Computer Help forum


External/USB hard drives freezes explorer

by AnthonyWasH3r3 / April 5, 2012 1:51 PM PDT

I've had this problem from day 1 on my custom built computer. It's been about 3 months. Basically whenever I have any usb flash drive or my 2tb external hard drive plugged in and transferring files, playing music/movies, or playing games from it, it'll freeze up on occasion. Sometimes it'll be repeatedly, freezing up for 30 seconds, a couple times within 5 minutes. Sometimes it'll be good for quite awhile and then it freezes, and then it acts like it just got unplugged, then replugged back in. Sometimes it's consistent every 10 minutes. I also notice that it takes about 10 seconds longer for my computer to boot up (I have an ssd so it's noticeable).

I know it's not my usb ports, because my mouses/keyboards/headphones/phone cable work just fine with all the ports. I also know it's not the hard drives themselves. My 2tb is a 3.0, just an fyi. It works just fine on my laptop and any of my friends computers.

I'm thinking it's either something wrong with the OS or it's my motherboard maybe;

Any suggestions how to fix this would be really nice. It's annoying playing an online game and having it keep freezing up.

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All Answers

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I'd seen this before.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 5, 2012 2:37 PM PDT

Explorer has done this for over a decade. The cause is well known but the cure will have to come from Microsoft. Sorry, but unless you move videos and such off that drive we know Explorer and the Indexing does exactly what you are complaining about.

There are more reasons such as a bum install of the OS but let's hope the folk that installed it had a solid plan and didn't wing it.

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by AnthonyWasH3r3 / April 6, 2012 8:21 AM PDT
In reply to: I'd seen this before.

I had a couple computers in the past and this never happened to me before. But is there a chance that the installation could have something to do with it? Would it maybe work out if I reinstall windows?

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I have to go with no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2012 8:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Reinstall?

The Explorer pause, freeze, and more as you use some USB drive is well known. I can bet it can be a shock if it's the first time.

Why does it hit folk when they move to some new machine? The simplest reason is the CODEC that is used as Explorer opens the video file to get some information or thumbnail. Here's some research on that.

I hope we don't have to repeat why this happens or that Windows Indexer along with other media apps will cause this to happen.

I don't have enough history to guess what CODEC or if some Nero app is in play. We know the WMP Play To feature is a factor but it is a shame that over a decade of this issue and the OS maker has left us on our own here. It's a shame really.

Again, there is no solid cure except to hunt down what CODEC the content was encoded with (I use MediaInfo or VLC Player for that step) and then find a CODEC that folk report few problems with.

There could be other issues such as the machine's maker forgot a driver and again, installing the OS does not fix that. To fix that we install the drivers, and even then we find the occasional out of date BIOS to matter.

Part of the fun of a custom machine and a fresh Windows install?

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That 3.0, USB 3.0?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2012 8:40 AM PDT
In reply to: I have to go with no.

If you look at the complaints from Dell USB 3.0 users, you find many are trying other drivers. Some success, some not. After all that, USB 3.0 is hit or miss. Be sure to check if there is a newer BIOS, driver for the motherboard chipset and in the case of some boards they have a standalone driver for the USB 3.0.

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by AnthonyWasH3r3 / April 6, 2012 8:59 AM PDT
In reply to: I have to go with no.

That does make some sense. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm pretty sure it only does freeze (during playing games) while it's loading a new match and the loading screen comes up. Pretty much whenever something is having to load. And while I try transferring files/folders, it could be that it's freezing up due to the thumbnail bug or something.

It shouldn't be the usb 3.0 bug because the same thing also happens when I plug in 2.0 devices and my 3.0 HD works fine with my friends' 3.0 ports.

I'll run a driver scan to make sure I have all the latest drivers. If that doesn't work, I may end up reinstalling windows with the same disc that I usually install on my other computers. (I used a different instalation disc/version of windows for this computer).

Thanks for all the help you have been, I'll be sure to post results when I get around to it.

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Please do not use a Driver Scan app.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2012 9:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks.

Those things are usually trouble. Do this the old fashioned way.

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