I have a Windows 7 computer that I use almost exclusively for streaming video (Hulu in Internet Explorer, or recorded or live broadcast TV with Windows Media Center). Often the computer freezes for a number of seconds. The hard disk light is on continuously during this time. It seems to happen a lot when I begin to watch something or after pausing the video.
Following the advice in this thread,
I have installed Windows Performance Analysis Tools and run the xperf command until a freeze occurs.
If I am interpreting the results correctly, the disk activity appears to correspond with the System process having a large flush count and flush service time. This is being done by a component with an unknown path tree and path name.
I have posted a set of log files here: Files
So, what do I do with this information?
Update: 1/19/14: I should probably add that there have been three BSODs in the last month--two of them in the last week. That is a much newer problem than the freezing, although it seems to point to memory or HDD problems. But as I have said in the comments below, I have run MemTest and disk diagnostics without detecting any problems. I have added the latest BSOD dump file to the collection of posted files FWIW. And there has been an ongoing problem since I bought the computer where it freezes up when coming out of standby; I have to force a restart. All of these have been random incidents that are hard to troubleshoot, and may or may not be related.
Update: 1/29/14: I have found that the problem continues even if I do a clean boot. Is it possible that it is related to the volume of data on the HDD? I have about 300 Gb of recorded TV on the drive. They are mostly half-hour to two-hour programs, so they are large files--anywhere from 3 to 25 Gb each. They should be contiguous files; defragmenting doesn't make much of a difference in performance.
There's one other interesting piece to the puzzle: It never happens when Windows Media Center is recording. The recorded shows do not have breaks or freezes, and we can watch other video during recording without any freezing. Either Media Center commands full priority and doesn't allow interruptions, or perhaps it is somehow the cause of the freezes during playback. Or, consistent with Zero3's suggestion below, maybe the constant activity during recording prevents the drive from spinning down.