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The Issue

Shortly after a file download via Google Chrome completes, almost all programs completely freeze into Windows' infamous "Not Responding" state for up to 5 minutes, affecting Explorer particularly badly, but some programs act strangely. For example, Google Chrome is completely interactive (opening tabs, browsing cached web pages, etc) but can't browse to new web pages, iTunes won't open but will play the remainder of the current song but not the next song in the playlist, etc.

Eventually, the issue resolves itself and the programs recover but I've found that the duration of the issue is significantly lower 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). However, I'm not entirely sure about the location (C:\Users\User\Dropbox\, [USB]:\, etc), as I don't often download things to seperate drives.

Also, while I was some of these screenshots via Greenshot and uploading them to this post the issue kind of happened again - Superuser rejected the image saying it couldn't be opened, iTunes played up as described above, Explorer was unstable but not completely frozen as usual, etc. Although, I use Greenshot extensively and have done so for months and this is the first time that this has happened.

The exact same issue used to occur on my work PC which has exactly the same software configuration but I've reinstalled Windows on it many times for varying reasons and it no longer occurs.

 

Potential Causes

As this issue is so inconsistent, I haven't been able to prove whether the issue is caused by Google Chrome itself or my system configuration (this used to happen on my work PC too but it doesn't anymore).

I've had and disproved the following three theories:

  1. Antivirus scanning completed downloads. However, I don't think that's the cause as the issue has persisted after changing my antivirus from ESET NOD32 Antivirus and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro to ESET Endpoint Antivirus to Microsoft Security Essentials to Avast!.
  2. Dropbox indexing / uploading. However, I don't think that's the cause as the issue occurs even when files aren't saved into the Dropbox folder, so it seems to be outside of Dropbox's scope.
  3. User profile location. My OS exists on an SSD and my user profile is mostly redirected to a HDD. However, I don't think that's the cause as I have exactly the same setup on my work PC and that works fine.

However, my current most promising theory is that it's related to Windows Search or Windows indexing stuff, as I immediately checked the Event Viewer after it happened and found the logs included below as screenshots. I haven't been able to find any useful resolutions for these errors yet.

I've run a System File Check scan but it passed fine (see screenshots).

17/12/2014 11:30 AM: This just happened again while downloading http://dayzcommander.blob.core.windows.net/releases/Dotjosh.DayZCommander.Installer.msi. I reviewed the Event Viewer and found an event do with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Chameleon (see screenshots). Quite a few people seem to be having the same issue despite, like me, not actually using active protection like me. I uninstalled Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 2.0.4.1028, downloaded the MBAM Clean 2.1.1.1001 tool from http://downloads.malwarebytes.org/file/mbam_clean, it locked up again (but for a much shorter period of time), and logged 4 more Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Chameleon events (see screenshots). I've run the MBAM Clean tool and we'll see how that goes...

17/12/2014 5:27 PM: Nope, still happening. Just happened when downloading the exact same file from two different locations (http://garr.dl.sourceforge.net/project/sqlitebrowser/sqlitebrowser/3.4/sqlitebrowser-3.4.0-win32.exe, https://s3.amazonaws.com/github-cloud/releases/19416551/25de4b6c-5d3d-11e4-8e2a-e15e02d4ed79.exe?response-content-disposition=attachment%3B%20filename%3Dsqlitebrowser-3.4.0-win32.exe&response-content-type=application/octet-stream&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAISTNZFOVBIJMK3TQ&Expires=1418837168&Signature=ko%2BLv1OnOHQooXDufaokA7oyB8Q%3D) with Avast! disabled and no event logs. Now I'm out of ideas.

 

System Information

Windows version: 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 64-bit

Google Chrome version: 30.0.1599.101 (when I first posted) to 38.0.2125.104

 

Screenshots

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Issue presenting when downloading a large .MSI file from the Internet

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Issue presenting when downloading a tiny .URL file generated locally within a Google Chrome extension

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Event ID 10023, Source Search. The protocol host process 1404 did not respond and is being forcibly terminated {filter host process 9612}.

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Event ID 10023, Source Search. The protocol host process 8680 did not respond and is being forcibly terminated {filter host process 9612}.

enter image description here

Event ID 36, Source Outlook. Search cannot complete the indexing of your Outlook data. Indexing cannot continue for D:\Users\Ben\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook[redacted].ost (error=0x8034081f). If this error continues, contact Microsoft Support.

enter image description here

Cannot display the folder. 'Windows® Search' exited without properly closing your Outlook data file 'D:\Users\Ben\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook[redacted].ost'. 'Microsoft Outlook’ must be restarted. If this error message recurs, contact support for 'Windows® Search' for assistance.

enter image description here

Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan. Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

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Event ID 61703, Source mbamchameleon. Mbamchameleon Failed to obtain file name information - C01C0005

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Event ID 61703, Source mbamchameleon.

The description for Event ID 61703 from source mbamchameleon cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.

If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event.

The following information was included with the event:

C01C0005

the message resource is present but the message is not found in the string/message table

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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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I have this exact same problem and I am using MSE only. Please post a solution if you found any. It does not freeze for downloading files from Firefox. –  Prasad Jadhav Sep 4 at 10:52

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