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Upgraded to Windows 8.1 - Streaming video causes System hang/freeze for minutes

    Question

  • Windows 8 was working flawlessly. When I upgraded to Windows 8.1, my IE started flipping out and then my NVidia drivers crashed (Windows gave me a "Video drivers stopped responding" message). Thinking the whole thing was fubared, I did a clean format, installed Win8, and updated to 8.1 without installing gfx drivers. Once I had updated to 8.1, I then installed the drivers and everything is running smoothly.

    The only problem I'm having is on sites like YouTube and in metro apps that stream media like Netflix. The content starts out fine and then after few minutes of playing, halts -- nothing is responsive at that point. The mouse cursor moves, but CTRL+ALT+DEL doesn't work, and if I have the task manager open before-hand on the second monitor, it too freezes and becomes unresponsive. CPU fan doesn't spin up any faster so the cpu is not being 100% used. After hopelessly clicking around the screen, everything jumps back to life as if nothing happened after a couple minutes of being frozen.

    I thought because Netflix have moved to IE11 HTML5 rendering that it was some how IE11 problem, I played youtube in Chrome browser and ran into the exact same problem. If I don't stream any video, everything works perfectly fine -- I've been using this IE11 instance for an hour now, browsing reddit, etc. and it hasn't frozen once. But if I go to YouTUbe and play something, it'll lock up in a few minutes.

    I havn't tried playing any video through desktop program like Windows Media Player -- I'll do that next and see if I run into the same problem. I'm suspecting driver issues? If there a fix?

    Please help.

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 6:44 AM

Answers

  • Alright so, the issue has been resolved.

    But the resolution itself isn't quick or painless -- it's a complete format of the harddrive with the reinstallation of Windows 8.

    Here are the steps:

    1- Reinstall Windows 8 (DO NOT use the "refresh"/"remove everything and install windows again" options from "Change PC Settings" under the Metro view, but rather a complete reformat and reinstall from install-media).
    2- Stop Windows from downloading and installing updates (while it is downloading updates, it prevents Windows Store from downloading Win8.1 update)
    2a- Do this by going into Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Update -> Change Settings -> From drop down select "Check for updates but let me choose...."
    3- Apply the KB update to allow Windows Store to show the 8.1 Update. Download KB2871389 from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40076
    4- Restart computer
    5- Go into Windows Store, update to 8.1 and a way you go.

    Diagnostic discussion for MS Engineers who might be interested in how my situation became so fubared.

    I am a software developer so I had a very intricate setup for Win8. I had installed VMWare Workstation 9 on my computer and then wanted to try out the Windows Phone SDK. Which then installed the Windows Hypervisor. VMWare cannot run with the windows hypervisor engaging the hardware virtualization -- so I found a little work around that disables the hyperv from booting and gives you the option at the windows boot time of whether to start with (or without) the hyperv. I had installed drivers for embedded hardware connectivity via USB, as well.

    With an existing setup like that, I made a backup system image and then proceeded to update to 8.1. Update was successful. However as I quickly found out there were numerous stability issues. IE11 kept hanging and freezing on any site for any reason. Clicking on a link would take couple of second to open that page. It was just a very frustrating experience for me. Many of my programs like Visual studio and vmware became unusable as windows instructed me to reinstall them for compatibility reasons.

    With a catastrophic mess like that, I decided to clean the slate and reformat. However I knew from mucking about that there was a recovery setting that allows you to wipe out all programs and settings to bring the system to a factory reset state. I thought this was akin to reformating and so decided to do it. Clicking that button made windows ask me for the installation media. I put in my Windows 8 dvd and it kept asking me the same thing; put in the installation media. Correctly assuming that it wanted the Windows 8.1 (not Windows 8) install media I was dumbstruck (MS should take note here that the recovery options are fubared after someone updates to 8.1 if the person doesn't have 8.1 install media). I called up my friend who actually has a Windows 8.1 install disc, I borrowed it and off the system went resetting everything.

    Couple of hours later, I had a factory reset pc again. However stabilities issues remained. This is when I posted the above original question asking about the streaming media freezing issues. Having uninstalled everything I could and every device I could disable, the issue still lingered. This is when I decided that the update process went not so swimmingly and crapped on the entire thing.

    Not sure if my issue can be reproduced readily, but if someone is running into this issue, consider yourself unlucky and to avoid hidden stability issues such as the ones I was having; just ditch the entire thing, back up your files, bite the bullet and just reformat instead of wasting 3 days chasing after those issues.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013 7:57 PM

All replies

  • i have the exact same Problem... local Videos cause the same Problem. everything worked fine without the 8.1 update
    Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:34 AM
  • Bill and Grumpy - you don't give many details about your hardware.  Apparently many PC manufacturers released BIOS, firmware, and/or driver updates specifically to prepare for Windows 8.1.  The first thing I'd do is to check with your PC manufacturer to make sure you're up to date on everything from them.  You don't say if you're on wireless or wired (I'm guessing wired since you refer to two monitors) - in either case, particularly wireless, check to make sure you're still getting a good quality connection, and again, if not, check for a driver update.

    I would probably try to keep Task Manager open to see if you get some kind of spike in CPU related to a particular process when this happens - that at least might help to narrow it down.

    You could try your question in the NVidia forums as well.  I know that for my 5-series NVidia card, many forum posters recommended a specific driver version rather than the newest one.

    Lastly, in the unlikely event that you're running the Intel Desktop Utilities, try uninstalling that.  There was a weird issue where, if IDU polled the drive for Smart information, it would flush the drive cache and cause the effect you're describing.  I'm not sure if that's been resolved in the current version of IDU or not.


    Dave Nickason - SBS MVP

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 5:18 PM
  • Hi Dave,

    Thanks for replying. As I mentioned earlier, I had Task Manager opened on the second monitor to detect such spikes -- but the whole computer hung/froze and task manager UI thread wouldn't run (in fact none of the UI threads for any of the processes were running evidently because the entire desktop was frozen in time). Since the entire UI dispatch is locked, it's definitely a Kernel space issue and because it is happening during a video playing where hardware acceleration maybe engaged it seems like a video card / driver issue.

    BTW I am on wired gigabit lan and have no wifi card in my desktop. My machines is an AMD machine so no Intel utilities. My system is a custom built PC with the latest BIOS version installed.

    CPU: AMD FX 8150
    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3
    Ram: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB DDR3 1600
    Gfx: PNY GeForce GTX 560 Ti VCGGTX560TXPB-OC2-S
    SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III

    I have the latest drivers installed for nVidia card but not the latest "beta" drivers (not yet WHQL cert). I fear BSOD if I go with unstable drivers, but I'm willing to try it if it eases up the issue.

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 5:38 PM
  • I have a GTX 550 Ti and in troubleshooting some stability issues on the PC, I found a number of posts indicating that the newer drivers can be problematic with the 5 series.  Many people seem to recommend a particular driver version from earlier this year.  Next time I'm near that PC, I'll see what version I've got installed and let you know.  But that said, I'll be surprised if a driver issue is causing the symptoms you're seeing, and if you're using a WHQL driver, something else is probably the cause.

    Have you tried disabling hardware acceleration?  I doubt it's an issue with that graphics card, but it would only take a second to check.


    Dave Nickason - SBS MVP

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 7:39 PM
  • Just spent 4 hours pulling apart and uninstalling every bit of software I could and then uninstalled the gfx drivers, nic drivers... I'm still getting freezing barebones (but only while watching youtube/streaming media, as the original post outlines).

    The only thing left to do is rip out the SSD and throw in another drive to see if it is I/O issues.

    I'm so sick of Windows 8.1 now, throwing in the towel and just reverting to 8 seems so tempting now.

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 11:04 PM
  • Alright so, the issue has been resolved.

    But the resolution itself isn't quick or painless -- it's a complete format of the harddrive with the reinstallation of Windows 8.

    Here are the steps:

    1- Reinstall Windows 8 (DO NOT use the "refresh"/"remove everything and install windows again" options from "Change PC Settings" under the Metro view, but rather a complete reformat and reinstall from install-media).
    2- Stop Windows from downloading and installing updates (while it is downloading updates, it prevents Windows Store from downloading Win8.1 update)
    2a- Do this by going into Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Update -> Change Settings -> From drop down select "Check for updates but let me choose...."
    3- Apply the KB update to allow Windows Store to show the 8.1 Update. Download KB2871389 from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40076
    4- Restart computer
    5- Go into Windows Store, update to 8.1 and a way you go.

    Diagnostic discussion for MS Engineers who might be interested in how my situation became so fubared.

    I am a software developer so I had a very intricate setup for Win8. I had installed VMWare Workstation 9 on my computer and then wanted to try out the Windows Phone SDK. Which then installed the Windows Hypervisor. VMWare cannot run with the windows hypervisor engaging the hardware virtualization -- so I found a little work around that disables the hyperv from booting and gives you the option at the windows boot time of whether to start with (or without) the hyperv. I had installed drivers for embedded hardware connectivity via USB, as well.

    With an existing setup like that, I made a backup system image and then proceeded to update to 8.1. Update was successful. However as I quickly found out there were numerous stability issues. IE11 kept hanging and freezing on any site for any reason. Clicking on a link would take couple of second to open that page. It was just a very frustrating experience for me. Many of my programs like Visual studio and vmware became unusable as windows instructed me to reinstall them for compatibility reasons.

    With a catastrophic mess like that, I decided to clean the slate and reformat. However I knew from mucking about that there was a recovery setting that allows you to wipe out all programs and settings to bring the system to a factory reset state. I thought this was akin to reformating and so decided to do it. Clicking that button made windows ask me for the installation media. I put in my Windows 8 dvd and it kept asking me the same thing; put in the installation media. Correctly assuming that it wanted the Windows 8.1 (not Windows 8) install media I was dumbstruck (MS should take note here that the recovery options are fubared after someone updates to 8.1 if the person doesn't have 8.1 install media). I called up my friend who actually has a Windows 8.1 install disc, I borrowed it and off the system went resetting everything.

    Couple of hours later, I had a factory reset pc again. However stabilities issues remained. This is when I posted the above original question asking about the streaming media freezing issues. Having uninstalled everything I could and every device I could disable, the issue still lingered. This is when I decided that the update process went not so swimmingly and crapped on the entire thing.

    Not sure if my issue can be reproduced readily, but if someone is running into this issue, consider yourself unlucky and to avoid hidden stability issues such as the ones I was having; just ditch the entire thing, back up your files, bite the bullet and just reformat instead of wasting 3 days chasing after those issues.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013 7:57 PM
  • I'm experiencing this same issue.  For me, I get about 20 minutes into a Divx stream when the system will lock up, continuously playing the same 1-second audio loop.  Like OP, system is otherwise completely unresponsive.

    > No events in event viewer to explain the crash
    > Video, Disk, network, chipset drivers are all latest Win 8.1-verified drivers from Intel.  Also tried uninstalling Intel's drivers, going back to Windows default

    I'm running a late 2012 Mac Mini -- Core i5 version.  It ran Windows 8 without locking up, and had run 8.1 for a couple weeks without issue.  I wish I'd paid more attention to be sure, but I think it may be related to a Windows Update.  I'm going to try uninstalling the latest updates to see if it helps.  If so, I'll report back here.

    -D


    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 10:29 PM
  • Having the same exact problem as you.  I had zero problems with Windows 8, but started having problems the day I updated to Windows 8.1.  I, however, am running over a wireless network.  I have updated all my bios and firmware.  Problem still occurs.  The funny thing is, I have no problems streaming media on other devices connected to the network.

    Would love a work-around that doesn't involve a fresh install.  I spent a day already trying the "refresh" and reinstalling all my apps. Bleh...

    Monday, November 04, 2013 6:02 AM
  • Having the same exact problem as you.  I had zero problems with Windows 8, but started having problems the day I updated to Windows 8.1.  I, however, am running over a wireless network.  I have updated all my bios and firmware.  Problem still occurs.  The funny thing is, I have no problems streaming media on other devices connected to the network.

    Would love a work-around that doesn't involve a fresh install.  I spent a day already trying the "refresh" and reinstalling all my apps. Bleh...


    I'd like to second this post. Custom built AMD centric rig, here. Fully updated everything. Looking for a solution that doesn't require reformatting. 8.1 is such a mess, I can't believe it passed QA. (I also can't get it to install on my tablet, but that's another topic for another post).

    Hello, Hobbs.

    Thursday, November 07, 2013 6:41 AM
  • Hi Guys,

    I have a brief update. I replied earlier to this thread saying the solution was total format and that after that said format the issue never returned.

    Actually it did return and so obviously the answer wasn't that.

    After hunting down any possible offenders I decided to, one by one, remove external hardware tot he computer.

    It turns out my Creative Tactic 3D Sigma headphones' USB adapter was the offender. Well, that's not entirely true. You see, it was plugged into a powered USB 7 port cheapo Hub I have. It normally works great, and works great with other devices too, such as USB flash drives. However with this particular audio hardware, the combination resulted in the constant freezing/locking of the entire system.

    Once I removed the USB adapter and plugged it directly into the USB port of the computer, the problem immediately, and permanently, disappeared.

    So if you've got things plugged into your USB ports, try taking them out one-by-one and seeing if you have success.

    Thursday, November 07, 2013 6:48 AM
  • ...

    So if you've got things plugged into your USB ports, try taking them out one-by-one and seeing if you have success.

    You Sir are my hero!

    I myself updated to 8.1 and have been having similar issues to most others.

    I have 'Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless Headset' -

    So the headset works OK when wireless but when I am using it "on-charge" via my USB3.0 Ports the video/audio nightmare begin. Also the same issue occurs using the USB2.0 Ports.

    Currently this headset has no 8.1 Drivers and neither does my Gigabyte UD5(rev2) motherboard.

    Solution:

    Only use the headset wireless and charge it via a phone charger when running low. Make sure to use a charger with the same V/Amp as your headset <--If you are unsure do not do this.

    Also little background on previous troubleshooting;

    - Reloaded Nvida drivers (gtx580 gpu) "clean install option"

    - Removed Codecs

    - Removed Corsair Drivers

    --------

    System Specs.

    Gigabyte UD5(rev2) motherboard

    ASUS gtx580 GPU

    Intel i7 960 CPU

    120GB OCZ Vertex2 SSD

    Coolmaster 700 Silent Pro PSU

    Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless Headset

    Quick Edit - I did notice plug and playing the headset via USB seems to sometimes make the issue  occur even when its wireless but it does fix itself (for me).

     Good luck!

    • Edited by Mbianks Tuesday, November 12, 2013 4:15 PM
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 4:11 PM
  • You are great man. It's working also for ATI cards!
    Wednesday, November 13, 2013 7:46 PM