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OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

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  #1  
Old 26-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

Hi!

I noticed this strange phenomena while copying files to an external
USB harddrive.
When I copy (using the explorer) a directory containing about 20 5-10
MB big files and
20 about 2GB big files from my internal sata drive to the external usb
drives, then this
pattern emerges:
- the external HD is busy all the time (its LED blinks)
- the internal HD LED is :
- off for 40 seconds
- then half on for 10 seconds (blinks fast, giving the impression
of half light intensity, compard to full on)
- fully on for 25 seconds
This then cycles, until the copy is finished.

During the 25 seconds when the internal HD is constantly lit, the
system is almost unusable.
Moving with the cursor keys thru the open start menu takes 5 seconds
for each move. That is :
I press the cursor down key and only after 5 seconds the highlight
moves from the previously
selected menu item to the next.
Also starting programs takes ages (actually everything that needs
access to the HD).
For example paint, notepad and write each takes 10 to 20 seconds to
start up. (normally they start
in a second).

During the periods when the HS led is not lit (or "half" lit) the
system works normally.

I suspected the USB driver has problems with PAE and 4GB of memory,
but I booted
with /noexecute and /nopae options (as recommended in MS KB 900524,
giving me 3,25 GB
of RAM, opposed to full 4GB otherwise) and the problem persisted.

Any idea what to do ?

System data:
- OS : Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 x86 Enterprise Edition, Evaluation
copy
- mainboard: Asus P5K-E WiFi (Intel P35 based)
- RAM 2 x 2GB DDR2-800
- CPU : Intel Core2 Quad Q6600
- VGA: nVidia 8800GT
- WD75000AAKS SATA hard drive
- WD Elements USB harddrive

The volumes are all NTFS.

Regards,
David

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  #2  
Old 26-04-2008
Pegasus \(MVP\)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive


"David Balazic" <david.balazic@hermes-softlab.com> wrote in message
news:0560956c-2bb4-4170-87c7-4c7c3bd90380@b1g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
> Hi!
>
> I noticed this strange phenomena while copying files to an external
> USB harddrive.
> When I copy (using the explorer) a directory containing about 20 5-10
> MB big files and
> 20 about 2GB big files from my internal sata drive to the external usb
> drives, then this
> pattern emerges:
> - the external HD is busy all the time (its LED blinks)
> - the internal HD LED is :
> - off for 40 seconds
> - then half on for 10 seconds (blinks fast, giving the impression
> of half light intensity, compard to full on)
> - fully on for 25 seconds
> This then cycles, until the copy is finished.
>
> During the 25 seconds when the internal HD is constantly lit, the
> system is almost unusable.
> Moving with the cursor keys thru the open start menu takes 5 seconds
> for each move. That is :
> I press the cursor down key and only after 5 seconds the highlight
> moves from the previously
> selected menu item to the next.
> Also starting programs takes ages (actually everything that needs
> access to the HD).
> For example paint, notepad and write each takes 10 to 20 seconds to
> start up. (normally they start
> in a second).
>
> During the periods when the HS led is not lit (or "half" lit) the
> system works normally.
>
> I suspected the USB driver has problems with PAE and 4GB of memory,
> but I booted
> with /noexecute and /nopae options (as recommended in MS KB 900524,
> giving me 3,25 GB
> of RAM, opposed to full 4GB otherwise) and the problem persisted.
>
> Any idea what to do ?
>
> System data:
> - OS : Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 x86 Enterprise Edition, Evaluation
> copy
> - mainboard: Asus P5K-E WiFi (Intel P35 based)
> - RAM 2 x 2GB DDR2-800
> - CPU : Intel Core2 Quad Q6600
> - VGA: nVidia 8800GT
> - WD75000AAKS SATA hard drive
> - WD Elements USB harddrive
>
> The volumes are all NTFS.
>
> Regards,
> David


I would check the event viewer.


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  #3  
Old 26-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

On Apr 26, 2:00 pm, "Pegasus \(MVP\)" <I....@fly.com.oz> wrote:

> I would check the event viewer.


I did. Nothing. No errors. No warnings.
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  #4  
Old 26-04-2008
Pegasus \(MVP\)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive


"David Balazic" <david.balazic@hermes-softlab.com> wrote in message
news:a91496da-443e-4398-a602-751df0550ca1@x41g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
> On Apr 26, 2:00 pm, "Pegasus \(MVP\)" <I....@fly.com.oz> wrote:
>
>> I would check the event viewer.

>
> I did. Nothing. No errors. No warnings.


You did not say in your initial post ***how*** you copy
your files. I would run a test using robocopy.exe from a
Command Prompt. It gives you an ongoing progress report,
enabling you to see when it gets stuck. At the same time
you should check the Program Manager for tasks consuming
excessive amounts of CPU time.


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  #5  
Old 27-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

On Apr 26, 5:08 pm, "Pegasus \(MVP\)" <I....@fly.com.oz> wrote:

> You did not say in your initial post ***how*** you copy
> your files. I would run a test using robocopy.exe from a
> Command Prompt. It gives you an ongoing progress report,
> enabling you to see when it gets stuck. At the same time
> you should check the Program Manager for tasks consuming
> excessive amounts of CPU time.


I copy with the Windows Explorer. Select the source directory. press
ctrl-c.
Go into destination directory and press ctrl-p.

Cpu usage is about 5-10 %.

I will try robocopy...

Regards,
David
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  #6  
Old 27-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

On Apr 27, 12:19 am, David Bala?ic <david.bala...@hermes-softlab.com>
wrote:
>
> I will try robocopy...


OK, I used the command line : robocopy source_directory
destination_directory /MIR
(to remind, source is on internal SATA drive, destination is on
external USB drive)


The result: The behavior with robocopy is the same as with Explorer,
except that there is not "half lit LED" phase.

It copies a large file, followed by a small one, then again
large,small,large,small...

The period when the internal HD LED is lit is when robocopy is showing
the line with a large file and
the percentage increasing. During this time the system is unresponsive
(start menu, starting programs...).

As if the copy process would have exclusive use of the internal hard
drive and everything else must wait.

After the percentage reaches 100%, internal HD LED turns off and
robocopy prints a next line (with a name of a small file), almost
instantly reaching 100% (it is a small file, 5-10MB) and print a line
with the name of the next large file. But now it makes a pause:
the percentage is not displayed at all (the rest of the line is as
usually, with all the data: "New File" string, file size and file
name)
This state is for about 40 seconds. The internal HD LED is off during
this time.


The LED of the external HD is blinking the entire time of the copy.

Regards,
David

PS: Thanks for helping me !
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  #7  
Old 27-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

About CPU usage.

It is below 10% all the time.

While the internal HD LED is lit, the cpu usage is like:
- robocopy.exe 3%
- System 2%

Note that for all the time (while the copy lasts) cpu usage of up to
10% (with seldom spikes up to 15%) is shown, but not attributed to any
process. The System Idle Process shows 99% while the "CPU Usage:" in
the status bar of Task Manager shows 10%.

Regards,
David
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  #8  
Old 27-04-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

One more info, I used robocopy version XP010
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  #9  
Old 27-04-2008
Pegasus \(MVP\)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive


"David Balazic" <david.balazic@hermes-softlab.com> wrote in message
news:f5ba8d58-ed93-4d07-982c-5c550534bcdd@56g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...
> About CPU usage.
>
> It is below 10% all the time.
>
> While the internal HD LED is lit, the cpu usage is like:
> - robocopy.exe 3%
> - System 2%
>
> Note that for all the time (while the copy lasts) cpu usage of up to
> 10% (with seldom spikes up to 15%) is shown, but not attributed to any
> process. The System Idle Process shows 99% while the "CPU Usage:" in
> the status bar of Task Manager shows 10%.
>
> Regards,
> David


It appears that something is locking up Explorer. I can think
of two reasons for this:
a) Some flawed registry setting. You could fix it by restoring the
System State from a recent backup, but only if you have a
backup that was taken before the problem started.
b) You have some interfering agent. Using msconfig.exe to reboot
in a mode that loads nothing other the USB driver would confirm
this theory.

I assume you have already tested different brand USB disks and
disk cases.

Other than this I have run out of ideas.


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  #10  
Old 01-05-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

One more weird thing. Many times it happens, that after I connect the
drive,
I can read it, but writes access (like attempting to create a
directory) gives
an error:
---------------------------
Unable to create folder
---------------------------
Unable to create the folder 'New Folder'

The media is write protected.

Unplugging and replugging fixes this.
Event viewer show no related events.

Regards,
David

PS: I am about to install a second installation of Windows, to see if
a clean install
behaves the same.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

OK, I found the culprit. It is the Intel AHCI driver.

Here is what I did:
- reduced the system partition to make room for another installation
- installed Winddows 2003 Enterprise R2 SP2 Evaluation into the free
disk space
- installed the network driver
- did a Windows update (everything, except IE7)
- tested the copy to usb disk : no problems
- changed the SATA driver for the Intel? Matrix Storage Manager
driver (version 7.8.0.1012)
- reboot, BIOS setup, switch SATA mode from IDE to AHCI
- load Windows
- tested the copy to usb disk : same problems as before

Now (because I have gobs of time...) I will try to install Windows
with AHCI driver implanted on the install CD. (I read that installing
it after is "not the same" as having it from the beginning).

Regards,
David
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2008
Pegasus \(MVP\)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive


"David Balazic" <david.balazic@hermes-softlab.com> wrote in message
news:e45560b1-731c-451a-85fa-690a9bc4d969@z72g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
OK, I found the culprit. It is the Intel AHCI driver.

Here is what I did:
- reduced the system partition to make room for another installation
- installed Winddows 2003 Enterprise R2 SP2 Evaluation into the free
disk space
- installed the network driver
- did a Windows update (everything, except IE7)
- tested the copy to usb disk : no problems
- changed the SATA driver for the Intel? Matrix Storage Manager
driver (version 7.8.0.1012)
- reboot, BIOS setup, switch SATA mode from IDE to AHCI
- load Windows
- tested the copy to usb disk : same problems as before

Now (because I have gobs of time...) I will try to install Windows
with AHCI driver implanted on the install CD. (I read that installing
it after is "not the same" as having it from the beginning).

Regards,
David
==============
Thanks for the feedback. I would never have suspected this driver.


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  #13  
Old 03-05-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

Any idea how to implant the driver into the install CD ?
I tried like described here:
http://www.msfn.org/board/Add-slipst...on-t77999.html

But it does not work. The CD boots, recognizes the disk, makes the
partition, starts install,
reboots, continues the install in GUI mode, but the after the final
reboot, it fails with a 0000007b blue screen.

David

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  #14  
Old 03-05-2008
Pegasus \(MVP\)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive


"David Balazic" <david.balazic@hermes-softlab.com> wrote in message
news:c4932c70-ffc6-45ad-9776-4e179741e53e@8g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
> Any idea how to implant the driver into the install CD ?
> I tried like described here:
> http://www.msfn.org/board/Add-slipst...on-t77999.html
>
> But it does not work. The CD boots, recognizes the disk, makes the
> partition, starts install,
> reboots, continues the install in GUI mode, but the after the final
> reboot, it fails with a 0000007b blue screen.
>
> David
>


Sorry, I don't. I suggest you start a new threat, with an appropriate
Subject line.


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  #15  
Old 04-05-2008
David Bala?ic
 
Posts: n/a
Re: OS almost freezes while copying files to USB harddrive

OK, I used nLite to insert the driver.
After installation, the SATA controller works in AHCI mode.
Unfortunately the problem is still present. This time it is a "vrigin"
Windows
install (except the intel Matrix driver), I did not install _anything_
else.

I'll wait for the Intel support to respond.

Regards,
David

PS: What is the trick Windows claiming the USB disk is write protected
when I connect it for the first time ???
It's a retoric question, I'm too tired to deal with it...
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