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Sudden system lockups? why?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-19-2007
Tizzy
 

Posts: n/a
Sudden system lockups? why?
Hi, I've been using windows vista 64-bit for a couple weeks now and, though I
do find it fast and reliable, am having a huge problem -- the freaking OS
seems to like locking up when it works with files of a big size (usually a
few hundred MBs). It does not happen always, but pretty often -- to the point
where now I save everything I have open before moving any file from a hard
drive to the other or simply overwriting it. Its pretty annoying, it happens
mainly with big files -- but has also happened a couple times with smaller
ones, and I've noticed the pattern already - since every time it locks up
like that the system is also doing some work in the hard drive. when it
happens, all I can do i restart - since the system dies completely, no mouse,
no sound, no answer of any kind to anything I do but restarting and, once I
do so, the system shows no signs of any error, so I can't diagnose whats
happening in any way. Any ideas what might be happening? This is a high end
system, so its not a lack of resources (amd 64bit dual core athlon 6000+, MSI
K9A motherboard, video card is HIS RADEON HD 2900XT and hard drive is western
digital 500GB, partitioned in two halves), and is honestly driving me
crazy... Also sometimes it starts doing it at random, the system starts and
about 2 minutes later it locks up with no reason -- and keeps on doing so
several times, sometimes I can't use the pc during hours, then jsut as
suddenly as it started to lockup it stops doing it so and I can work in the
computer for hours (usually ther est of the day, which is seven o ten hours)
with no problems at all. Any ideas what I must do? :S
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2007
Carey Frisch [MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Sudden system lockups? why?
A great Vista troubleshooting story
http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1761

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows Shell/User

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Tizzy" wrote:

Hi, I've been using windows vista 64-bit for a couple weeks now and, though I
do find it fast and reliable, am having a huge problem -- the freaking OS
seems to like locking up when it works with files of a big size (usually a
few hundred MBs). It does not happen always, but pretty often -- to the point
where now I save everything I have open before moving any file from a hard
drive to the other or simply overwriting it. Its pretty annoying, it happens
mainly with big files -- but has also happened a couple times with smaller
ones, and I've noticed the pattern already - since every time it locks up
like that the system is also doing some work in the hard drive. when it
happens, all I can do i restart - since the system dies completely, no mouse,
no sound, no answer of any kind to anything I do but restarting and, once I
do so, the system shows no signs of any error, so I can't diagnose whats
happening in any way. Any ideas what might be happening? This is a high end
system, so its not a lack of resources (amd 64bit dual core athlon 6000+, MSI
K9A motherboard, video card is HIS RADEON HD 2900XT and hard drive is western
digital 500GB, partitioned in two halves), and is honestly driving me
crazy... Also sometimes it starts doing it at random, the system starts and
about 2 minutes later it locks up with no reason -- and keeps on doing so
several times, sometimes I can't use the pc during hours, then jsut as
suddenly as it started to lockup it stops doing it so and I can work in the
computer for hours (usually ther est of the day, which is seven o ten hours)
with no problems at all. Any ideas what I must do? :S
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2007
Tizzy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Sudden system lockups? why?
Thanks for the answer, I tried both swapping the SATA cable and changing it
to another motherboard slot, sadly with no positive results, just the same:
As soon as I decide it is a good idea to move a file from a hard drive to
another, computer locks up. Since its only one hard drive divided into two
partitions, is there any chance there could be an error in the second one,
thus harming me when moving big files? Even though I doubt it, since it also
happens with the C: drive, I'm curious about it, and if it were, is there any
way to diagnose it? I've run scandisk several times with no problems found,
so I've pretty much ran out of ideas, so far I can say the problem can't be:
- Videocard (since whole system locks up, not only screen)
- Memory Issues (Problem is way too localized to be a bad RAM stick, bad
memories usually appear as bluescreens and RANDOM reboots and/or lockups)
- Processor (why would it be? Processors more often cause BSODs, which I've
had none so far, and also I've done waaay more intensive things in this pc
than moving files, that would've given it away).
- Power Source: I'm a gamer. I've managed to ut the system to test with
videogames with no problems, even when intensive use = more power needed, and
have had no problems at all.
-Hard Drive (almost): Since the problem mainly appears when moving/writing
big files, I'm not really inclined to think its a faulty hard drive -- I
haven't had a single data loss or any errors found in the hard drive when
running scandisk, I guess that would've given it away, wouldn't it?

Anyway, I've been thinking on maybe reinstalling the OS, since a faulty
instalation of a driver COULD be messing it all up, yet I'm not too sure
about it since I fear it might ask me to revalidate it via phone -- and since
I'm living in south america, a phone call to microsoft's headquarters in the
US would be pretty expensive, so would the OS ask me to validate again (not
via web) if I reinstalled?

"Carey Frisch [MVP]" wrote:

> A great Vista troubleshooting story
> http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1761
>
> --
> Carey Frisch
> Microsoft MVP
> Windows Shell/User
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> "Tizzy" wrote:
>
> Hi, I've been using windows vista 64-bit for a couple weeks now and, though I
> do find it fast and reliable, am having a huge problem -- the freaking OS
> seems to like locking up when it works with files of a big size (usually a
> few hundred MBs). It does not happen always, but pretty often -- to the point
> where now I save everything I have open before moving any file from a hard
> drive to the other or simply overwriting it. Its pretty annoying, it happens
> mainly with big files -- but has also happened a couple times with smaller
> ones, and I've noticed the pattern already - since every time it locks up
> like that the system is also doing some work in the hard drive. when it
> happens, all I can do i restart - since the system dies completely, no mouse,
> no sound, no answer of any kind to anything I do but restarting and, once I
> do so, the system shows no signs of any error, so I can't diagnose whats
> happening in any way. Any ideas what might be happening? This is a high end
> system, so its not a lack of resources (amd 64bit dual core athlon 6000+, MSI
> K9A motherboard, video card is HIS RADEON HD 2900XT and hard drive is western
> digital 500GB, partitioned in two halves), and is honestly driving me
> crazy... Also sometimes it starts doing it at random, the system starts and
> about 2 minutes later it locks up with no reason -- and keeps on doing so
> several times, sometimes I can't use the pc during hours, then jsut as
> suddenly as it started to lockup it stops doing it so and I can work in the
> computer for hours (usually ther est of the day, which is seven o ten hours)
> with no problems at all. Any ideas what I must do? :S
>

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2007
Carey Frisch [MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Sudden system lockups? why?
Restart your computer, then download and install the
following new updates:

An update is available that improves the compatibility
and reliability of Windows Vista:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=938194

An update is available that improves the performance
and reliability of Windows Vista:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=938979

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows Shell/User

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Tizzy" wrote:

Thanks for the answer, I tried both swapping the SATA cable and changing it
to another motherboard slot, sadly with no positive results, just the same:
As soon as I decide it is a good idea to move a file from a hard drive to
another, computer locks up. Since its only one hard drive divided into two
partitions, is there any chance there could be an error in the second one,
thus harming me when moving big files? Even though I doubt it, since it also
happens with the C: drive, I'm curious about it, and if it were, is there any
way to diagnose it? I've run scandisk several times with no problems found,
so I've pretty much ran out of ideas, so far I can say the problem can't be:
- Videocard (since whole system locks up, not only screen)
- Memory Issues (Problem is way too localized to be a bad RAM stick, bad
memories usually appear as bluescreens and RANDOM reboots and/or lockups)
- Processor (why would it be? Processors more often cause BSODs, which I've
had none so far, and also I've done waaay more intensive things in this pc
than moving files, that would've given it away).
- Power Source: I'm a gamer. I've managed to ut the system to test with
videogames with no problems, even when intensive use = more power needed, and
have had no problems at all.
-Hard Drive (almost): Since the problem mainly appears when moving/writing
big files, I'm not really inclined to think its a faulty hard drive -- I
haven't had a single data loss or any errors found in the hard drive when
running scandisk, I guess that would've given it away, wouldn't it?

Anyway, I've been thinking on maybe reinstalling the OS, since a faulty
instalation of a driver COULD be messing it all up, yet I'm not too sure
about it since I fear it might ask me to revalidate it via phone -- and since
I'm living in south america, a phone call to microsoft's headquarters in the
US would be pretty expensive, so would the OS ask me to validate again (not
via web) if I reinstalled?


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2007
Tizzy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Sudden system lockups? why?
Installed the second update yesterday and nothing changed. Just installed the
first of the updates. After installing, just as I did yesterday, I started
purposely trying to make the system lockup. So far, I've:
-Copied the same 700mb file twice to the same folder, once to another folder
and once to another partition.
- Duplicated another 700 MB file inside a folder once, and added it to
bitTorrent to have it hashed.
-Fully re-encode the whole first 700MB video file to the same hard drive.
Needless to say, I tried doing that yesterday and it locked up no less than
10 times, and had to end up doing the dump to an external USB flash drive in
order for the pc not to crash.
All has been sucessful, so I guess it is indeed working (Unless just by
chance the pc happened to enjoy doing all this well of sudden, since I tried
doing exactly the same things yesterday, all of them with lockups as
results). therefore, I guess the updates have solved that problem, thanks
HOWEVER, I'm now noticing there seems to be a HUGE strain on the CPU when
windows is idle, since the load in core2 doesn't seem to be getting any lower
then 70%, where it qouel usually be around 10% for both cores when the PC was
idle. Any ideas why this is?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2007
Tizzy
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Sudden system lockups? why?
I'm back again... this is getting frustrating, though at least now I know
more about what's going on.
As I previously stated, I tried to make the pc lock up with no luck (which
is fairly good), but noticed the CPU usage was way over what it should be.
So, just a few minutes ago I tracked the program with the task manager and
found out its Nero what's causing all that CPU usage. Therefore, I shut nero
down. Tried to copy/paste a big file inside the hard drive. result: Instant
lockup. Again. Restarted pc, copied and pasted a big file twice with nero
using up the CPU, had no crashed. Closed nero again for good and tried to
copy, instant lockup. Seems like it gets weirder each time, though now I sort
of have a proper pattern describing what will (and what won't) create the
lockup:

- Copying and pasting a relatively big file inside the hard drive will make
it lockup immediately, if the CPU usage is optimal (low).
- However, if the CPU usage is high (and possibly one of the cores on the
CPU is full up or almost), I can copy as many files as big as I want and do
whatever I please and will get no lockups.
- Also, I can copy ANYTHING from and to external drives (USB flash drives or
CDs/DVDs) and will not get a lockup. Ever. Neither when copying from hard
drive to flash drive nor when copying from flash drive to HD.
- Only file movements and edition in the hard drive will create a lockup. I
can do anything else with no lock ups at all.

By checking this, I'm guessing there's some sort of problem with the speed
at which data is being sent to the harddrive, since when pc works optimally
(and therefore it goes as fast as it can), any big file movement inside the
hard drive (copy/paste, create new big files or move from a partition to the
other) will make it lockup, but when I create a bottleneck, be it in the
processor by using Nero Scout or in the data transfer rate by copying/pasting
from a slower unit, the lockup will not occur. Its pretty weird, really :s
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