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Applications hang while working on documents from USB drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • On two completely different machines running Windows 7 64-bit, applications (such as Visual Studio 2010, gVim) freeze for 10-40 seconds while writing to files located on a USB hard drive or SD card connected via USB. This happens every 2-5 attempts to save the files I'm working on.

    My scenario is usually editing a website in Visual Studio or gVim. The website's files are kept on a USB hard drive. In this particular case at work, the hard drive is a "250 GB Seagate Expansion Portable Drive" but that does not seem to matter. At home, I tried working off of a Transcend 32 GB SDHC card connected via the USB adapter.

    I have tried setting the drive policies to "Better performance" and that does seem to minorly affect how often the applications freeze but not how long they freeze. If I try to click on the application window's client area, they turn white and I get the waiting cursor. After time, they become responsive again.

    Work PC: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Dell Precision WorkStation T5500, Intel ICH10 USB Host Controller, NVIDIA Quadro NVS420

    Home PC: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P, Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller, ATI Radeon HD 4600

    I included the video card information because it appears there was a known and fixed issue with NVIDIA drivers. This is not the same issue. My work and home PCs cannot be more different.

    This issue DOES NOT occur with Windows XP SP3 with either the Seagate hard drive or Transcend SDHC card. I can work off those drives in XP with Visual Studio and there is no freezing whatsoever.

    I have scoured the Internet for anyone else having this issue but cannot dig up anything useful. That is surprising because I have encountered this on two of the Windows 7 64-bit machines. I have not tried it in the 32-bit version yet.

    I am going to have to stop working off USB drives. That is not a workaround. It is disappointing and frustrating.

    I hope this report helps an engineer locate and fix a problem in Windows 7. If there is anything I can do to help, please respond.

    Thank you, Ryan Westphal

    Friday, January 21, 2011 5:46 PM

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