video card and his was still perfectly fine, which got me to believe that it might be an incompatibility or drivers for the video card.

My computer does not freeze because of the amount of HDD space I have. I installed as much as I could onto it and I ended up with 23MB or so, then I decided to play Starcraft 2 and various other games. They did not freeze the computer, neither did moving large files around on the same HDD, but as soon as I tried moving large files from the internal HDD to an external HDD, or vice versa, it would freeze. The same went for me sending large files from my computer, through MSN, to a friend of mine. This is the main reason why I think it is a Processor issue... It does clock at 2300MHz, so maybe it overheats? That wouldn't make sense though, because I can pretty much touch any component inside my computer and none, and I mean none of the pieces are too hot to touch. The hottest object is below a small heatsink between the CPU and the Video card followed by the black piece that says ASUS on it which is located right next to the CMOS Battery and the Video Card slot. Like I said though, they aren't hot enough to burn me.

Edited by Torazo, 17 October 2010 - 10:14 PM.


#7 nigsy

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:28 AM

If it was a heat issue with the CPU, you would be experiencing shutdowns. I doubt it's your processor. I have to agree with the other posters, 2gb of ram is not a lot when trying to move large files especially to an external HD. Is the external HD powered from a USB socket or the mains? Maybe it's pulling to much power for your motherboard to handle? Also a healthy hardrive should never be more than 75% full as already suggested, clear off what you don't use and run a full defrag. Also with regards with D/Ling a 4.5 gb file - do you have a daily cap on your internet - what is your internet speed?

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#8 Tx Redneck

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:34 AM

Hey Torazo, for giggles, have you tried swapping you RAM out with your friends and see if the issue follows your RAM Modules? You stated that you PC's were identical except for the GPU. Have you run memtest86 yet as mentioned earlier?

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#9 Torazo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:33 AM

If it was a heat issue with the CPU, you would be experiencing shutdowns.I doubt it's your processor. I have to agree with the other posters, 2gb of ram is not a lot when trying to move large files especially to an external HD. Is the external HD powered from a USB socket or the mains? Maybe it's pulling to much power for your motherboard to handle?Also a healthy hardrive should never be more than 75% full as already suggested, clear off what you don't use and run a full defrag.Also with regards with D/Ling a 4.5 gb file - do you have a daily cap on your internet - what is your internet speed?


That's what I thought. I use a second computer, that is 2 years older than any of the parts in this one, and it only has 1GB of RAM, yet it doesn't freeze with the USB External HDD. Note that this External HDD has it's own power source, so it is powered from the wall.

From what I know, a 150GB HDD does not have the restriction of 75% free space. I know that it should have 30GB or more free to run optimally, which is 20%, to run without any slowdowns when fully defragged. As for a 1TB HDD, it requires a lot more space to have the same effect. I can't see how you can place the problem on the amount of space my HDD has unless the HDD tried to download a file without having any space at all, but Windows prevents that by stating that you don't have enough space. I am not going to clean my HDD when I know for a fact that it is not related to space issues on the HDD.

Do I have a daily cap on my internet? No, I do not. Well, there might be, but it is impossible for that to be the issue for the simple fact that this happens even without the internet. 19686kbps DL --- 486kbps UL

Hey Torazo, for giggles, have you tried swapping you RAM out with your friends and see if the issue follows your RAM Modules? You stated that you PC's were identical except for the GPU. Have you run memtest86 yet as mentioned earlier?


No, I have not tried swapping my RAM with my friends. It wouldn't happen either anyways. He wouldn't let me do that. Although, I do have a second computer here with 1GB of RAM... Which is barely enough to sustain Vista, but if I were to combine it with my 2GB one... Maybe it would show improvements. If it doesn't, then I can safely assume it isn't my RAM. As for memtest86, I have no idea what that is.

I will also test my HDD in the other computer with both sticks of RAM. Not sure why I never thought of moving the RAM over before, otherwise I would have been able to use my HDD in the other computer.

Edited by Torazo, 18 October 2010 - 07:36 AM.


#10 Joe C

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:18 AM

Try turning off your antivirus first the next time you attempt to transfer a large file, see if that makes any difference

#11 Tx Redneck

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 01:16 PM

Don't add to your RAM with the other, completely put the other in its place, that's assuming it is compatible. This will 100% isolate the current RAM to see if it is in fact the issue/problem.

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#12 AI_inc

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:18 PM

After looking at your pit test, I can tell you, that you have way to many programs set to start up at boot! Thats where your loosing a lot of your memory. Those programs can be set to start manually, when you need them. All of the suggestions stated above are from extremely knowledgeable people, and are all right on. The 2 most obvious problems are, not enough memory, and not enough disk space. Any system with that much fragmentation will suffer! With only 15% free space, your not going to be able to defrag properly! again, good luck!

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#13 Torazo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:03 PM

Don't add to your RAM with the other, completely put the other in its place, that's assuming it is compatible. This will 100% isolate the current RAM to see if it is in fact the issue/problem.


The only problem with that is that I only have 1GB spare compared to the 2GB I am using. So that is leaving about 200,000K leniency. It would probably be more to slowing down with 1GB, and might be extremely likely to freeze if I try to move a large file due to the system load it creates. I will see if I can find more RAM laying around and try to equal it out.

Yes, the 1GB of RAM is compatible.


After looking at your pit test, I can tell you, that you have way to many programs set to start up at boot!
Thats where your loosing a lot of your memory.
Those programs can be set to start manually, when you need them.
All of the suggestions stated above are from extremely knowledgeable people, and are all right on.
The 2 most obvious problems are, not enough memory, and not enough disk space.
Any system with that much fragmentation will suffer!
With only 15% free space, your not going to be able to defrag properly!

again, good luck!


I never said I was going to defrag yet. This issue happens with a clean install of Vista when there are no Anti-Viruses or any other things installed by me. Note, this is NOT an OEM install. This is the full version of Vista Ultimate with no attachments. Therefore, it is theoretically impossible for it to be a space issue on the HDD considering only 10% of the HDD was used at the time.

I have already stated that I have done this on a clean install. It is not the space on my HDD, nor is it because the HDD needs a defrag.

I added 1GB of RAM to this computer and it froze after the same amount of time. I tried placing my HDD in the other computer, with 1GB of RAM, then 3GB of RAM. The other computer just kept restarting as it tried to load Vista. The other computer is not Vista compatible, which is what I thought. I then tried the 2GB stick of RAM in the other computer with the original XP Home HDD I had in it... It started up, but it wouldn't stop loading, so I assume that the motherboard in it isn't compatible with it.

I then tried placing the XP Home HDD in my computer... It kept restarting every time before it even got to the XP Home loading screen, which is before you get chance to sign in. I found this to be quite odd. My motherboard isn't compatible with XP? -_-



Next on my list... Remove the 2GB stick of RAM and try moving a large file with other sticks of RAM and see if it still persists.

I found 2 sticks of 1GB DDR400 RAM... Won't fit in the motherboard, so I am going to have to stick with 2x 512MB for this attempt.

Tested it with 2x 512MB RAM... Still froze. So the RAM itself is fine. Both of the 512's work perfectly fine in the XP Home computer.

I personally still think it is the processor. If it brought in more information than it could handle, then yea,it would freeze. Theoretically, say it pulled in 200MB/sec and could only process 199MB/sec, then it would eventually freeze, would it not? Moving large files could certainly hit this benchmark too, then again, this could be acquainted to the HDD as well seeing as it also runs off of its' own speed. Maybe it can't handle the processing speed of the CPU?

Next on my list... Remove my video card and use the onboard video.

Edited by Torazo, 18 October 2010 - 09:03 PM.


#14 Tx Redneck

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:56 PM

I've run vista on 1 gig w/out any issues at all. It wasn't as responsive as I'd like but it ran fine. I have a PC dedicated to F@H that is runnin Vista on 2 gigs and it runs 24hrs a day OCed and everything. I'm 99% sure the amount of ram isn't the issue, but rather the ram itself or the motherboard. http://forum.noteboo...tml#post2176694

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#15 Torazo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:51 PM

I removed the video card and went to the onboard video... The computer still froze.

I've run vista on 1 gig w/out any issues at all. It wasn't as responsive as I'd like but it ran fine. I have a PC dedicated to F@H that is runnin Vista on 2 gigs and it runs 24hrs a day OCed and everything.

I'm 99% sure the amount of ram isn't the issue, but rather the ram itself or the motherboard.
http://forum.noteboo...tml#post2176694


Well, the main reason why I don't think it is the motherboard is because I have had the motherboard replaced before because I was experiencing freezing with it. Not sure how much of it was due to the video card, but the company reviewed the motherboard and replaced it with a brand new model back in 2008. I didn't have as many problems with it, but I thought that it was the video card causing the freezing issues because I couldn't find the proper drivers for it at the time. By this time, I have had the video card for over a year, so I couldn't bring it back, so I decided to just deal with it. All this time thinking it might be the video card because I have had issue with it in the past, just to find out nothing is wrong with the video card. I guess the issue was only caused by the lack of up to date drivers, which I might still lack according to the test I linked.

I have an EAH4650 ATI Video Card. Yes, it's a few years old. Sound drivers? I don't seem to have any issues with sound to be honest. I am using Edifier speakers and the sound quality is extremely good. Sound doesn't cut out, nor do I get any errors regarding sound drivers, so it is hard to believe that the drivers are outdated.

I am still leaning towards the CPU of the motherboard as the problem, mainly because both motherboards had issues with freezing and I didn't get the chance to replace the CPU, just the motherboard. A identical motherboard, the older one, and CPU was tested and it had no issues whatsoever. I am believing that I now had a faulty CPU and faulty Motherboard instead of just a faulty motherboard back then.


As for the RAM, I didn't actually think it was the problem, but I never tested it because it seemed to work optimally every time. Despite my thoughts, I decided to list it as one of the possible issues all because it hadn't been thoroughly tested.

Edited by Torazo, 18 October 2010 - 09:56 PM.


#16 Tx Redneck

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:44 PM

As for your vid drivers, just go to ati.com and dl the driver for your card. CPU's rarely exhibit symptoms of failure and the common denominator between this mobo and the original is the ram and cpu. My money is on the ram being the issue or another faulty mobo but most likely the ram.

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#17 Torazo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:04 PM

As for your vid drivers, just go to ati.com and dl the driver for your card. CPU's rarely exhibit symptoms of failure and the common denominator between this mobo and the original is the ram and cpu. My money is on the ram being the issue or another faulty mobo but most likely the ram.


Well... I tried 2 sticks of 512MB RAM that have been in a computer that has never froze, nor had any problems at all in my computer instead of my 2GB Stick of RAM and it still froze. I am 100% certain it is not the RAM, as I was before. If the RAM truly was the issue, I wouldn't have been able to run The Elder Scrolls IV, or Starcraft 2 on my computer without it freezing, yet I have had them both run for nearly 24 hours straight with no slowdowns, no errors, and no freezes.

Considering that the 2GB stick of RAM was the only stick of RAM in my computer, wouldn't the computer have problems starting up if it was faulty or would the page filing counter this?

Edited by Torazo, 18 October 2010 - 11:21 PM.


#18 nigsy

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:54 AM

Iguess the only way to find out is to stress test the system and monitor the cpu outputs? or just switch the cpu. Expensive I know, but if you have tried everything else, strange though it seems could well be the only way.

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#19 Torazo

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:36 AM

Iguess the only way to find out is to stress test the system and monitor the cpu outputs? or just switch the cpu. Expensive I know, but if you have tried everything else, strange though it seems could well be the only way.


Just watch the Performance tab in Task Manager for the CPU Outputs? I watched it spike to 47% when I was idle sitting here what to reply with when it was in between 2% and 8% normally. I don't know what pulled it. It might have been Vista being Vista and possibly has nothing to do with the freezes at all, but who knows?

I plan on replacing this computer within 5 months, but I also wanted to fix the problem with this one so I actually had two of my very own computers.

#20 nigsy

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:18 AM

CPU Stress test

Also did you run memtest as previously suggested?

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