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The Issue

Shortly after a file download via Google Chrome for Windows completes, the download will get stuck on "0 seconds left" and all other programs (except Google Chrome, for some reason, but browsing will not work) completely freezes into Windows' infamous "Not Responding" state for up to 5 minutes, affecting Explorer particularly badly. Eventually, the programs will recover themselves but they will recover significantly faster if you cancel the file download, relative to how quickly you react.

Performing the exact same operation immediately after cancelling the download usually works without issue.

This issue occurs when with any file type (.ZIP, .MSI, .MSG, .PNG, .URL, etc) of any size from any source (Dropbox, SourceForge, Imgur, even tiny and locally-generated BLObs created by my own Chrome extension, etc) to any location.


Potential Causes

As this issue is so inconsistent, I haven't been able to prove whether the issue is Chrome-specific or being caused by my system or my Chrome configuration but it's happening on both my work and home PCs.

I originally suspected that this issue was being caused by security software scanning completed downloads for threats but I'm not as confident in that theory anymore as the issue persisted even after changing my security software from ESET NOD32 and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro to ESET Endpoint to Microsoft Security Essentials.

I also suspected that Dropbox may be causing the issue by trying to index and upload the file before Chrome is finished with it but that theory doesn't hold much ground either as the issue occurs even when files aren't saved into the Dropbox folder, so it seems to be outside of Dropbox's scope.


System Information (of both PCs)

Windows version: 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit

Google Chrome version: 30.0.1599.101 (but has been happening for a long time)



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2 Answers 2

There are several ways Antivirus software may be scanning the file.

  1. When it hits the disk, if the file is compressed scanning can take some time and cause a pause/hang.
  2. Intercepting the web request and scanning the file before allowing it to complete. Will usually see items for the security software listed in the network connection properties.
  3. A helper addon for the browser that scans the file before allowing the transfer to fully complete.

Turn off various scanning features, download the EICAR.COM test file from someplace to confirm then see if the hangs go away on larger files.

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I'll try but, as I've said, the issue is very inconsistent, so I don't think I'll get any useful results. –  mythofechelon Nov 14 '13 at 18:00

FWIW I get the same problem randomly. I see the 99.9999% green progress circle just sitting there. It could be a tiny file and it will just sit there freeze my entire OS until the green circle completes. Sometimes up to 5 minutes or more.

I don't know if it's AV related although I suspect it might be. I use F-Prot and MSE here. Maybe it's the combo?

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