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I have a Windows 7 desktop with a 500Gb SATA hard drive and one 1Tb HDD (I think both are 5400 rpm) and it's been acting strange for a while. Two things are very annoying:

  1. When I save a file (such as an image) from web browsers, the browser sometimes freezes for a while, sometimes doesn't. The file doesn't start downloading until the freeze is over. I suspect a disk access issue since when I download multiple files one after the other, only the first on causes a freeze.

  2. When I created a file or a folder from windows explorer, it doesn't show up until I refresh the containing folder. Same thing when I rename a file or a folder, the change doesn't show up until I refresh.

I notice this behavior on both my disks. Is this a known issue? Should I replace my disks with faster ones or is the issue completely unrelated to HDDs?

Thank you.

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Have you tried another OS? Try loading an Ubuntu LiveCD and tinker with that for a while: – Blender Mar 10 '11 at 17:00

You can try a few thing: First you need to determine what kind of freeze it is:

Application Hang - Just the app in question stops responding. Ctrl-Alt-Del and all other apps work.
Soft Freeze - The whole system hangs up, Ctrl-Alt-Del may or may not work. Start menu and all open apps are hung. Mouse Moves on the screen.
Hard Freeze - Nothing Works during this operation, mouse is stuck till it responds.

If it is a quick application hang or soft freeze it is most likely an issue accessing that disk. Run a Chkdsk (drive:) -f -r on that drive and your manufacture's drive tools.

If it is a Hard Freeze there may be a problem with your RAM, I would recommend doing a Ram Scan.

With Windows 7 you can see whats going on easily as well to see what resource is being maxed(if any) by pressing Ctrl-Shift-Esc, then from task manager go to the Performance Tab, then click on resource manager.

Finally, you may want to use the system file checker(SFC) by running SFC /scannow

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Thanks a lot. It's an application hang as everything else works. I'll run a chkdsk and SFC and investigate a little more tonight when I get home and come back here with feedback. – pwny Mar 10 '11 at 17:51

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