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My laptop is a Dell Latitude E5530. It has 8G RAM and an i5 processor. It is normally lightning fast.

I copied some files over from my Iomega 500G hard drive which were stored in a Maciom Reflect image file and pasted them in my C: drive.

Next thing I know, during and AFTER the copying, my computer is dead slow. Physical Memory: 94%.

What is going on?

EDIT:: I removed the hard drive and the computer I think has sped up.

Thanks anyway!

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Check the Task Manager to determine what process was using your memory. Does this happen often? – Ramhound Oct 17 '13 at 18:02
only when I coyy from this large hard drive. Nothing appears to be using a lot of memory in the Task Manager – Jake Oct 17 '13 at 18:05
What method are you using for copying? i.e. Windows Explorer copy&paste will behave very different from xcopy at command line, still different from robocopy .... – Debra Oct 17 '13 at 18:43
@Debra and for each of those things you mention (as if you might have knowledge of how they behave differently with respect to ram), you say nothing about how they behave differently (specifically with respect to ram). information that might actually help people and that'd make a very informative useful comment or answer for many people. (If indeed you're correct about what you suggest, the little that you have suggested, and I have some doubt even on that!) – barlop Oct 17 '13 at 19:38

When copying files, both large and small, Windows reads the file into RAM (memory), as it copies it to the new destination it continuously frees up memory. The rate at which this memory is freed up depends on how fast Windows can write to the destinations' storage.

Evidently there is some sort of corruption with the file so Windows simply loaded it into memory and then could not do anything with it until you disconnected your external HDD. Upon disconnecting your HDD, Windows essentially says "well, i don't care about this file anymore, you can have your memory back"

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